PREVIOUS: Self-esteem IS
IS NOT…❖…expecting to get unconditional love and perfect sanity from any human. It’s unrealistic, but the Wounded Inner Child demands it anyway. Now – when we don’t get it, we accuse others of abandoning us!
IS…❧…understanding that in adult relationships – each person has their own needs. Since our parents couldn’t give us unconditional love, when it would have been ‘normal’, we can only look for it now from ourselves, our pets & our Higher Power. As we interact with healthier people we will receive more appropriate companionship – be mirrored, understood, respected, considered, loved…but never perfectly!
IS NOT…❖…being free of emotions (Es) that were unacceptable in our family, controlling our Es or trying to have ‘appropriate’ Es. Those are signs of damaged thinking – (CDs) – NOT the same as being in control of our behavior!
IS…❧…accepting all emotions as legitimate. Humans are built with the capacity AND the need to feel. Es are the natural indicators of our reaction to any experience – to let us know whether something is good or bad for us. Re.T.E.A. —
• Actions may, or may not, be good, & can be corrected, over time
• Unhealthy Thoughts can be reframed & replaced, when harmful or incorrect
• Es just are. They can go from very joyful <–to–> very painful, but are never good or bad! We need to have access to a wide range of Es, with many shades. It gives us a sense of vibrancy & allows us to connect with others.
Only seeing everything in B & W = tv, paintings, walls, clothes….. can become quite boring. Suppressing or narrowing down Es (to 1 or 2, like rage or fear) will make us one-dimensional, possibly cold, hard, distant & ultimately limited.
The intensity & depth of our emotional reservoir of old childhood pain is so great that it will never be completely empty. Accept this & learn how to manage Es rather than trying to spiritualize them away!
(review “Feelings Aren’t Facts” posts) (MORE re. hand-emotions)
IS NOT…❖…trying to permanently ‘fix’ our childhood damage, eliminating all character defects, doing is easily it & quickly. Any effort to fix ourselves means we think we’re bad, that our badness is our own fault, SO we’re responsible for doing anything we can to eradicate it. (BTW, this is one of the reasons why many ACoAs are suicidal & want to be dead)
IS…❧…accepting that alcoholism & co-dependence have left deep scars & emotional hangovers. (Good / bad parenting @ ACoA site). These will take our life-time to gradually heal. Being human means we’ll never be perfect – but Recovery IS truly possible! Many have proven it.
Humility (not humiliation) is acknowledging our human limitations, with a consistent willingness to evaluate ourselves with compassion, in honesty & reality, modifying our thoughts & action when needed so we can reach our own goals
IS NOT…❖…being ‘serene’ all the time.
• To always be pleasant, kind, honest, thoughtful…is a disguise for a wide range of emotions we don’t find acceptable (anger, envy, greed….)
• To still be the good boy / girl, in the present, is the symbiotic need for our family’s approval, rather than becoming our own person
• Forever trying to be ‘so good’ is a negation of our legitimate rage & pain of childhood abandonment
IS...❧…gaining genuine serenity, based on a solid emotional, mental & spiritual foundation – from the inside. This creates the unshakable knowledge that we are ok even when we’re in pain, under pressure, not understood or supported.
We can have upheaval, express intense pain / anger… and still be at peace, deep down. Serenity is the by-product of knowing & accepting ourselves in the moment, trusting our gut, having a great support system & a loving H. P.
NEXT: RECOVERY IS / IS NOT #2