There have been times in our lives when we have been deceived by ourselves. There are reasons that made these necessary deceptions…
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Welcome to Love Lies Beneath. I’m Zette Harbour. I’m glad to have you here. Do you feel like stress, fear or pain take up way too much of your energy? Have you wondered if you’ll ever be free of that heaviness of your past? Do you long to feel as good on the inside as your life looks on the outside?
In this podcast, you’ll discover the story of who you really are, and how to set yourself free. Together, we’re going to travel into those wild spaces of our inner landscapes, and dive deeply into the rich soil of our lives, reclaiming Soul through Story and healing our Hearts. My book, Love Lies Beneath is the map. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any of this enriching journey. And now, let the adventure begin.
In Episode Five, we will be talking about Necessary Deception. Hopefully, you’ve been able to follow along with the earlier episodes, where we looked into how the story of who we think we are, can limit our ability to really be who we truly are, and what the nature of those stories is, how they are disguises. And in some ways those disguises can enrich our lives. And often the ones we notice the most are the disguises that limit our lives and causes us stress, fear or pain.
And then we moved on to talk about being Lost In The Wilderness. Often we feel we don’t have a clear path. We experience confusion, fear, stress. And after that comes the pain, the discomfort, the uncertainty, the questioning of ourselves, when we are able to really see that these thoughts that we’re having, they’re really our mind trying to be very helpful. Our mind is trying to help us understand emotions that we are experiencing. Emotions themselves are real, they’re true, they’re pure, they exist. And it’s really valuable to allow those emotions to have their own space.
The challenge is, as we talked about, in the introduction, do we create some sort of concrete story that helps us get more comfortable with even the most uncomfortable of emotions? And while those stories, like an anchor for a ship, may anchor us for a time, keep us from moving with the tide or the current, it can also keep us stuck. And in our last episode, Origins and Protective Layers, we dove into these layers that we have within ourselves.
And I wanted to make sure that you knew that all of the notes for each show are on my website, which is ZetteHarbourC oach.com. And you can click on the podcast tab and you’ll see all the episodes there with some notes, perhaps, always a transcript, and any illustrations that applied to that episode’s topic. So for last week, I want to make sure you know that there is an image that can visually describe those layers that we talked about. That at the core of who we are, we are that Original Self, the ‘I Am.’ And the next layer that often happens is what I call the Original Wounding, which are those times when we were really vulnerable, typically very young, unable to manage or navigate the world on our own. Therefore we relied on our caregivers, the adults around us and if they were behaving or talking in ways that created any stress, fear or pain, we may have felt wounded by that.
Sometimes they’re very distinct and clear. Sometimes they’re a little more obscure, and maybe have, you might have a harder time identifying those. But that is the second layer, the Original Wounding, and then the outer layer, I call the Original Self Betrayal.
And in today’s episode, we’re actually going to explore where that term comes from. Essentially, this layer is the stories I needed to manufacture, in order to make sense of, or to feel just a little bit less overwhelmed or even frightened, in the face of something that was incredibly stressful, incredibly painful, that I did not have any power over. It’s really helpful if we can, in those moments of complete overwhelm, create a story that gives us a little sense of co ntrol. That gives us a little sense. In fact, it basically just helps us make sense.
What happens though, when we create those stories, where, let’s say you grew up in a home and you weren’t cared for you weren’t treated with love and respect, the story that we layer on becomes, I don’t matter, I’m bad, I’m not lovable. Those are ways that our, our mind is trying to help us explain overwhelmingly painful feelings. And somehow, having that story that it’s me, it’s my fault, can really lift some of the stress, the pain away from that wounding from others.
So today, we’re going to, as I say, we’re going to look at, where does this term Original Self Betrayal come from? And I want to set this up for you because I’m going to read the next section, which is in Part One, in the chapter called Origins. It’s a section called Necessary Deception. And it follows right after the idea that when I invite the exile pieces of my soul to turn home to me in my heart, then the pain of my self betrayal, as well as the original wordings can disappear.
