SITEs: “How to face Confusing Thoughts”
QUOTE : “There are few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity.” ∼ Erwin McManus (iconoclast, artist, cultural thought-leader)
REVERSING life-long Confusion
It’s normal to be confused sometimes, & sometimes to NEED guidance. It’s when any of the situations listed in previous posts shows up at either extreme – too much or too little that we know something’s off. (see lists of “Unhealthy & Healthy Opposites,” in Part 4)
Externally: The main way we get confused is when others are unclear in any way (see Part 3d) and from Double Messages
Internally: While we can never know everything, it’s imperative that we start with ‘I know what I know’.
Clear thinking does not preclude or ignore INTUITION, which is based on subliminal or unconscious info we’ve gathered along the way. We need all parts of our knowledge base, from all 4 PMES levels.
1. Learn to apply LOGIC
INDUCTIVE reasoning – (bottom-up logic / scientific method): observe something & then use it to form a conclusion
EXP: Joe drinks a lot on a consistent basis, & when drunk he gets mean. You can logically assume that he is going to continue this way – for some unknown time.
THEREFORE it’s safe to say that – at present – he’s not good partner/ mate/ friend material, no matter how charming & clever he is the rest of the time when not drunk!
The problem for ACoAs is NOT that we’re not smart or observant enough to do this, BUT rather that we’ve been brainwashed to not observe & trust our perception & experiences.
Denial is our default position. (See #3a).
But when we allow ourselves to see present-day reality using Adult eyes, we come to realize how crazy & bad things really were for us as kids – & in many of our adult relationships. This can be painful at first, but ends up being empowering – as we stop obeying the PP & be our own person!
DEDUCTIVE reasoning – (top-down logic) starts with an idea, belief, premise (X) – which we assume to be true, using general rules of logic, which hold true within a specific framework. IF & only IF the premise if correct, deduction provides absolute proof of our conclusion.
IF a premise is unproven or unprovable, it must be accepted at face value, on faith, or for the purpose of exploration. (More...), even when we don’t like the answer (The Serenity Prayer).
EXPs of X: All ‘men’ are mortal (philosophy) / I have inalienable rights (psychology) / God exists & is good (religion, faith). (More….. )
• Based on (X), we can consider what else might be true (Y), making rational & generally accepted observations, proceeding to an IF-THEN conclusion (Z), reached by generalizing or extrapolating from our initial statement. Some (X) premises can be proven (re. mortals), others cannot (re. God):
EXP a: If God is real & is good (X), then He watches over me (Y), & therefore I am protected (Z)
EXP b: X – all mothers always love their children
Y – I have / had a mother (reality)
Z – therefore my mother loves me (her child)
Of course, this second ‘X’ is not true, since not all mothers love their children. Y is true, but Z is not a guaranteed outcome!
2. Get more INFO
Define the issue or problem you want to clarify. Try to formulate it honestly, even if you have to sleep on it.
What is your Adult / True Self’s goal? What outcome do you want? Is it realistic? What’s your motivation?
Write everything out & if you need help – ask someone trustworthy (sane) to review it with you.
a. Make notes of all the conflicting points of view on a subject that’s making you ‘feel crazy’. Then put it aside & come back later. Ask someone to review it with you.
b. Try to identify the emotions under the mental confusion / resistance:
— you may already know the answer to a problem, but afraid to go for it
— the angry PP or hopeless WIC is stopping you, each having their own agenda for not wanting to proceed….
NEXT: Confusion #5b