“ACTIONS – Healthy OPPOSITES” (Part 1)


but I still don’t get anywhere!

PREVIOUS: Self-Esteem – IS

POSTWhy are you stuck?

See Acronyms Page for abbrev.


“REVERSING self-defeating Behavior IMPROVES our Life”
• Many of us know how we would like our life to be:
To HAVE a fulfilling career, loving relationships, less pressure, a little fun… and we’ve been trying, struggling, obsessing – year in & year out – but not much has changed.  We feel stuck, frustrated & depressed – still run by our false beliefs (CDs) & un-processed emotions.

We grew up with years of abuse – around chaos, addictions, criticism, rage, depression, neglect & illness. We learned to survive by adapting to what ‘they’ seemed to need & want, so we cobbled together a set of behaviors as best we could, with very little guidance, which allowed us to survive – but not thrive. We became a ‘human doing’ instead of a Human Being.picture-13We often hear advice like – “Just do it!, Just start somewhere, Do the opposite of what you normally do”, even “Take the action & let go of the result”….  America was built on hard work, perseverance, risk taking & chutzpah.  All of these qualities are action-based.

Anthony Robbins, famous athletes, business moguls & business coaches focus us on taking the next action & the next – no matter what.
➡️This has value, up to a point, but ACoAs know it’s not that simple, because depression gets in the way, & besides – we didn’t have early role models for what right actions actually are.

Dysfunctional Functioning:
a. Some ACoAs have a daily struggle to function at all – maybe from being chemically challenged, not having the vitamins & nutrition needed to be ‘level’ & / or being so devastated by emotional pain that we have little or no passive victimwill to act

b. Some of us waste years of our life just drifting along, not knowing what we want to be ‘when we grow up’!  We’re unhappy & unfulfilled, but don’t have a direction to focus on. Or we fall into whatever jobs that allow us to earn a living.

This is not blame – only identifying the result of being wounded, not from personal defect!  Various forms of Recovery can help us find our True Self, which includes our dreams, goal, talents & abilities

c. Others of us have a strong sense of what we’d like to do – if only we had the support, the education, the opportunity, the connections…..
But we don’t go for it because it would require going against every message we picked up at home, such as – “Don’t out-do us, Don’t be successful, Don’t be the real you….” all of which feels like life-&-death to disobey!
✶ This is not an exaggeration to the WIC, so don’t let anyone tell you you’re being dramatic!

d. An alternative to not doing anything is to either take up a profession that was dictated by our family or a secondary interest of ours (doing stage makeup instead of acting, being a nurse instead of a doctor….) – sometimes even becoming very skilled at it, but without enough satisfaction.
➡️ It’s not unusual for ACoAs to do quite well at what we like to do the least!

e. Many ACoAs fail to take the beneficial actions we absolute need to have a decent life – at the very least, always choosing the worst relationships, the most unsatisfying jobs, isolating ourselves, refusing to take advantage of growth opportunities (personal or material), not caring for our health – not to mention continuing with any number of addictions

f. And then there are the Hero ACoAs, who over-DO all the time. Action is their god, their escape, their addiction. Keeping busy is the only thing keeping their emotions at bay.  ‘Heroes’ are so good at everything they DO, but are hard on themselves & hard on everyone else.  They may or may not be working at a job that suits them, but they’re going to prove they can do anything! What gets ignored is being vulnerable, showing heir softer side.

NEXT: Healthy Opposites – #2

PROCESS – Recovery (Part 2b)

good life
makes life easier

PREVIOUS: PROCESS – Recovery (#1)

Posts: Toxic Beliefs” // Risk
Why Are You Stuck?

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

BOOKsRecycles of Power” & “Cycles of life”, ~ Pam Levin

REVIEW: ‘Emotional processing happens when we can cope with distressing events – over time, so that new experiences can occur (stressful or not) without a return to the previous upset. Everyone goes through things that cause pain, but for most people those emotions don’t last.

Why do some look at a situation without fear while others are gripped by a fear or anxiety so strong they are paralyzed? Scientific research has identified  the cause as cognitive-emotional processing, in which both feelings regarding the incident and thought processes were involved — not just an overly emotional response or a lack of normal emotional processing ability.’ (“Anxiety & T.E.A.“) feed the mind
a. Awareness  //  b. Acceptance

i. WHAT: Present-day behavior patterns
• based on how the real world works & our experiences
• motivated by self-respect & permission to act on our own behalf
• the result of S & I – taking center stage in our own life
• considering our effect on others, without being co-dependent

ii. HOW
• taking appropriate risks, then observing the results
learning by trial & error, & never giving up
• always looking for possible, appropriate options
• considering realistic consequences
• asking for, gathering & using a variety of help

iii. WHO: Definitely the UNIT
• Healthy Adult – the competent, objective part of us that has accumulated knowledge & experience about ourselves & the world
• Loving Parent – the mature care-taking part of us that has both kindness & boundaries, patience & limits, compassionate but realistic

• do things for our own growth, not just for others
• act on our needs & in accordance with spiritual beliefs
• choose activities that are pleasurable but not self-destructive

• stop to decide what to say or do, before ‘jumping’ (not reacting)
• NOT use activities as a cover up self-hate, loneliness, avtimingoiding painful emotions & relationship difficulties

