Tuesday, June 30, 2009
- correct the crazy painful ways that we learned to live in this world as we were growing up in our own famlilies. Painful ways that our parents learned form their parents, and they from theirs.
- family dynamics that lead so many of us into an adulthood of addiction, depression, complusion, unhealthy dependency, stress disorders, unsatisfying relationships and lives of quiet desperation
- sometimes, when only one or two members of a system become healthier, their only alternative to maintain their own health is to leave the system
- many of us are adult children of alcoholic parents who fit the characteristics listed in Janet Woititz' bestselling book " Adult Children of Alcholics (Woititz, 1983). Or we are women or men who "love" too much , as described by Robin Norwood ( Norwood, 1985).
- the longer the dysfunction went untreated, the more adept the person become at denying his true feelings. the more we deny our feelings, the worse we feel
- denying feelings--- we feel that no one really knows who we are (they probablky don't)---intimacy/relationship disorders
- by supporting our denial and by helping up to maintain our "family secrets", they keep us from ever getting close to anyone else in healthy ways. we always have to keep our guard up in the hopes that no one will find out what is really inside, which means that our symptons are also about "shame". The shame about "being found out", of being "discovered", of being emotionally naked in front of others and being laughed at, cirticized or rejected.
- It is not the label one puts on people that determines what kind of family problems they will have or what kind of parents they will make. It doesn't matter to the child whimpering in her bedroom after being screamed at by her frustrated lonely mother whether or not her mother is labeled a relationshipo addict, a co-dependent or a compulsive overater. What matters to that child is the fact that Mom and Dad are not happy, that Mom and Dad scream at her all the time, that mom and Dad put her in the middle of their fights and that Mom and Dad will not let her feel her real feelings.
- unhealthy dependencies ---- one of the major tasks of growing up is to learn how to become interdependent with others. interdependence means being one's own person, being able to maintaion a clear and seperate identity from others, while still recoginizing the need for help and support from others, it also means being able to get support in healthy rather than destructive ways.
- paradoxical dependency--- person having this problem appeared self-reliant and independent on the outside but was floundering on the inside. Looking strong and together on the surface, whicl having unhappy relationships and low self-esteem underneath is a clear sign of unhealthy dependency.
book: The One-Life Solution: Reclaim Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success
- The importance of creating structure and deciding where, when and with whom we will spend our energy and time is clearly evident as these can be a source of energy or a major distraction to accomplishing our goals.
- A boundary provides structure so that work and other issues do not invade our spare time without escape. People need to gain control in order to relax, plan and catch up with an ever growing schedule.
- At some point, people need to be assertive when their valuable space or time is being taken up without a compelling rationale.
- Defusing Relationship Land Mines - at Work and at Home
- I thought of times I allowed people to go beyond my personal boundaries because I was trying too hard to please.
- He focuses primarily on work relationships, but the problems and solutions he presents fit many human interactions.
- Learning to say no when necessary.
- Have time for yourself (family, friends, hobbies, community involvement, etc.).
- Do a personal audit and consider what area(s) of your life may need change.
- How to make sure technology (email, voicemail, Crack/Blackberry, etc.) does not impose on your personal life).
- Take steps to add value to your personal worth (education, etc.) and improve yourself so you may have more bargaining power with others.
- boundaries in establishing individual differentiation, containing destruction, defining oneself, setting limits, owning and living our values, and developing self control to become and remain free and autonomous
- conduct a self-audit so that we can realistically determine our strengths and weaknesses, is particularly valuable, and serves as an essential blueprint by which we develop our holistic understanding of ourselves.
- A major problem for many people is that they do not know enough about themselves to use their thought processes effectively. They let the external environment (e.g., other people, business situations, workplace setting) determine their emotions, relations, and performance. This is a conceptual problem. The good news is that people can learn to use cognitive methods to re-structure their internal property and create stronger boundaries. This is not easy because our current society seems to be "structureless," but it can be done with practice.
