LITTLE BY LITTLE
dismantle your prison
PREVIOUS: What to do when Confused – #4
REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
WHY we’re stuck
There may be several reasons why ACoAs are stuck. Here we’re concerned with the many Negative Beliefs* we carry with us from our childhood experience.
✶ Our fear is strong & pervasive, but the main cause for that in the present is what we are THINKING! Change that & we’re free! NOT being able to pursue & reach our needs & desires is caused by intense inner conflict between what we consciously desire VS the family rules coming from the Introject (bad parent voice), which is whispering or screaming at the WIC (wounded inner child), resulting in Self-Hate
• OBEYING the Toxic Beliefs guarantees that we stay trapped, continually failing, feeling more & more hopeless, even suicidal. BUT, they are so much a part of us, we may not even know that we’re being coerced by ideas that were created for us (deliberately or not, it doesn’t matter). To get UNSTUCK – we need to know & own these self-destructive Rules, counter them & then slowly change our actions, ie. Only follow the New Rules!
IRONICALLY, these old beliefs are very hard to give up, because:
• the Inner Child actually believes them!
• following them represents loyalty to our family
GIVING them up would mean:
• getting in touch with the PAIN of our damage
• seeing what we missed out on (a loving, healthy family)
• having to give up what we thought was our ‘identity’ (our False Self
& one or more Roles)
• having to become our own person (S & I), grow up emotionally, make our own choices, be responsible for ourselves & our actions – stop waiting to be rescued.
BELOW is one FORM to use whenever you want to know what’s going on in your head – what toxic beliefs are keeping you from getting what you want in life (separately for each topic or issue that is bothering or confusing you), AND another FORM to make your corrections
➼ Please DON’T just say “I don’t understand this”, or “I don’t know how to do it” & give up. That is mainly resistance, even if you’ve never done this particular exercise before. Anyone who has read self-help books & done therapy will definitely be able to fill these out, given some thought, but even if you never have, you can always ask for help from someone who knows you well. Don’t worry if your answers are similar each time you use the forms. That’s to be expected.
START by identifying a problem you want to correct OR a goal you want to achieve, but have not been able to, so far. Suggested ‘Issues’ “What‘s stopping me from:
• starting a new career? • looking for a new job ? • leaving a harmful relationship? • standing up for myself? • letting go of my damage? • cleaning up my apartment? • studying my artistic passion? ….”
1. FORM A – What is familiar: using T.E.A. (our Thoughts, Emotions & Actions), to ‘hear’ the damaged part of our thinking
• Column 1. “Emotions” can be filled in right away if you are very upset & know what you are feeling, otherwise–
— go to Column 2, filling in as many negative thoughts as you can (one for each category is ok if that’s all you can think of). Make sure you separate out what you’re thinking about yourself VS what you’re saying about others (projecting)
• If you left the first column empty, now add any emotions you have become aware of that relate to your beliefs about this topic
• Then list the ways you ACT in response to your negative beliefs
2. FORM B – What is possible: Reversing thoughts & patterns of behavior will modify fear & greatly improve your experiences in life.
Use the same procedure as for Form A. but change the harmful beliefs to HEALTHY, positive & hopeful ones, & then keep the list with you at all times so you can review & internalize them
• Based on that – you can practice changing you ACTIONS, starting in small ways, whenever you can. Plan ahead how you’re gong to change an old pattern & try it out.
• In this case the Emotions column is last because you may not know how you feel until you try our new behaviors & get some positive results. Don’t be surprised if you have uncomfortable emotions as well as happy ones. Those will come from your WIC and/or PP. Just let them be. Comfort your kid, tell the pig parent (introject) to leave your kid alone, & focus on enjoying the relief & pleasure of living well (the best revenge!).
Sample PROBLEM :
“Why can’t I make & keep friends / lovers / bosses who are healthier, compatible & supportive??”
You may need help from a therapist, friend, sponsor or healer – to IDENTIFY the NEGATIVE and POSITIVE beliefs. Don’t be ashamed to ask!
MAKE several BLANK copies of these 2 FORMS, and try it out on one of YOUR issues