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QUOTE: “You’re the Average of the 5 people You spend the Most Time with”
– Jim Rohn “The Art of Exceptional Living”
<—— ARTWORK from Tiny Buddha
RECOVERY from “Too Nice Syndrome”cont.
‘FORGIVING’ OURSELVES only applies to us as adults (Parts 7a & b), when the brain is capable of self-direction – when we can understand that the ‘character defects’ of the False Self were developed in childhood, which we had no control over.
TOOL 6a. Healing our CHILDHOOD T.E.A.s is to:
1. LET GO of our Self-hate (E) & endless recriminations (Ts) re. the past
(See “Letting go means….“), and to:
2. GIVE UP the compulsion to keep punishing ourselves & stay miserable (Es)
Review: As earlier posts have indicated, the underpinnings to co-dep / P-P ‘niceness’ is unexpressed anger / rage. And under that is a vast sewer of stuffed emotions, the majority being fear/terror, but also disappointment, loneliness, longing, sadness, despair…..
Cleaning out our damage includes facing & dealing with our anger at our family, as well as all our other T.E.As.
It means having compassion for ourselves & living in the present.
Judgements: Along with forgiving others who have wronged us, we are told to ‘Forgive yourself’– but it’s not always clear which part of our life that refers to. Presumably it’s for all our ‘bad’ behavior, at any age.
This is tricky, because ACoA co-deps can easily take this to mean that our self-defeating patterns prove what our family said all along – that our very essence is bad/evil, which is why we’re supposed to need absolution.
Those unloving messages get added to children’s minds who automatically combine Being & Doing into one thing. So, still run by our WIC, ACoAs are plagued by the toxic rule: “I act bad because I am bad”, which we frantically try to hide with perfectionism & P-P.
REALITY: If this Rule were true then there could be no Recovery, no second chances, no spiritual healing or growth!
We need to “come to believe” that we are not bad & therefore unlovable, but rather severely wounded, as well as perfectly imperfect!
The starting point for all Recovery is working to eliminate as much S-H as possible. See: Self-Hate & ACoAs, & counter it with ‘Emotional Needs & Resources‘, as well as ‘Emotional Maturity’ and ‘ACoAs & Self-esteem‘.
(As) ACTIONS: When encouraged to see that S-H is a destructive lie, many ACoAs will counter by pointing out how difficult or bratty they were as teens, or even younger – as proof of their inherent ‘badness’.
Yes, some kids are quieter & some more rambunctious. But much of what our parents considered ‘misbehaving’ was a combination of:
a. our copy of & direct reactions to all the craziness we were stuck in
b. many perfectly normal kid ways – but mislabeled by unhealthy parents
(“10 Ways Kids Appear to Be Bad but Aren’t“)
(Ts) THINKING: These 2 types of actions were based on:
a. the unique magical thinking of all children, who have a self-centered focus & a limited knowledge about how the world works
b. the many distortions & omissions fed to our growing brains by abusive parents, school, religion, our neighborhood & culture…..
(Es) EMOTIONS: (see list above in “Review”) ACoAs often say they “feel crazy”- which is actually a cognitive issue, not emotional – & we did think we were because most things truly didn’t make sense. That made our world chaotic & unpredictable, which is very scary to any child, who needs to feel safe as much as to feel loved.
THIS leads us back to self-forgiveness.
Forgiveness is always used in relation to having done something wrong. But as children much of what was labeled wrong about us was not! It doesn’t mean we were angels – far from it. But we were reacting because every day we had to cope with extremely painful & frightening events.
So it’s not appropriate or relevant to use the concept of forgiveness toward ourselves as children – for the survival strategies we developed in dire circumstances. There is nothing to forgive.
NEXT: Self-Forgiveness – in childhood (#6b)