LITTLE BY LITTLE
dismantle your prison
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See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
WHY we’re stuck
There may be several reasons. Here we’re concerned with the many Toxic Beliefs* we carry with us from our childhood experiences.
✶ Our fear is strong & pervasive, but the main cause for that in the present is what we are THINKING! Change that & we’re free!
NOT being able to pursue & reach our needs & desires is caused by intense inner conflict between what we consciously desire VS the family rules coming from the Introject (PP = bad parent voice), whispering or screaming at the WIC, causing in S-H
• OBEYING the Toxic Beliefs guarantees that we stay trapped, continually failing, feeling more & more hopeless, even suicidal. BUT, they’re so much a part of us, we may not even know we’re being coerced by ideas that were created for us (deliberately or not, it doesn’t matter).
To get UNSTUCK – we need to know & own these self-destructive Rules, counter them & then slowly change our actions, ie. Only follow the New Rules!
IRONICALLY, these old beliefs are very hard to give up, because:
• the Inner Child actually believes them!
• following them represents loyalty to our family
GIVING them up would mean:
• getting in touch with the PAIN of our damage
• seeing what we missed out on (a loving, healthy family)
• having to give up what we thought was our ‘identity’ (our False Self
& one or more Roles)
• having to become our own person (S & I), grow up emotionally, make our own choices, be responsible for ourselves & our actions – stop waiting to be rescued.
BELOW is one FORM to use whenever you want to know what’s going on in your head – what toxic beliefs are keeping you from getting what you want in life (use it separately for each topic or issue that’s bothering or confusing you), AND another FORM to make your corrections
➼ Please DON’T just say “I don’t understand this”, or “I don’t know how to do it” & give up. That’s mainly resistance, even if you’ve never done this particular exercise before. Anyone who has read self-help books & done therapy will definitely be able to fill these out, given some thought, but even if you never have, you can always ask for help from someone who knows you well. Don’t worry if your answers are similar each time you use the forms. That’s to be expected.
START by identifying a problem you want to correct OR a goal you want to achieve, but haven’t been able to, so far. Suggested ‘Issues’ “What‘s stopping me from:
• starting a new career? • looking for a new job ? • leaving a harmful relationship? • standing up for myself? • letting go of my damage? • cleaning up my apartment? • studying my artistic passion? ….”
1. FORM A – What’s familiar: using T.E.A. (Thoughts, Emotions & Actions), to ‘hear’ the damaged part of our thinking
• Column 1. “Emotions” can be filled in right away if you’re very upset & know what you are feeling, otherwise —
— go to Column 2, filling in as many negative thoughts as you can (one for each category is ok if that’s all you can think of). Make sure you separate out what you’re thinking about yourself VS what you’re assuming about others (projecting)
• If you left the first column empty, now add any emotions you’ve become aware of relating to the beliefs
• Then list the ways you ACT in response to those beliefs
2. FORM B – What is possible: Reversing patterns of thoughts & behavior will modify fear & greatly improve your experiences in life.
Use the same procedure as in Form A. but change the harmful beliefs to HEALTHY, positive & hopeful ones, & then keep the list with you at all times so you can review & internalize them
• Based on that – you can practice changing you ACTIONS, starting in small ways, whenever you can. Plan ahead how you’re gong to change an old pattern & try it out.
• In this case the Emotions column is last because you may not know how you feel until you try our new behaviors & get some positive results. Don’t be surprised if you have uncomfortable emotions (as well as pleasant ones), which come from your WIC and/or PP. Just let them be. Comfort your kid, tell the PP (Introject) to leave your kid alone, & focus on enjoying the relief & pleasure of living well (the best revenge!).
Sample PROBLEM :
“Why can’t I make & keep friends / lovers / bosses who are healthier, compatible & supportive??”
You may need help from a therapist, friend, sponsor or healer – to IDENTIFY the NEGATIVE and POSITIVE beliefs. Don’t be ashamed to ask!
MAKE several BLANK copies of these 2 FORMS, and try it out on one of YOUR issues
NEXT : ACoAs & PROCRASTINATION (Part 1)
4 thoughts on “WHY ARE YOU STUCK?”
It is amazing how the sick (unrecovered) portion of ourselves clings to so many of the very things we thought we hated.
This tells me that there is a whole part of our being operating in the subconscious that often directs much of the traffic in our lives.
Perhaps part of this covert influence is what you refer to as the inner child?
I found myself turning to active alcoholism in spite of my disdain for my father’s alcoholism. Funny how somehow that behaviour was green-lighted internally for me. Perhaps through mere familiarity if nothing else. My foray in to active alcoholism defied all conventional wisdom and anything I ever wanted, yet I did it anyway.
I believe familiarity is a far stronger gravitational force than most of us realize. For instance, how many women do you hear about who repeatedly enter into abusive relationships with men, and it is discovered that the woman had grow up with an abusive male in their life? Lots in my experience.
So things really appear get programmed in deeply by what we see and experience in our youth. And until we are aware of it, this youth-programming can continue to have significant impact on our choices throughout life.
Really enjoying your posts.
I appreciate your comments. The Inner Child (see my website) is the real part of us holding emotional & experiential memories form back then. The WOUNDED IC is the past that holds our damage. It lives in the past & can only see the world from it’s wounded, child’s perspective. It is the ‘ego’ state that tends to run most people’s lives. This part need validation, nurturing & healing.
The HEALTHY IC is our native, original self, our wonder, our creativity, our intensely emotional side. It’s the part we want to nurture & bring out MORE. It is our humor, our playfulness, the flirt, the actor, the dreamer AND our instinct, gut, intuition.
D. & d.
I spent some time reading the Inner Child part of your web site. Fascinating. My life and recovery experiences have often been belittling, dismissive, or mocking of the inner child notion. And I will admit I have absorbed these attitudes over the years.
My recovery experience, however, has taught me to be more open-minded. For instance, I felt for most of my life that the Serenity Prayer was some benign, boring, lifeless old drone that old people had embroidered on pillows or had printed on tacky wall clocks. At best, it was a quaint idea, but certainly not relevant.
Then, a few years ago, when I was at bottom emotionally, relationally, physically, and financially, some lights came on about how much power there was in that old prayer. I actually tried it. I prayed, then followed through and DID. I let go of things I began to recognize I had no control over, and I accepted the courage to be diligent with the things I could make an impact on. Life blossomed! Almost instantly. Literally, within a couple of weeks, I began to make more progress with less effort in more areas of my life.
To this day, I do my best to live the serenity prayer. And this change came about with a small amount of open-mindedness.
So in this same light of open-mindedness, I am certainly willing to look deeper into the inner child model. In what I have read so far, it certainly explains a lot about how we function. My inner-dialogue has always been my closest companion. Yet for many years has given me bad direction and spoken untruths. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that many of my thoughts and behaviours derive from childhood experiences.
So I will read further and learn more. Once again, thanks for the dialogue.
Great tip! I’m trying it right now on one particular area of my life which has always been stagnant. I found writing the new healthy beliefs quite terrifying so for now I’ve phrased them like this; “What it it’s possible that…”.
I know this is a little late but… thanks for sharing your story Chaz.