Necessary Deception. For example, as a very young person, I had no power over the people who provided my food, clothing, shelter and safety. My life depended on them liking and caring about me. There were times when my early caregivers told me with words or actions that I did not matter. And I was not good enough, because the level of threat felt so high. That was when I needed to work hard to manage those stories. I had to make them my own as a way of softening the damage they could do. Like a bandage, I covered up the hurt from others with my own story as a way of having power over my suffering. I needed this to help me make sense of what was happening. To muffle the pain I invented a story that made me the villain, I willingly turned on my tender, vulnerable self to gain the illusion of control. This strategy worked enough to keep that yawning abyss of pain and grief over my Original Woundings at bay. Still, the void remained just on the horizon of my consciousness.
In the book, Leadership and Self Deception, the authors describe being ‘in the box.’ It is what happens to bosses, managers and leaders who are not aware of how they deceive themselves. Basically, the person makes a choice that is a betrayal of themselves. They act against who they know themselves to be, which creates negative consequences for their employees and teams. The moment they choose to turn their back on themselves, they must find justification for why it was the right thing to do.
For instance, a manager knows that an employee has had a recent family loss and sees that their work is suffering. The first thought this leader has is to offer some support, maybe relax some deadlines. However, then the realization that his own supervisor will see it as a sign of weakness pops up. He decides to reprimand his worker instead, and make sure to cc his boss. Suddenly, he remembers a list of other ways this employee has been deficient and ticks the items off one by one in his head.
When the manager felt threatened by his own supervisor’s imagined disapproval, he acted in a way that betrayed his true self. His original instinct was to show compassion. But he reacted to his fear and chose to behave in a way that denied the initial caring he had felt. As a result, he immediately had to come up with a list of justifications for why this denial was the right thing to do. The greater the betrayal, the longer the list needs to be.
This pattern of behavior applies to the unkind things I have done to myself too. Out of great fear, pain and grief, I betray what I know to be true in my heart, that I am a victim and deserving of compassion. Instead, I turn on myself, and say that I must deserve what is happening, I will myself to believe that I am the one to blame. Now I make a list of very valid and emphatic reasons that will justify this story. The people in my life will behave in ways that affirm and confirm what I now believe to be true.
I will carry these stories with me and fight fiercely to protect them, until I am ready to heal the original betrayal that created them. This will lead me back to my Original Woundings and eventually, my Original Self. That is where I will regain my connection to the Love that lies beneath. Until I do, my suffering will go on. I will inflict pain on myself, and my world will respond accordingly.
Each story was absorbed as deeply into my heart as the wounding it protected. Another way to think of this is that the intensity of the criticism and judgment I felt and expressed toward myself was the measure of how deeply my Original Woundings went, the more intense my self loathing, the more threatening my Original Woundings would have been. What this told me was that the negativity, I think, speak or act toward myself, is the equal and opposite of how much Love lies beneath the stories I once used to betray, and at the same time, protect myself.
I had been doing the Story Wisdom work for quite some time, and had been spending time with folklore as a mirror. And it was when I read the book lLeadership and Self Deception, that I suddenly had intense clarity around this. Now, they were speaking about it in terms of creating a really effective positive business or corporate environment. And it made total sense how that would be incredibly helpful for leaders to be able to recognize that if they were acting in a way that betrayed this sort of deeply, true place in themselves, which often had much more to do with caring compassion and understanding than it did with, say, dominance or correction, that it definitely caused difficulties in the team. It would reduce productivity, it would definitely decrease morale.
And so it was really great to see this dynamic explained in this really new context for me. It also really helped me understand my own internal corporate environment. My executives within me had in response to the stress, fear and pain that felt overwhelming and unmanageable, had acted in ways that betrayed who I truly am which is a loving caring, compassionate, thoughtful human being. And at our core, at the Original Self level, that is true for each of us, when we are in connection to that pure state, that Original Self, that ‘I Am,’ we behave in ways that create truly effective and positive relationships and dynamics and results in our lives.
So it was clear to me after reading this book twice, over the last couple, 10 years, the second time I realized, wow, this is it. This explains to me really clearly what happens within me when I act in a way that is not honoring my Original Self. And it made sense that the extent to which I justify and convinced myself of the rightness of my choices is equal in measure to the intensity of the wounding, because that’s sort of the measurement of the threat to my Original Self.
