PREVIOUS: Feelings Aren’t Facts – #2
POSTs: Emotional Maturity
ACoAs were trained to ignore our Es, often with tragic consequences. It prevents us from being able to identify what is:
• suitable or not for us • mentally sane & logical
• psychologically healthy • genuinely pleasurable
• At its simplest: The Right brain governs our emotions & the Left brain our thinking (among many other things).
Connecting the 2 sides is a thick mass of nerves, the Corpus Callosum, allowing the halves to communicate, like being able to verbalize (T)<—> feelings (E). (see posts re. M & F Brains)
• Everyone is born with a unique personality which then interacts with their environment & training. Growing up in constant stress, the 2 sides can stop communicating, for protection. Then some people function too much from the L & others too much from the R. We can see this in the way we react to physical or mental hurt.
1. UNDER-FEELING – L brain
Under-Feelers (U-F) “live in our head” to avoid painful Es, cut off from a vital part of our being, & need ways to re-connect the ‘wiring’.
a. GOAL – TO:
• feel all our emotions without judgment
• learn names of a wide range of emotion & be able to associate them with sensations the body generated in the limbic system
• use available tools to help us get in touch with repressed emotions
• learn how to manage painful emotions when they surface
• nurture the Inner Child so that our Abandonment pain diminishes – making us less afraid of Es!
• The exact order & stages (process) needed break thru layers of emotional denial is different for every person & can’t be predicted. Each of us is born unique & therefore is at a different mile marker on the road to Recovery. So the effectiveness & timing of these activities will vary
• Any one, or a combination of the following methods can bring up Es we had to push into the unconscious. It takes patience & perseverance. Try as many as you can & never give up
BODY WORK — ANY available in your area, like:
• acupuncture, to re-align meridians so energy can flow freely (Es are energy)
• Brain Gym (re-patterning), to reconnect the 2 brain halves
• core energetics, a safe way to clean rage out
• craneo-sacral therapy, to get trapped cerebro-spinal fluid moving …..
• massage, to release holding Es in muscles
◉ If none of these are available, go to a gym, find a place to run, get a punching bag, hit pillows, get a plastic bat & use it on the bed or couch
• 12-step literature • Personal-growth articles & books
• Spiritual works • any other writing that ‘touches’ you
SEEING / LISTENING
• movies, plays, classical & modern music, choirs
• old family photos, diaries, letters….
• religious services, spiritual gatherings
• meditation, prayer….
• 12-Step Meetings – Al-Anon, ACoA, SIA (Survivors of Incest)….
• any form of therapy – individual, group, experiential, primal….
• loving friends, getting family info from anyone willing to talk
• Inner Child visualizations & guided imagery
• ‘hypnosis’ – with a trained therapist or self-administered (fully awake but with focused concentration on a topic)
• Dreams – write them out using the Gestalt Method
• Evening Inventory – Brief Journaling OR a positive 10th Step • 4th-Step inventory: list of character defects, childhood traumas & losses – but NOT used for self-abuse!
• 2-handed IC dialogues – learning to listen to the Inner Child AND how to respond lovingly
• Lists of positive qualities – 5 or 6 categories (PMES, Natural abilities, Learned Skills, Talents, Interests, Personality traits… ). Use POST: “Our Timeline inventory”
–> Add to each category as often as you think of : things you do automatically, what you’ve learned in school or on your own, natural tendencies, tastes, interests…, whatever you’re good at, AND anything positive that other people say about you
• Morning pages – stream of consciousness – first thing in the a.m. we’re less ‘defended’ against our inner truth (POSTs “Writing for Personal Growth”
• keep a separate list of self-hating beliefs every day to ’hear’ how ugly & untrue they are. ASK: “Would I say these things to someone I love?” If not, then why let the Pig Parent say them or let the kid agree with them? You can change that!
NEXT: ‘Getting to our Feelings’ – OVER – #1