HEALTHY TRUSTING (Part 1)

catching myself

PREVIOUS: Patterns of Mistrust #2

 

BOOK: Trust in the Balance”  Robert Bruce Shaw (re. Biz + overview)

 

TRUST’ comes from the German word “trost” meaning ‘consolation’, which implies feeling comfortable. In this context it’s relevant to remember that ACoAs almost never felt comforted growing up. It’s one reason we were never able to trust! And now, as adults, we don’t realize how much we still need to be comforted, so we’re ashamed when we feel vulnerable, needy & ‘feeling sorry’ for ourselves

Genuine trust is first & ultimately about being able to trust ONESELF, a quality we cultivate via our thumbsUpTrue inner Voice. As an adult, it’s trusting your own judgement, knowing from experience & mindfulness that you will get what you’ve asked for – rather than being afraid & hesitant

A major factor IS picking the right person, location, opportunity… that suits us & is do-able, staying away from those that are not.
While there’s a certain level of risk because people & life can be unpredictable, if we’re emotionally balanced, it’s possible to be confident enough to handle setbacks & disappointments

• ACoAs need & want safety above all else – even more than love – neither of which our parents provided enough of, so we believe we’re not entitled to them
• But we can’t feel safe if we can’t trust. AND we can’t trust as long as we’re flooded with Self-Hate! The Al-Anon preamble says “…..we will love you until you can love yourself”.

Healthy trust is not about who or what others are. This is hard for ACoAs to internalize because of co-dependence & S-H.  ACoAs need to find people & / or groups that are safe enough to help us heal so we can become kind to ourselves (via the Loving Parent) & trust that “I know what I know!” (via the Healthy Adult)

Assumption: ACoAs usually think of trust only in the  POSITIVE – ‘I can rely on X…… I can expect Y to…..’, which is true but only half the story, & encourages Over-Trusting
Balance: Healthy Trust also includes knowing who & what is NOT reliable. The unrealiablecharacteristics of damage are just as predictable & consistent as those of Health, but only to cause problems.

• We can trust that a specific person will continually abuse us or disappoint based on a consistent pattern of behavior (patent, ‘friend’…)
• We can trust that a specific location will usually be unsuitable or dangerous (bars, some neighborhoods….)
• We can trust that a type of event is the wrong one for us……

Once we know what to look for we can see it all around us, & depend on the outcome to be harmful or just a waste of time – without having to be hit over the head each time!

EXP: If you’re not paying attention when you go into a room & sit down on the first chair that looks comfortable – you may be shocked & maybe a little injured if it collapses & you land on your butt – because you assumed all chairs are equally well made & sturdy

🍋 Yet that’s what ACoAs often do with people & situations – we don’t pay attention or evaluate who or what we’re getting involved with.  Many times we accept friends lovers, jobs, pets, invitations, apartments …. without asking: “What do I want? Is this something I’m interested in? Does this suit my needs or fit my personality?
AND: “What is this person/place telling we about themselves?”ladder of inference

TRUST Ladder re. making INFERENCES
Thinking of trust on a vertical continuum – we can see that it takes patience & attention to develop trust in someone or something, because they have to prove themselves.
SO:
1. It’s best to only exchange trust with others – a rung at a time. Healthy people can risk offering the first rung as a token of good faith & a desire to connect
2. People always, always tell you how they expect to be treated AND how your relationship will always turn out – by how they consistently behave (MORE)

NEXT: Healthy Trust (Part 2)

PURPOSE of Emotions: SURVIVAL

 

WE HAVE EMOTIONS FOR GOOD REASONS
– so now I welcome & work with them!

PREVIOUS: Repressing Emotions #2

Review post : “Getting to our Es – Under

 

PURPOSE
✥ Do you know what to say when you hear someone insist that emotions are a waste of time, unreliable, too much trouble? The next several posts will give important reasons – biological, personal & social – why we have them!

SOCIAL NEEDS
1. For SURVIVAL
• That’s the evolutionists’ answer. According to their theory, animals are aggressive & self-conscious (compared to rivers, mountains, plants….which have also survived) & humans are the most self-conscious, making us increasingly invested & crafty in our efforts to endure.
Over time we developed a wide range of Es & a complex rational thinking system, which allowed us to imagine our own past & future selves, giving us preeminence over fauna & flora. ‘”If you want to create a system that works hard to survive, make it be conscious and emotional. It will want to keep itself around!’”Es for survival

• Researchers believe that Emotion, rather than logic, is the driving force in the human brain. Studies show that Es are responsible for neural integration – linking various brain functions (talking to each other) by tying together physical, cognitive, sensory & social processes, keeping us sane, healthy & functioning effectively

• Robert Plutchik, of the Emotion Wheel, wrote that the purpose of emotions is to form behavioral interactions between a person & a stimulus – event, thing or another person – so that when Es are acted on (correctly, of course) it brings the person back to a state of equilibrium — feeling ok / safe
EXP: You’re in the woods & see a bear loping towards you. You’re very afraid. The fear makes you run away, so the emotion served to produce an action that saves your life. You’re then returned to a calm state (eventually).

2. For CONNECTION
• Humans are fundamentally social animals, needing to rely on each other for survival. So we not only have personal feelings, but also social Es deeply embedded in our nature for connection.  Es motivate & organize individual behavior & social interactions, as well as facilitate communication.  Social needs include acceptance, prestige & access to certain people, events or resources, & provide a mirror for our feelings, attitudes & realitybelonging

• Belonging to a group or community gives us a sense of identity.
Researchers found that people are happier when they’re with others rather than too much alone – & the “boost” is the same for Introverts & Extroverts.

✶ Loving relationships are important to our well-being & happiness because they’re comforting It creates the psychological space & safety to explore & learn, which builds inner resources for inevitable times of difficulty.
AND the positive effects are long-lasting. Strong emotional support also reduces immune system abnormalities that contribute to various stress-related disorders.

EXP: The success of the many 12-step Programs (AA, GA, OA / Al-anon, Gamanon, Oanon….). The Al-Anon closing says: “The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while, you’ll discover that though you may not like all of us, you’ll love us in a very special way—the same way we already love you.”

Emotions that serve social functions:
Guilt (not the ACoA type) is appropriate when we’ve done something social Esinappropriate or hurtful, to motivate us to make amends (AA’s 8th & 9th Step)
Responsibility (not co-dependence) to keep us from harming others, or to help where needed….
Altruism, going beyond passively ‘behaving’ oneself to not cause social problems, but rather to actively participate in groups & organizations that provide relief for the needy & suffering

3. For UNITY
• Because Emotions are universal, the ‘positive’ ones may help overcome prejudice & divisions. Tragically, even fatally, many cultural, religious & political beliefs separate us. But Es – such as empathy, cooperation, forgiveness & heroism – can help.
Unifying Emotions:
Caring: listening to concerns of others helps them feel understood & valued
Faith: a Spiritufun singingal belief providing wise rules (of right & wrong) can connect us to like-mined people
Music (& other art forms) emotionally link artist & a wide public
Laughter: a universal language that makes people feel good
Love: fostering acceptance, compassion, education, responsibility, understanding, & spiritual growth.

NEXT: For survival #2