SERVANT or MASTER of YOUR CASTLE
Who’s the boss of you?
PREVIOUS: Being Visible (#3)
SEE ACRONYM page for abbrev.
ACoA SYMBIOSIS (S.) (Post)
An unhealthy attachment to others as a way to:
• compensate for emotional abandonment in childhood
• to cope with deep anxiety of being a separate entity
• escape having to face the struggle of growing up emotionally
• mask self-hate & fear of abandonment
As we heal we move thru layers of growth with the ultimate goal of being Symbiosis ——>Autonomy ——-> Attachment ——> Inter-dependence
1. GENERAL – As part of the human life cycle, the normal, healthy psychological goal of adulthood is to develop our true identity, be inter-dependent with others & to contribute positively to society.
• If we grow up in a reasonably healthy family, we are encouraged to be connected to the family group as well as to develop as separate individuals & then be able to function successfully in the larger world
• However, as ACoAs we were: — not allowed to know our true personality, fully develop our identity & become separate beings
— either forced to stay in emotional & sometimes physical bondage to the family
— or so ignored & neglected &/or tortured that we couldn’t form a stable bond with them or others. See ‘Attachment Disorder’ site for def.
a. S & I – In order to connect successfully with others in a healthy way, we need to FIRST be autonomous, via S & I, (Separation & Individuation) which is the opposite of co-dependence & symbiosis, to:
• know our true identity & be comfortable in our own skin
• know what our needs & tastes are, & provide for them
• have good self-esteem, which is not arrogance or superiority
• feel a sense of safety & ease in dealing with others by having strong boundaries
✶ A hallmark of Personal Independence is being our own motivator — not from egotism, but rather from being responsible for ourselves. Spiritual & psychological teachers tell us that we need to look inside for the answers to our problems – that it’s an ‘inside job’, not what we have, but what we are.
✶ Being self-Motivated is about what makes us want to DO THINGS – for ourselves. It’s the reason behind our actions, our guiding principle.
NO – Being our own motivator does NOT mean ignoring or disrespecting our family, the needs of others or our spiritual connections
YES – What it DOES mean is that, as adults, we’re not waiting for someone else to give us permission or a reason to act
➼ You may have noticed that too many times we can take actions FOR others, or because OF others, but rarely just because WE want to. Without someone pushing or pulling us, ACoAs become like dormant trees in the forest or hibernating bears, waiting for the sun to shine on us , warm us up, give us a reason to move. This is the essence of co-dependence. It is not emotional maturity. See ‘Responsibility’ .
✶ CONNECTIONS – We need to disconnect as much of the umbilical cord we have attached to our family as we can. (See ‘Process, Part 2, b, iii’ )
• Past motivators – Normal: Our parents & family, school, teachers, friends, peer groups, religion, our country
• Present day motivators
— negative: PRIMARILY by our damage – what’s hidden from us in our subconscious (our Shadow side) – old unresolved pain, our toxic beliefs, our allegiance to our wounded family system, our resentments, fears… which are all expressed thru the W.I.C.’s behavior
SECONDARILY: by other people’s opinions, a punitive H.P./ religion, the needs & wishes of our friends, relatives, mate, children, bosses, our community….
— positive: a loving H.P. and Ourselves. All other reasons to act need to be secondary, evaluating them based on mental health, common sense, recovery (not from the kid or bad parent) – ie. only from emotional maturity
c. TOOLS to get to KNOW OURSELVES:
• written inventories, journaling, morning pages, I.C. writing
• psychology/ personality tests, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs
• feedback from reliable sources / meetings, therapy, body work
• listening to ourselves, mindfulness, staying in the now
• observing our behavior patterns, over time (mindful)
• paying attention to emotional responses to every situation
• astrology & numerology charts, I Ching
• dreams, visualizations, prayer, meditation
• talking with the IC thru the day, listening to our intuition/gut
• list things we’re good at, ask others for a list of our good / excellent qualities
NEXT: Autonomy & Attachment, #2