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See ACRONYM pg. for abbrev.
1. NOT Deserving (cont.)
a. ACoAs – Some things cannot be earned, so we should never try – love, respect, options, freedom from abuse …. However, our damage comes in 2 flavors:
Regardless of the source, hanging on to any tinge of ‘not allowed’….. represents our allegiance to the bad voice – the toxic aspect of our parents & society. The WIC part of us would rather stay ‘small’, be invisible, ignore its talents & deny or limit its opportunities – than disobey the family rules – for fear of punishment, abandonment & death!
• The idea of ‘earning’ also relates to the phrase many healers want us to repeat: “I forgive myself for….” Even if it’s meant to let go of self-blame, it does the opposite for ACoAs: reinforcing our belief that we caused (earned & therefore deserve) our damage – by not being perfect-ly lovable!
— Over-‘deserving’ : The narcissistic unquestioned assumption that someone is entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want it. Have been raised incorrectly, they end up selfish & arrogant – a seemingly opposite extreme of not deserving.
IRONICALLY – these people’s real focus is on trying to make up for the same deep-seated sense of not being accepted by family for their True Self
b. REALITY : There are things in life we DO need to earn – an education, our career, our income, Recovery, physical well-being, healthy respect, honors ….
Earning means we have to work at reaching certain goals, using our intelligence, persevering & asking for appropriate support
AND — we DO need to take responsibility – as adults – for our unhealthy actions which come from our damage – which is not the same as needing to forgive ourselves. And we are responsible for cleaning out & correcting the distortions we grew up with – damage we did not cause!
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2. HAVING RIGHTS
A “Right” is a moral principle which defines & sanctions a person’s freedom of action in a social context, & can be exercised without anyone’s permission. A Right is a natural or God-given permit received at birth, to act in one’s own self-interest, with total control over one’s own life & property as long as others are not injured.
This healthy version of Having Rights is one of many concepts antithetical to the ‘twin towers’ of alcoholism & narcissism. In terms of the dis-ease, Deserving & Having Rights are polar opposites. People in Recovery often say that we “deserve to be……(love), deserve to have…..(help) ”. This can be misleading since it assumes that we did something to merit X or Y. Therefore if we fail to act a certain way we assume we don’t deserve. But again – some things can not be earned.
• As we mature & heal we eventually come to understand that just being born gives us certain rights, as human being with a soul & a connection to the Universal Spirit – God – a far greater power than any one of us & beyond our understanding.
As stated in 12 step Programs: “God does not make trash!”
SO – if we are all one & part of the Universal Energy then we do NOT have to earn / pay for / suffer for the qualities & benefits that are our human rights.
EXP: A Program boyfriend told Keisha: “My loving you is none of your business”. He meant that she had not caused him to love her, SO she couldn’t make him not love her. So she could stop obsessing about how she was going to ‘ruin it’ because she wasn’t good enough, or because of what she said or did. If she had learned that — every human always has the right to be loved — Keisha would never have worried at all ! It only depends on who we are with.
REMINDER: NO one has the power to make another person love us, including our parents. They either already had the ability – before we were born – or they didn’t!
NEXT: Deserve vs rights #4