- conduct a "time audit," recording the "time of your life." How many hours of the work week do you spend establishing and reinforcing your personal property? In contrast, how many hours do you experience anxiety, seek approval, and avoid making decisions as holes open in your "fences?" Dr. Cloud demonstrates how to keep a log, recording empirical results of the use of the metaphor that can be used for successful action
- Words and phrases can be tabulated and used to develop effective spatial cognitive strategies. Phrases like "I think..." and "I will..." indicate your independence and resistance to encroachment into your property by other people and business situations even in restricted work environments. Dr. Cloud discusses words and phrases that weaken your boundaries and gives clear examples. Again, a log should be maintained so that frequencies of word usage can be changed and monitored for effectiveness. Rhetoric is an important aspect of the spatial metaphor and is essential for self-determination in the workplace.
The opposite of an emotional cut-off is an open relationship. It is a very effective way to reduce a family's over-all anxiety. Continued low anxiety permits motivated family members to begin the slow steps to better differentiation. Bowen wrote, "It might be difficult for such a family [that has severe cut-offs] to begin more emotional contact with the extended family, but any effort toward reducing the cut-off with the extended family will soften the intensity of the family problem, reduce the symptoms, and make any kind of therapy far more productive."
「自我分化」意指個人之理智與情緒功能的分離；個體自我分化的程度反映了一個人區分理智與情感歷程的能力，個人分化的程度愈大，愈能抵抗家庭情緒活動的打擊；若一個人的自我分化程度較低，則可能無法區分出自己與他人，於是很容易被家庭中最具支配力的情緒所影響。Bowen(1978)認為個人內在有兩股自然力量，一是「個別化」(individuality)的力量，促使個體在心理上與家人有所分離；另一是「一體性」(togetherness)，促使個體在心理上和家人有所關聯。在發展過程中，若是一體性的需求太高，會使個體對他人產生情緒化的依戀，分不清楚自己與他人之間的界限；若是個別化的需求太高，會使個體與他人之間過於疏離或造成不成熟的情緒截斷(emotionalcutoff )。為了因應發展上的需求，個體必須設法於內在的獨立自主以及和外在他人互動連結的關係中維持平衡(Kerr & Bowen,1988)。因此，所謂良好的自我分化可以說是個體能在家庭中，同時維持獨立自主性和情感連結的平衡。自我分化高的人不旦可以同時保有此二系統的獨立功能，並且可以依靠理性的判斷，彈性運用自己的情緒和理智功能，所以不易受壓力或人際關係的影響，也就不需要藉由與他人過份的黏膩或親近來獲得安全感。因此，這樣的個體能在親密關係中，能同時保有親密感和自主性。
Differentiation of self refers to one's ability to separate one's own intellectual and emotional functioning from that of the family. Bowen spoke of people functioning on a single continuum or scale. Individuals with "low differentiation" are more likely to become fused with predominant family emotions. (A related concept is that of an undifferentiated ego mass, which is a term used to describe a family unit whose members possess low differentiation and therefore are emotionally fused.) Those with "low differentiation" depend on others' approval and acceptance. They either conform themselves to others in order to please them, or they attempt to force others to conform to themselves. They are thus more vulnerable to stress and they struggle more to adjust to life changes.
To have a well-differentiated "self" is an ideal that no one realizes perfectly. They recognize that they need others, but they depend less on other's acceptance and approval. They do not merely adopt the attitude of those around them but acquire their principles thoughtfully. These help them decide important family and social issues, and resist the feelings of the moment. Thus, despite conflict, criticism, and rejection they can stay calm and clear headed enough to distinguish thinking rooted in a careful assessment of the facts from thinking clouded by emotion. What they decide and say matches what they do. When they act in the best interests of the group, they choose thoughtfully, not because they are caving in to relationship pressures. Confident in their own thinking, they can either support another's view without becoming wishy-washy or reject another's view without becoming hostile.
