Is it possible to get rid of self-sacrificing conditioning? I’m giving up.

Many of the clients I see in my counseling practice, and the people drawn to the Designed to Blossom self-study course in Human Design, tend to be big-hearted and service-oriented.  So it’s no surprise that I was asked by one of the participants, “Is it possible to get rid of self-sacrificing conditioning? I’m giving up.” I’m sharing my response here, in case you can relate.


Boy, do I understand where you’re coming from!


This de-conditioning process is a life long journey. Most of us have to be reminded, over and over again, that it’s not only OK, but important that we choose ourselves.


If one of our major life purposes is to serve others, then it’s even more important that we give ourselves permission to fill our own cups. Otherwise, we’ll have nothing left to give.


I’ve gone through so many phases myself in relation to my own self-sacrificing conditioning. There have been times when it’s been really important for me to feel and express some of that healthy (at times feminist) anger… and to use that anger as fuel to change old patterns, and say ‘no’ to dynamics that really weren’t helping anyone (even if they seemed like they did on the surface).


Other times, I’ve found myself just softening & melting into a giant pool of compassion… for everyone. Myself included.


As one of our participants says, all of us come by who we are honestly. Whether we’re men, women, givers or ‘’takers’, we’ve all received our share of conditioning. And most of the time, the ones who conditioned us were just passing along that which was given to them. (Usually they were passing it along with ‘the best of intentions’, even if it was really damaging.)


These days, I don’t even have the goal of getting rid of conditioning. I focus more on cultivating a more compassionate & loving attitude towards it all… I recognize those pressuring voices when they show up. I don’t push them away. I don’t cling too tightly either. I just try to hold them as lightly and lovingly as possible… and then do my best to make sure that I don’t act on them.


That’s where Human Design comes in. It’s not really about stopping the conditioning, or getting rid of anything, or wishing that we weren’t as open, receptive and sensitive as we are.


It’s more about learning how to embrace our sensitivity, without letting the messages we take in through our sensitivity drive everything we do.


So, we get to keep our open, loving heart. And, we get to be sensitive, empathic people. But we don’t have to make our decisions because we’re afraid that if we don’t sacrifice ourselves, we’ll be left alone.


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