Julio Olalla, Founder of Newfield Network says that we coach from our wounds. It’s not an original dictum, many others say the same.
My interpretation of what is meant by this is that our wounds tell us what we care about, what hurts we want to see righted in the world. And of course, for us to do this effectively we have to do our own work first, before we get anywhere near our clients. To fail to do so will see those of us who coach not being able to support our clients effectively, falling into the client story at best, and at worst, working out our own stuff through the client. Ethically and morally this is an absolute no no.
And so in doing our work we have to know our patterns, our history and the stories that we make up and hold onto about them. We have to be able to discern what is ‘fact’, and what is the perceived reality that we put around it. Much, we come to discover is our interpretation of the events that we experience.
In doing my own work I realised that a story I was living in was in fact not true. It was a memory from childhood and I in that fuzzy space of recollection had recalled an event that didn’t actually transpire as I’d remembered. The realisation that I’d been holding onto an emotion - that of indignance as a consequence of something that didn’t actually transpire left me feeling, not quite bereft but with a real sense of ‘huh, what now then. If I have to let go of the indignance, what then will take its place?’ Digging in I found that ‘nothing’ took it’s place. I couldn’t feel quite joy at the fact that the wrong I had perceived hadn’t in fact happened - not yet anyway. Instead I reflected in a different way.
The importance we attach to our stories and how we use them either consciously or unconsciously to drive us onwards, to fire and fuel us towards some greater purpose. What happens when that driving force, the emotion and story we are attached to falls away?
I often ask my clients what they need to let go of, and what they need to invite in. This is a big question. As human beings we are conditioned towards stories. Some share their stories with others. Some keep their stories inside. Wherever we fall on this spectrum, I’m discovering what happens when we have no story, or we have to let go of the story. My experience is that it can be both liberating and anchorless.
What story do you live in? What are story are you still fighting for in your life. If you let that go, what is there then. How much deeper do you have to dig?