• based on sound planning, & knowing our current limitations
• consider both the ‘price’ & rewards of our actions
• sometimes NO action is the best option
• some need to be repeated many times, to be effective
• know timing – don’t force or try to control but don’t wait too long, don’t try to do too much at the same time or schedule things too close together
• always give ourselves & others enough time to get things done

RECOVERY – 2 major ways to change our actions:
1. Do the opposite of our old behavior patterns (“Actions: Healthy Opposites post). The trick is knowing what rational, healthy opposites are

2. Doing the same activity for an opposite reason.
The basic issue here is motive. This is even trickier, unless we are clear what our reasons are for our actions. And, others may not understand, so will sometimes give us a hard time, or walk away frustrated & disgusted

EXP:  We may repeat an old behavior: staying in bed a lot, sleeping longer than usual, spending more time alone than with others (assuming we’re not physically ill), eating ‘family type’ foods
Old Motivation: To escape, to not feel old pain, not deal with difficult life situations, fear of ‘people, places & things’

Healthy Motivation (same action, new reason)
• to recover from re-experiencing deep emotional trauma (childhood pain)self growth
• to process a major stressor in the present (death, divorce, moving, marriage, a baby, new job, a fire…), when too many things are happening at once, especially if we have no control
• recover from Introject attacks – because we’re doing so well
• catch up on a lot of positive, new input – internally or externally
• resting up after a big event (wedding, surgery, travel….)

AND: IF we can NOT take some positive actions we would like to – YET – we can practice patience – keep working at it & never give up!

NEXT: Ego States – Summary

PROCESS – Recovery (Part 2a)


Yes. And it’s not a dirty word!

PREVIOUS: Process – ACoA version

BOOK:   PASSAGES, by Gail Sheehy

2. HEALTHY PROCESS – using Al-Anon’s 3 As
a. AWARENESS (Aw) – mainly ‘head’
i. What: It’s usually about information, based in reality
• something about ourselves, our past, the people we do/did interact with – those ‘AHA‘ moments that makes sense of something confusing or distressing
• it can be the end result of years of study & self-examination or by making an intuitive leap
• can also be about buried emotions which surface, sometimes unexpectedly, as a shock or as a result of conscious Recovery work
• a moment of ‘Spiritual Awakening’ – which lights up our inner worldawareness

ii. How: Aw. can come from:
• books, TV, movies, songs, websites, blogs
• therapy, 12-step programs, ministers, other healers
• talking to family, friends – even strangers
• meditation, journaling, drawing, Inner Child Writing,  -etc.

iii. Who – is mainly from the Healthy ADULT ego state, which is observing & learning from everything in the present, accumulating & putting pieces of info together – in our own unique way
• It is not info coming from fear, self-hate, shame, guilt... So, NOT from the bad parent or the wounded child ego states

vi. About:
• it takes a certain amount of Recovery to realize just how damaged we really are! – as denial diminishes, & we can handle the truth about our family
self-esteem is not arrogance, selfishness or ‘ego’
• that we don’t deserve abuse — for anything!
• active addicts made poor parents, friends, mates, bosses
• that following the toxic family rules is soul murder
• that perfectionism is an expression of our self-hate
• our identity cannot, must not, depend on having everyone like or approve of us
• some people will not appreciate the changes that come from our growth

• we can’t convince others of our point of view IF it contradicts their Inner Truth (healthy)
• other people can’t see us or some strong belief we hold IF agreeing with us would cost them their sense of personal equilibrium (unhealthy)
• no matter how hard we try to improve ourselves, some people will never be comfortable with us

b. ACCEPTANCE (Acc) – mainly about Feelings & Process
— covered extensively in post: ’Acceptance & ACoAs
i. What:
• Takes time to thaw out (lessen rigid defenses) enough to allow old accumulated emotions to surface.  All that pain, still hidden in the unconscious, powers the engine of our S-H & lack of clear identity
• It’s the opposite of our WIC’s alcoholic grandiosity, which makes us think we have impossible powers, over everything, all the time
• taking responsibility for our own lives, while thoroughly acknowledging what happened to us as kids
• the essence of the Serenity Prayer
• Al-Anon’s 3 Cs “I didn’t Cause it, I can’t Control it, I can’t Cure it’

ii. How – by:good group
• understanding what it is & isn’t (see post)
• having a loving, safe & smart support system
• persevering, no matter how long it takes
• learning to consistently be there for our IC
• a conscious effort to deal with reality, as much as we can
• connecting with an H.P. of our understanding, to heal us

iii. Who – mainly the Wounded Inner Child (WIC)
• Psychically, we have a huge ‘trans-atlantic’ multi-stranded steel cable, with one end attached to our gut & the other to our family (dead or alive).
• In Recovery we have to snip away at each strand that feeds us their damage, & yes, keep any that are safe, healthy & useful. This takes time, effort & repetition

vi. About self-love
• we are damaged, NOT defective. Damage can be healed
• S-H is a defense against feeling the original abandonment pain
everything self-hate tells us is always a LIE
• all emotions give us legitimate information about our experiences
❗️ transferring personal power from the WIC to our developing UNIT
normal = human = imperfect = OK / acceptable

NEXT : Healthy Process – “Actions” (Part 2)