What to DO when CONFUSED (Part 5)


it’s OK to ask for help

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (#3)



4. OPTIONS (cont.)
THE “LAW”: Being trapped as kids in endlessly dire situations without any possible ‘out’ left ACoAs with the Toxic Rule: “If you don’t like it you have to stay”. Controlling parents also taught us: “It’s MY way or the highway”  & “Who do you think you are?”.  Not only were we not allowed to leave bad situations, but we shouldn’t think for ourselves or disobey the ruling demigods – lest we be destroyed!

• That is how the WIC actually experienced our parent(s): as ‘gods’, and so disobedience = our death. If that seems extreme, imagine the terror in a small child trying to defy the angry, abusive authoriparents as godty.

OR, remember the intensity of your anxiety, as an adult, when you’ve said NO to a parent or mate, or tied something totally our of your comfort zone. Haven’t yet?  As long as we still hold these crippling beliefs we have little or no wiggle room, making it hard >to >impossible to take effective actions

EXP: Shona’s father had given her a few of his extra tools to use in her first apartment after college. 20 yrs later she was still struggling to making do with them for every repair job, no matter how unsuited they were for a particular task!

Eventually Shona realized this was a metaphor for the way she lived the rest of her life, & decided to work on expanding her sense of possibilities – starting at the most practical, undramatic level. Occasionally she’ll stop in a hardware store & just LOOK at the huge variety of items – each made for a specific operation!
Imagine making life easier by having the right tool!

APPLY this to all areas of life – & start by finding out what’s available – what are your options in a given situation. While there are realistic limits to our capacities & to what we can afford, they’re NOT nearly as narrow as we believe.  Of course with Amazon, eBay, Google…. – just about anything can be delivered!😀 Anyway – in T.E.A. terms, Emotions also come in a wide range, many ways to Think about something & a variety of ways to DO things.

The latter can certainly apply to small daily choices like what to wear or eat —> all the way to big ones like where to live, which job & relationship to pick or stay in…. One teacher repeats month after month: “Don’t be negative, just be open!” – a new rule to live by.

a. Venn Diagram Inventory
PURPOSE: to get an overview of where you stand on any aspect of your life right now
You can make the chart into a collage, use the computer or just free-hand it on a large sheet of paper

The biggest circle (Spirituality) is the background to our whole life.

EACH person’s Diagram will look different.
If you’re ambitious or curious, you can make one for where you were 10 or 20 yrs ago, as a comparison.

• Think about all the areas of your life, & decide their relevant importance to you at present. Change or add any not listed.
Draw / cut the size circle for each topic as it relates to their current importance

• Play with the positions of circles…. change them around until the chart feels right. Place them close to, overlapping or far away from each other, depending on how they connect in real life

• Label circles, & draw lines to form pie wedges in each one.
— You decide how many lines (slices) based on how many problems & victories for each – you’ll probably have to guess-timate
IMP: each slice represents an issue related to the circle’s topic

a. Fill in a slice for any aspect of that topic you’re confident you have a good handle on(never perfectly)
No longer use drugs & alcohol

b. Zig-zag or cross hatch slices that are aspects you’re still working on but making progress. The degree of progress in one may be different than in another slice. Make zig-zag density accordingly
EXP: Get to places on time more often

AND THEN: Most likely there will always be one or more empty slices – representing:
c. Grey– things about a topic you know need correcting / a change but are not ready / willing to tackle

d. Blank– problems / challenges about that topic you simply don’t know you need to work on – yet

NEXT: What to do…. #2

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