And that also then my response to that in creating that story that I did not matter that I was not lovable, that it was my fault. In creating that story, the intensity with which I had to create that story, or which I had to make sure it felt true was a measurement, a way of really being able to see how much love was really at the core of that, because ultimately, these stories that we create about ourselves in response to trauma, loss, grief, pain, fear, stress, are an expression of love from this deep, deep place within us, the Original Self wanting us to be protected to the extent that we can, because there are just times in our lives where we do not have the emotional, spiritual, psychological maturity.
We don’t have the resources or tools to access, we may not have the support network that we need to help us move through these in a way that’s going to nourish us and enrich us and allow us to become more fully who we are here to be. So these strategies we install, like the moat that we built around our Original Self. And we place all those scary things in there. Those strategies we install and implement throughout our lives, initially were there because they worked, they eased our pain, just a little bit, the ease or fear just a little bit. And sometimes just a little bit is the best you can get.
So once we move into places in our lives, where we have greater resources, where we have created a support network, where we have respectful, loving, compassionate people in our lives, who can walk beside us or hold the light, while we find our way in the darkness. When we reach these places in our lives, then we can look back and recognize that those were helpful and necessary, and that they are not actually giving the results that we want in our life right now. And therefore it’s time to release them.
Often, though, we do think that we need to not release them per se, but really reject them and say no, that’s a terrible way to be, I don’t like that I am this way, or that I have these thoughts about myself, I don’t like this, I hate it, in fact, right? We can reject it. Rejection actually is just another layer of self betrayal. And it’s just designed to protect us.
When we can dive below that layer of self betrayal and then dive through the Original Wounding, we will always find our way to the Original Self. And that Original Self is just pulsating with love. It is filled to the brim with love. And when we are able to be present to the love, we don’t have to control it or, you know, manage it or think about it. We simply get to be present to the love. And it is our presence to the love that lives with our original self, that we reclaim our soul and heal our hearts.
The healing happens as a side effect. It’s not anything you have to really work at or or strategize to do. It really is that simple, that when you dive deeply into these stories recognize the moment at which it was so critical for you to protect yourself by making up a story that, yes, is painful, yes, might feel judgmental and critical, but it helps you,
And recognize what a gift that was from yourself to give you what you needed at that moment to just make it through and to keep as much of yourself intact as possible, and then dive deeper back into those Original Woundings, which many of us, we know what those are, we’ve probably worked on them for years. So we don’t have much trouble sometimes really identifying what those are.
But once we understand that those Original Woundings are not actually the reason that we have these self critical, harsh, judgmental unloving stories about ourselves, once we realize that those things were events that happened caused grief, and in and of themselves, had we had the resources, the network of support, caring, you know, mature adults who understood how to allow us to integrate, you know, to process our stress, fear or pain or grief, once we realize that, then we can see that they are not those terrifying monsters that we’ve installed in our moat.
And that allows us then once again, to see with clear eyes, this Original Self, that lies at the heart of who you are, that really is where all your light beams from. And you know, those moments when you have feltyourself be fully present within your heart, within the core of who you are, and you know what it feels like, that warmth, that light that just beams from you into the world.
So I want to leave you with that thought. If you do come upon unpleasant feelings, hurts pains, grief, self criticism, if you hear someone else criticizing you, and it sounds really familiar, and you know, you’ve been criticizing yourself in the same way and it hurts. take just one moment and remember that those are just layers, they are not you.
I encourage you to visit my website so that you can see the image of the Original Self see those layers. And I want you to, in those moments, when you hear anything critical or painful or negative from you or others, you’re able to see that core Original Self, that beauty, that love, that vulnerability. And just even for an instant, for a micro-second, allow yourself to wrap your arms around that Original Self.
Try that this week and see what shifts for you. I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to me. I am on Facebook. I’m on Instagram. I’m also on Clubhouse. And so I look forward to hearing your stories. And I look forward to seeing your light beaming brightly into the world.
I’m Zette Harbour. I’m so glad that you were here with me today. And I look forward to our future adventures together on this podcast. So be sure to subscribe. And I’d love for you to leave a review wherever it is that you listen to podcasts, and visit my website ZetteHarbourCoach.com for all the show notes, the full transcriptions of the episodes and the illustrations. I look forward to seeing you again on our next episode. Go raibh míle maith agat!