個人自其中開始學習生理、心理與情緒的層面。這通常是個人幼年時所待最長久的家庭（Hovestadt, Piercy, Anderson, Cochran, & Fine,1985）。在我們一生當中，對我們影響最早、最有力，也持續最久的，就是「原生家庭」的系統，個人在原生家庭與主要照顧者互動所產生的影響深遠而廣泛，而且會持續在成年後的生活中扮演著重要的角色。「原生家庭」影響人的自我形象、一般和親密的人際關係，所以一個人在交友、擇偶期間，男女的互相吸引、選擇及彼此互動的模式，都強烈受到雙方原生家庭經歷的影響。Framo（1982）認為個人在心理上的衝突常是來自個人的原生家庭，而後持續在當前的親密關係中不斷地表達出來。這是因為個人在與父母親的關係中，有著對親密與自主的兩種需求，如果個人獲得自我認同，但卻無法同時與重要關係人維持親密關係，將會導致疏離與孤寂。原生家庭是個人情感經驗學習與兩性相處方式的最初場所，所以原生家庭經驗對個人親密關係形成歷程的影響是存在的，這個過程會出現在個人與重要關係人（如父母親、配偶等人）之間的關係中（Kerr & Bowen, 1988）。
Monday, June 29, 2009
How so very promising for us who struggle in this area, and how so very scary at the same time. To have others, if we keep steadfast in our ways and keep our boundaries up and strong, to find other means (may be even total cut-off/rejection) to relate to us. I wonder through this process, how many on the other side actually see healthy results not only in the lives of the one(s) they have been controlling, but in their own lives? I guess time will tell.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
- What affective states are most prominent in entrepreneurship?\ Do they change with the different stages of the entrepreneurial process?
- Should we be considering affect in general or focusing on specific discrete emotions such as pride, shame, joy, fear, and what are the tradeoffs?
- How do different types of affect (moods, emotions, feelings) interact in entrepreneurship?
- What are the antecedents of emotions in entrepreneurship?
- What are the consequences of emotions in entrepreneurship?
- When does affect enhance the entrepreneurial process? When does it detract from it?
- What is it about the entrepreneurial context that makes being an entrepreneur such an emotional endeavor?
- Studies often focus on positive or negative emotions, but to what extent is the impact of emotions on entrepreneurial outcomes contingent on both of them?
- What is the interaction between affect and cognitions on entrepreneurial behaviors and/or outcomes?
- What are the affective influences on the entrepreneurs’ behaviors such as the goals they set, persistence in implementing business plans, and focus of their efforts?
- How does affect influence the entrepreneurs’ experiences, such as stress levels, excitement about their businesses, and perceptions of venture viability?
- Why are some and not others better able to generate (and use) affect? Is this something that can be learned? How?
- How does emotional intelligence or emotional regulation play a role?
- When and why are some types of affect associated with negative outcomes?
- Why are some entrepreneurs better able to regulate their affect to benefit from the positives and minimize the negatives?
- What kinds of affect matter when companies are founded by teams rather than by individuals?
- How do existing models of affect change when there is a founding team?
- Do the feelings entrepreneurs experience matter or only those they express/display to others, such as employees or investors? How do we account for the distinction between emotional experience and emotional display in our research? What are the effects of the entrepreneur’s affect on individuals they interact with, such as the entrepreneurial team, potential investors, and advisory boards?
- What are the methodological challenges in studying affect in entrepreneurship and what suggestions are there to overcome these challenges?
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Obviously, there is no tenure and you are appointed to one-year renewable contracts, just like tenure-track faculty who have not yet received tenure.
You do not usually get your own lab space, but many do have their own offices.
There is no clock or up-or-out policy. You can choose to remain an Assistant Professor forever if you want, or get promoted at your own pace.
You are not expected to support your own salary through grants. Your salary is paid by the tenured faculty member in whose lab you work.
The payscale is slightly lower than that for tenure-track faculty.
There are no teaching obligations or expectations of providing service to the university.
Only senior faculty on this track can mentor graduate students.
