“Tension is who you think you should to be. Relaxation is who you are.”
This Chinese proverb really strikes a chord with me. I think of the times where I’ve found myself really tense. Usually, I had a preconceived notion of what I was supposed to be doing, or how quickly I needed to accomplish it. Hmmm… pre-tense. Pretense is trying to be or present ourselves in a certain way, often a way contrary to what we know or think is true. It usually involved deception – of self, or someone else.
There is a Jin Shin Jyutsu, the ancient art of harmonizing the life energy in the body, hand position for pretense. You grab hold of the little finger, which connects to the heart meridian. It can certainly cause a strain on the heart to be under chronic pressure, so this makes sense to me.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a particularly good way to find and release the patterns that cause pretense. These patterns develop early in life. Often by the age of 7 we have a pretty good sense of how we are supposed to be in the world. Of course, life events can then tweak that perception, but our family and school experiences can set the tone for a lifetime.
Who are you supposed to be? This comes from who your parents said you were supposed to be, or who you thought they wanted you to be. That last is important. As children, we hear things and try to make sense of them. Sometimes, we make connections that are not accurate, e.g. my parent yells at me…I am bad…I am unloveable. Other aspects can be: Who did you try to be to get attention? Who did you need to be to free safe? What did others do to get the same things you wanted?
Giving up the pretense and letting ourselves just be: that’s letting go. That’s relaxation.