I was meeting with a friend recently and he was telling me how he has to keep reminding himself that he is physically well now. Even though he is clear and free of cancer, having been sick for over 10 years he still finds himself playing small, holding back and reluctant to try anything that would tax his mind and/or body. As he revealed this to me I could tell he was perplexed about why he has this tendency. I explained he has what I call “Coco Syndrome”.
When I was 10 years old, I went over a classmates home to play. They had a lot of dogs, one of which was named Coco, a shy sweet underweight Cockapoo (part Cocker Spaniel and part Poodle). They took her in, but did not want to keep her. She was housed outside mostly and had to fend off the other dogs for everything. I fell in love with Coco immediately and devised a plan to bring her home. I knew once my Mom saw her she would fall in love too and have to say “yes” to keeping her and well, my plan worked!
We immediately went out and bought all the dog supplies, brush, bowl, food and such. We filled her dog bowl thinking she might be hungry, but she didn’t eat anything. The next morning when we came down stairs to find the garbage was strewn all over the kitchen, last night’s scraps clearly had been eaten by Coco who was cowering under the kitchen table. The bowl of pristine well stocked dog food untouched. Coco had learned to eat out of the garbage can and did not recognize that she didn’t have to do that anymore. She was still programmed to shake and hide too when she heard a voice lower and other behaviors suggesting she had been abused. I call this type of programming "Coco Syndrome". Still acting as if a limitation or danger still exists when conditions have improved and the old behavior is no longer needed to keep you safe.
Where in your life you might still be “eating out the garbage can”? Are you taking jobs that do not fully use your talents because you believe that is all you can get or deserve? Do select the same romantic partner over and over again because of your limiting beliefs about what is possible for you in relationship? If this story resonates with you, consider taking out a pen and paper or opening a word processing program on your computer and ask the question…”Where in my life am I still eating out of life’s garbage can?” You might be surprise by what you find. Then reflect on where that pattern, tendency or belief came from. Try to stay in a place of no judgment or blame. Be like a detective to your life. If you find something that you are still doing that reflects an unwanted pattern or condition, know that you do not have to do anything about it right now. Awareness is the first and most important step. Just be willing to do it differently and be open to being shown the way. When you do magical things begin to happen and you will be fully supported to heal that part of yourself in perfect time and order for your highest and best.