These non-tenure track faculty have full voting privileges and can be involved in faculty governance. Some of them run core facilities, and some help run the labs of senior tenured faculty. They tend to be in large, well-funded labs for obvious reasons--even non-tenure track faculty earn significantly more than postdocs, especially when the cost of benefits are taken into account, so only wealthy labs can afford them. Often, they develop research projects which complement, but are semi-independent from, the research foci of their "host" lab. Those who do well are invited to give lectures and serve on editorial boards just like tenure-track faculty.
Finally, there are staff positions, which carry titles like Research Scientist or Staff Scientist. The payscale for staff positions is similar to that for Assistant Professors on the non-tenure track, and the job descriptions overlap significantly. As far as I can tell, the main difference between staff and faculty positions is that the staff track only has two tiers, and PhDs who enter that track at the higher tier immediately reach their promotion ceiling. Other differences are that staff do not get to vote on faculty affairs and are not protected under the acadamic freedom rules that apply to faculty.
These positions each have their advantages and disadvantages, and there are a lot of issues to consider before taking one. But on the other hand, I do know people who have left academia believing it did not offer any career paths that met their interests and needs, when one of these options may have suited them well. Whether one of these alternative paths is right for you depends on what you want out of a career, but for me, it's been a fantastic choice.
- The pay. Being a professor pays much better than it used to, and professors in the sciences get paid pretty well. But if you consider the years you put into graduate school, the pay is ridiculously low. Starting pay for liberal arts professors in the United States typically is in the $35,000 - $55,000 range.
- Lack of jobs. In some fields, job prospects are better than others. But in many fields, jobs are incredibly competitive and hard to come by.
- Lack of geographical choice. Professors generally don't get much choice in where they live. You move to where the jobs are. This is especially difficult if you have a working spouse and a family.
- The years of schooling. Six plus years of graduate school is a long time.
- The hours. Yes, your schedule is flexible, but you also have to work long, long hours. Unlike many jobs, you don't get to leave your work and your job at the office. It's truly like being a student with an endless homework assignment.
- The stress. "Oh my God, will I get tenure? Will my book ever get published? Will that journal accept my article? Will I get the grant? Will I meet that deadline? Will my colleague down the hall stop hating me because I have a different view on Kant than he does? And back to the most stressful question of them all: will I ever get tenure?" You get the idea.
- The politics. All jobs come with politics, but things that professors quibble over can be incredibly petty. Professors may hate each other because they have a different opinion about a theory. Professors may hate each other because their graduate advisers hate each other. And professors can be very jealous of each other's success. And that doesn't even touch the issue of college-wide politics, or the politics between the school and the state.
- The nutjobs. You'll meet plenty of fabulous people in academia, but you'll meet others who are truly nutjobs. And some of these nutjobs are tenured nutjobs, so they have power and you're stuck with them.
- The ivory tower. You're required to write articles that are so filled with jargon that only 73 people can understand them. You talk about important issues with your students and wonder if what you do makes a difference at all.
- The scrutiny. Academia is not for the thin-skinned. There's always someone evaluating you, especially if you don't have tenure. You'll accumulate a collection fo rejection letters from journals, publishers, and conference paper reviewers. And, of course, there are teacher evaluations. Now, thanks to college professor ratings websites, the whole world can have access to the opinions of a student who thinks you're a moron.
- Unmotivated students. Now, they're not all unmotivated. But a certain percentage of your students are going to do as little work as possible to get by. They'll attend class sporadically and turn in papers that are not even spell-checked. And there will always be students in class who aren't listening to a word you say and simply do not care about this topic you are so passionately trying to teach them. There's a lot of anti-intellectualism in the modern world, and some of your students will reflect that.
- Whiny students. "What do you mean, I got a C? You gave my friend a B and she wrote it the night before! The other professor who teaches this class doesn't assign this much reading! The reading is so hard! It's not fair that you take attendance! My printer stopped working and I can't turn my paper in! I need an extension! The study sheet is too long! The study sheet is too short! Why won't you make us a study sheet? This class is so hard and I'm suffering so unbelievably much!" You get the idea. They're not all like that, but there will be days when you feel like you are teaching kindergarten.
Here are some advantages to being a professor.
