Some of the questions that I explore with my clients who are on a path of greater self understanding are:
“If you were an animal which one do you think you would be?”
“Which one do you like and admire?”
This helps in the unpacking of values, strengths and qualities.
Recently, bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this post on her Facebook page. Here’s an excerpt:
“Sometimes, when I catch myself feeling unloveable or self-abusing, I try to imagine that I am an animal, adopted from the humane society, who has been placed into my own care. Maybe an animal that some bad things have happened to. Maybe an animal that is anxious and confused. Maybe an animal that has been wounded. Maybe an animal that is lost.
What does that animal need and deserve? Healthy food, a warm place to sleep, a safe place of shelter, tender affections, plenty of walks in the sunshine. Kindness. Tenderness. Patience.
Can you try to see yourself as an animal in need of rescue? And can you offer yourself that rescue? Can you try to see that you, too, are a simple mammal, born innocent, deserving of tenderness, needful of love, fearful of pain? Can you reach out to yourself with gentleness — as if you were that cat or dog who had been caged for far too long?”
I think this is a wonderful way to think differently so that we can be gentle on ourselves and extend the self love that we all need.