On the Road to Verticality
I had initially planned to write for the September Issue about diktats and mental patterns, and specifically about those paradoxical injunctions that society repeatedly conveys to women (and men too) from an early age. They “pollute” the relationships with others in the professional and personal sphere and prevent them from being in the here and now, and from connecting to the inner compass.
I wanted to approach the love relationship from the prism of these inner messages that psychologist Taibi Kahler calls "drivers". There are five of them: "be strong, be perfect, please others, make an effort, hurry up, try extra hard to please". These are unconscious injunctions that influence behavior positively or negatively from childhood.
I was happy with myself, I had a subject that literally in vulgar macho language "made me hard". However, between the writing of the draft and the writing of this article, all my certainties collapsed. This article was supposed to come out in September and after being way and ahead of schedule, I found myself procrastinating. Something just didn't add up. I just couldn't do it. It was just more pressure I was putting on myself. Finish this article by any means. In addition to being a perfect mother, a perfect co-worker in my company, a perfect girlfriend, and a powerful, bright, and successful woman, as I like to call myself. My "be perfect" and "be strong" drivers were expressing themselves.
The flip side of this iceberg is, although I am also that powerful, bright, and successful, I am also a 100% human, vulnerable person who sometimes completely misses the mark and fails.
It was also at this same moment that a voice from my entourage with its perhaps clumsy words in its perfect imperfection was thrown back in my face, that all was not working in my life. I was angry, angry at myself, at him for throwing all these dysfunctions back at me, I was so weakened, I was afraid that my first reaction was going to end the relationship. Just like that in the most cavalier way by a text message. Indeed, for those of you who have read my previous article “The Path To Trans-Generational Healing”, you probably know that I went through a painful divorce a year ago. This ordeal brought me back to square one, a place that I had built for myself twenty years ago.
And then I was literally overcome by an emotional tsunami. I was at rock bottom. For the first time in months, I let out everything I have been repressing: the mental fatigue, the burnout of the last two years, the feeling of failure, the fear of not being good enough. My body and my brain were unable to act reasonably for my own good.
The beauty of life is that amid all this disorganization, I had signs that so many things were dysfunctional because I had moved away from my verticality. Verticality, which I define as being true to oneself. While I was unable to find the energy for some things, I did find it while offering what I know best: ACCOMPANYING THE SUCCESSES of people who seek my help.
YES, while being at rock bottom, depressed, and unable to function, while living in a situation where I was unfaithful to myself, I found that I was at the maximum of my potential and full of energy. Incredible!
So, my words that follow are not meant to make you question everything you experience and even less to give advice. Nevertheless, what if you ask yourself these questions every time you have to live through an ordeal, a failure, or face criticism?
1. Have I been true to myself?
2. Have I lived up to my values?
3. Have I fed my needs?
Criticism, ordeal, or failure are gifts for personal development. When they come up in our lives, it is not easy to take the high ground because it hurts the ego. But if we go back to what is important to us, to what our inner child is nurtured towards, it is interesting to ask ourselves how these words or unpleasant events we experience, bring us closer or further away from our goals.
By verticality, I visualize this path that guides us more and more towards who we really are, the acceptance of who we are, and the awareness of our needs and values. By verticality, I also mean being with the "right" people, doing things that are aligned with our souls.
And above all, having the humility to accept and welcome the ups and downs of life with resilience. However, this verticality is fragile and precious. Its absence can give free rein to doubt, nevertheless, it is important to continue to strive towards it.
On the road to verticality is also a question of courage. The courage to be vulnerable and fragile, the courage to say yes or no to our environment, the courage to be bold and to step out of our comfort zone, and the courage to stand tall even when the rest of the world is against us. Because when there is no courage, there is no more freedom. This freedom propels us into the "flow or optimal experience". This moment in life is when we belong to a "MOVEMENT" in an activity where we are intrinsically invested in the here and now. Wouldn't this feeling of flow be the clue that verticality is present in our lives?
Transactional Analysis - What are your main drivers? Take the Test!
Géraldine Blamèble is a Certified Coach, Author & Consultant in Management and Organization.
Born in Martinique, a French island in the Caribbean, Géraldine has lived in Paris for 24 years. She’s passionate about Human Sciences and lives by Feng Shui, medicinal plants, and whole food.
Géraldine assists women and men to become the best version of themselves and helps companies improve their workplace experience, as well as organizational behavior and performance.
Photo credit: Géraldine Blamèble - Insta @geraldine2b ; on Pexels: Ciff Booth, Jill Wellington - Insta @jillwellingtonphotography_, Victor Miyata - Insta @miyata