PREVIOUS: CS & the Conscious (#2)
1. THINKING (cont)
a. The UNCONSCIOUS (2. Emotions in Part 4)
b. The CONSCIOUS (cont)
• Consider the entry into the unconscious as a lens aperture. It’s only natural that the wider the opening, the easier it is to let light in! We know that old info will try to keep out any new info that’s going to cancel it out!
So we need to use Recovery tools to become more receptive in this ‘adversarial’ situation, since too much tension closes us off to anything contradictory to our earliest training
When we begin to replace mental distortions (CDs) with positives, we may consciously say:
• “I’ve studied as much as I can & I’m not stupid.
• I’ve done well in the past, so I believe I’ll do well this time too.
• No matter what the outcome, I’ll be OK”
But because of unconscious programming,
at first we can expect :
💨 TO feel uncomfortable, because the statements don’t agree with the fear we’re experiencing at the moment
💨 TO have the PP tell us we’re ridiculous “Who do you think you are?”
💨 THE WIC to absolutely not believe you. Only the PP’s voice carries weight – until the UNIT is strong enough to takes over
• When we think: ”Oh no, what if I fail this test / I’ll never remember everything I read / I’m such a flake….” — we will feel anxious. This causes various physical reactions (tight stomach, heart pounding, headache….), which can add to the fear.
✶ This is to be expected! Remember from INFO & the Brain: introducing new facts – contrary to what’s stored about a topic – will automatically be discounted. The unconscious is very good at maintaining the status quo. As a built-in skill of the brain, it’s not a bad thing, as it helps retain consistency
• We can see how important it is for our minds to be stable & predictable when considering how crazy-making double-messages are! ACoAs got so many conflicting & confusing messages growing up that we end up convinced we’re crazy! But it’s not us.
✓ One way to have access to the unconscious is to be physically & mentally relaxed. Also – liking something makes it more accessible.
Some ACoAs think it’s deceptive or arrogant to tell ourselves before an exam or interview: “….no matter what the outcome, I’m OK”.
So, instead, try : “I LIKE the idea of being ok, no matter what the outcome is…”, which will dilate the aperture of the unconscious enough to slip in the rest: “… and I know that tomorrow I’ll remember what I read!”
• We don’t have to replace old beliefs – just add positive, healthy ones, creating different chemical pathways, which then take precedence as new mental habits.
The old routes will be less used, get weaker, & so not as easily fallen back into (regression). They’ll become a little like abandoned buildings – still there, but no longer lived in. This is good news for ACoAs who assume we have to get rid of all bad ideas before we’re ‘better’.
✓ The best time to substitute a subconscious thought pattern is when it’s currently playing in the mind, causing us anxiety. Even though that’s when we “feel” least like doing it – replacing the thought right then will be most effective.
EXP: Picture being in a dive with a jukebox – if we push D4 (an event), a specific record will play (a CD) but this one is scratchy & annoying (painful emotions). That’s when it’s the exact time to put a new record on, to get rid of the grating noise!
But it doesn’t FEEL right (we refuse, as if it were illegal, and Mac-the-Knife is glowering at us — so it seems impossible.)
Yet, if we push thru the lead curtain of resistance, & “Rinse & Repeat” each time the old messages surface, it WILL get easier. Eventually we won’t have to work so hard to step on that old 45 & see it crack apart.
TIP: decide on a phrase or two that counters the Bad Voice (PP), & then practice them until they become automatic.
NEXT: CDs & the Unconscious (#4)