- Rewarding work. Most people choose to go into academia because they find the long hours rewarding. You get to share your knowledge and insights with classrooms full of students, and change the lives of some of them. You get to write about topics that interest you greatly.
- Meaningful work. Some people choose academia in part as an alternative to the corporate world. Teaching and writing can feel a whole lot more meaningful than making a corporation richer.
- You get to use your mind every single day. Professors don't push papers (or at least not many). They don't have to do mindless projects for middle management. You get to spend your days with ideas, and with people with whom you will share those ideas and gather new ones.
- You get to write. If this doesn't sound like an advantage you, you may want to point your career search elsewhere (and not stick around for graduate school)
- A flexible schedule. Professors work hard, but they also have a fair amount of choice about when they work. If you have a family, you can schedule some of your work around them.
- Travel! Professors frequently go to academic conferences to deliver papers and to network with others in the field. Many universities pay for all the trip expenses. Yes, you'll be plenty busy at the conference, but you'll still have time to get to know the city.
- Summer break and long vacations. Not many careers come with long breaks for Thanksgiving and the holidays and summers free. Now, you probably will do plenty of work during these breaks, especially writing, but you can also take advantage of some much needed free time. Professors also get periodic sabbaticals, where they are relieved from all duties except to work on an extensive writing project.
- Fabulous people. Yes, some of the people you'll meet in academia are nutjobs. But you'll also meet fascinating and brilliant people from all over the world.
- Job security (someday). Yes, earning tenure is no easy feat. But once you have tenure, you're set! Few other careers offer this possibility.
- Prestige. Well, maybe not tons of prestige. But your mom can proudly tell all her friends, "My kid is a professor.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I am a survivor of childhood trauma. I am also a therapist who works with men and women who are survivors of childhood trauma of all kinds. So what I will share in this article comes out of my personal recovery journey and is enriched by the stories of others who have allowed me the honor of sharing some part of their journey.
What I will discuss here is one model for understanding the processes involved in recovery of this kind. This particular model focuses on the process of integration. We often think of healing as a journey toward wholeness. Moving toward wholeness involves gathering up all the fragmented pieces of our lives and of our selves and bringing them back together. Part of what happens in childhood trauma is that we instinctively do whatever we need to do to push away from the pain that is being inflicted on our developing sense of self. If we push away long enough and hard enough, we begin to disown parts of our experience and even parts of ourselves. Disowning our experience and ourselves includes anything from forgetting what happened, to knowing what happened but convincing ourselves that it wasn’t so bad or that it didn’t have any long-term impact.
This model assumes that major unresolved trauma of any kind in childhood leaves us with internal states that are separated from each other and often in conflict with each other. In particular we will look at three internal states or senses of ourselves. These three internal selves include a wounded self, a judgmental self and an observing, compassionate self.
Recovery from childhood trauma involves owning the experiences we have disowned. It includes owning parts of ourselves that we continue to want to push away. This is a painful process because it means that we will need to embrace painful realities. Everything in us (and often around us) tells us that this is not the right path to take. But it is always truth, no matter how painful, that frees us. Embracing our life experiences and their ongoing impact on us is the path to freedom and wholeness.
The Wounded Self
The wounded self is the part of us that carries most of the shame, fear and despair that were generated at the time(s) of the trauma we experienced. Children have a very limited perspective on events in their lives and most often interpret any negative experience as their fault and as evidence that there is something wrong with them.
Because we are talking about trauma that occured in childhood, we often experience this wounded part of ourselves as a child self. This part of us will usually have the mindset of a child about the age we were when we were traumatized. So this part of us may be three years old or thirteen years old. Or, if we experienced ongoing abuse or trauma, we may experience this part of us as being at different ages and stages of development.
Before we begin our recovery journey, and early on in this journey, this part of ourselves may be in hiding most of the time. Because we have unknowingly pushed away from the pain we once experienced and from its impact on our lives, this part of us has been pushed into hiding. The problem is, of course, that even though this part exists outside our awareness, it has a great deal of power in our lives. In fact, because it exists outside our awareness, it has greater power than it would if we were more aware of its presence.
