PREVIOUS: Neg Benefits #3
While the focus of this topic is mainly on how our patterns hurt us – generating painful emotions (Es) & causing many practical problems (As) – we can also notice that acting on our Toxic Beliefs (Ts) will show up when we interact (As) with others, hurting them as well. Continuing to protect the Negative Benefits of our defenses impacts every part of our life.
REVIEW – Negative Benefits are:
❎ defenses used in an attempt to get wished-for outcomes which:
• we never got as kids, SO still want, need, demand – no matter what!
• we’re not allowed to have free & clear, so can’t get met in healthy ways
Some wished-for but disallowed, needs & wants:
• to be loved for who we are – unconditionally, to get lots of attention
• to be respected, to be desired, to have positive companionship (not be alone)
• to be comforted when in pain, to feel safe, to relax
• to express intelligence & creativity
• to be heard, to be praised for talents & accomplishments….
GOAL of N.B. – Sneakily trying to get around our self-hate & the PP in whatever creatively twisted way we can concoct, RATHER than doing the long, hard work of cleaning out the damage (REMEMBER : we’re damaged, not defective). Unfortunately, by avoiding the ‘work’ we just dig the abandonment hole deeper.
• What results then is that we fall into or choose lifestyles which actually PREVENT us from gathering positive benefits (Being Loved), no matter how much we may want them.
In place of the real thing, we keep finding complicated, abusive ways to OBEY the bad Rules – on our own & by continuing to interact with our unhealthy family, &/or with other unavailable & abusive people as family substitutes – who we hate but are afraid to leave
GIVING UP NEGATIVE BENEFITS
• a mental willingness & psychological capacity to re-experience childhood emotional pain – remembering that “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”
• get into the right kind of therapy, Recovery programs & other support systems, books / podcast / blogs…. – to understand what actually happened back then (be validated)
• COURAGE, & great patience to chip away at damage, slowly over time
• Find out what Your defensive strategies are. They’re so enmeshed with our every waking moment it’s hard to see them. “Does a fish know it’s wet?”
• Learn healthy, alternative ways of getting Your needs met, & then practice them a little at a time
• “Stick to the plan” when the going gets tough. No one grows in a straight line. There are always detours, regressions & delays. We may:
— hit a plateau when it doesn’t seem like anything is changing. This can just be a needed rest – even if it takes months
— change strategies, tryIng different forms of therapy, spirituality, supportive groups ….
— stop working on yourself completely for a time (hopefully not years), to deal with starting a family, career changes, illness & death….. OR simply from running away
• gradually give up our self-hate (thoughts & actions). Since our most rigid defenses are basically forms of S-H, many of them will diminish as we come to value ourselves, because they won’t be needed to hold down old hidden information & pain.
• grow appropriate boundaries to keep from getting enmeshed with others or from being stepped on / run over / invaded…..
• have some kind of spiritual practice, to calm & sustain us
=== AND remember that all of this takes a lifetime to unravel.
❤️ Be Patient & Loving toward yourself in the PROCESS. We know it’s hard to give up our old ways! None of them go away completely, but the Positive Benefits of growth begin to outweigh the damage, so we feel better & live better!
NEXT: “What just happened” Part 1