This is the part of us that is insecure and reactive. This part of us usually believes terrible things like, I am bad, I am ugly, I am stupid, I am worthless, I deserve what I got, no one can possibly love me. Often, no matter how hard we try to earn love and value, this part of us carries a deep intractable fear that we are beyond help or hope and beyond love.
Whatever happens to a child influences the child’s sense of self. If a child loses a parent to mental illness, drugs, divorce or death, the child may feel both responsible for the loss and deserving of abandonment. If a child routinely experiences verbal abuse or physical abuse, the child will feel little sense of value. If something as obscene as sexual abuse happens to a child, that child will feel obscene, or in a child’s language, ugly and dirty.
In addition, children who are traumatized may suffer not only from demeaning, violating words and actions, but also from a lack of nuture, support, love and care. In fact, many kids who are abused or traumatized suffer as much or more from the neglect and the lack of love as from the trauma itself. So this wounded part of us is hurt, frightened, ashamed, wanting to hide and starving for love.
The Judgmental Self
The second “self” is a judgmental self. Prior to recovery and early in recovery this part of us is often “in charge” of things internally. And this part of us very much wants to remain in control. Many of us are surprised to discover, as we begin our recovery, how much this part of us has been in charge.
The judgmental self is critical and rejecting of us and of others in many ways. But most especially, the judgmental part of us is rejecting of our wounded self. The judgmental part of us may see the wounded child as too needy, too vulnerable, too much of a burden, too big of a problem, not deserving of our time, an embarrassment, and even a threat. To the judgmental part of us, the wounded child is to blame for the bad things that happened and is therefore a source of terrible shame. The judgmental self within us sees the wounded child as overwhelmed with pain. The wounded child could lose control at any minute and misbehave, and therefore is bad and must be tightly controlled. Because of all this fear and reactivity toward the wounded self, the judgmental part of us wants to silence, control and disown the wounded child.
Judgment always creates separation. And in this case, because the judgment is against ourselves, the judge in us keeps us separated from ourselves. This separation is the opposite of wholeness, the opposite of healing. So when the judgmental part of ourselves is in charge it actively impedes our healing.
The key to understanding this part of ourselves is that this part has been trying desperately to protect us from harm that we secretly fear we deserved. Depending on the nature of the trauma, this attempt to provide protection may have carried a feeling of life-or-death urgency. This could be true if we felt our world coming apart when parents divorced or when a parent died. It could be true if neglect was physical as well as emotional. And it could certainly be true if our lives were directly threatened.
The protective stratgies that the judgmental part of us might use can range from being quiet and “good” to being angry and hostile. Whether the strategy of protection is to hide or to attack, the real drive behind it is to control ourselves and others in the hope that we can create some sense of safety.
This part of us has been working hard to make life work. But its attempts inevitably make things worse. We will see that the solution to the difficulties created by the judgmental part of us is not to banish the wounded part of ourselves but to heal the fear and shame from which the judgmental part of us has been trying to protect us.
The Observing, Compassionate Self
The third internal self we will discuss is the observing, compassionate self. This is the kind, wise, loving part of us. The observing role this part of us plays is that of being able to notice and pay attention to what is happening with the wounded child and the judgmental self without adding more judgment or reactivity. The compassionate role this part plays is to respond with the kindness and love that our wounded child and judgmental self need in order to heal.
Early in recovery, this part of us may be anemic or may even seem nonexistent. When we have survived childhood trauma of one kind or another, we are often able to experience and express understanding and compassion toward others. But it is often very difficult for us to feel understanding or compassion toward ourselves. There are several reasons for this lack of compassion toward ourselves. We may live in despair that any compassion is available to us. We may believe we don’t deserve compassion. And we may fear that if we are “soft” on ourselves we will be vulnerable to further trauma.
The reality, however, is that without understanding and compassion we cannot fully heal. A vital part of our recovery is to become capable of taking in grace and compassion from God and from others and to become capable of extending grace and compassion toward ourselves. Because we begin this journey with the observing, compassionate part of us so underdeveloped, we need to begin by taking in love and grace from others. Even this may be difficult. We will probably have to be content with taking in a little bit at a time. But as we continue to be nourished by grace, we will grow this part of us so that our capacity for compassion toward ourselves is strengthened.
Of course, these three internal states do not comprise the entire self. We are certainly more complex than this. But focusing on these three internal states and how they interact and even conflict with each other can give us a way of understanding our need for healing and the internal struggle we experience as we go through the processes of healing from childhood trauma.
Overview of the Healing Processes
According to this model, the processes we go through in recovery from childhood trauma include (1) developing awareness of our internal states, (2) taking ownership of our experiences and of our internal states and (3) integrating our internal states so that we can experience wholeness.
Each of these processes can be extremely challenging and painful. None of this can be done alone. We need support. We need God and a few others to bear this burden with us. We need to experience God’s guidance and comfort as it comes to us directly from God’s loving Spirit and as it comes to us through those God brings into our lives.
Many of us will struggle with trusting God in this way. We may fear that God is like the adults who hurt us, or like the adults who did not protect us. We may fear that God is disappointed with us, has forgotten us, or is disgusted with us. Our deepest healing will be to discover that God is none of these things. God is revealed to us as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,” who “daily bears our burdens.” God is eager to show us directly and personally how deeply loved and valued we each are. Our part is to risk inviting God to comfort us, to reveal love to us, and to open our minds and hearts to receive all the gifts of grace we need in order to fully heal.
These three processes are not linear. They are not a simple one-two-three-and-you-are-done experience. Instead they are cyclical. We begin by asking for God’s help and the help of others so that we can start to look at what is happening in our minds and hearts and lives. We then continue to ask God’s help to acknowledge and accept what we are becoming aware of. And slowly we seek the courage and strength we need to begin to integrate the reality we are now seeing and accepting. With the continued help of God and others, we become more aware, acknowledge more, and integrate more fully. And then, again, with help, we see more, accept more and embrace more. This cycle continues until we deeply embrace our experience and ourselves and know ourselves embraced.
We begin the first healing process by getting the support we need to look inside. This help might come from a therapist or a support group. It might come as well from a few other people who love us and listen to us and pray for us. But the basic truth is that we need the help of at least one other person to even begin this journey.
When we embark on this healing journey, we often have little awareness of what is happening internally. We may be aware that we are anxious or depressed. We may be aware that we are exhausted from trying so hard to make life work. We may be aware that we feel lonely even when we are with others because we are perpetually detached and numb. But we are often unaware of the degree of fear and shame and resentment we carry, or of the internal trap in which we are caught.
Most of us embark on this journey because whatever strategies we have been using to protect ourselves from further pain have been causing their own pain and have left us in a state of crisis. This crisis may be anything from disabling anxiety, to severe depression, to the dissolution of a close relationship, to the growing insanity of codependency or addiction. Whatever the crisis is, it is always an opportunity to begin this healing work.
Awareness of the judgmental self. Perhaps the most common starting point for developing awareness is to begin to look at and listen to our judgmental self. Because this part of us is in charge, and because our wounded child is in hiding and our compassionate self may seem nonexistent, we usually begin by speaking from this place of judgment.
The harshness we turn on ourselves comes out of a terrified drive to keep things under control internally. One of the most painful realities of whatever trauma we sustained was that we had little or no control over the events taking place. But because we were perceiving with the mind of a child, we believed we should have and could have been in control. As a result, we believe that we failed in some fundamental way, that we are responsible for what others were doing and that we therefore need to be to be tightly controlled or punished.
Sometimes these childhood fears were reinforced by the adults in our lives who may have told us that whatever was happening was our fault and that we deserved punishment. Often the judgmental part of us takes whatever shaming words we heard about ourselves as children and uses those very same words in endless attempts to control ourselves and others.
These are fears that we continue to live with as adults, often unknowingly. They are fears that have come to feel like truth to us. They feel so true that we have come to believe that all others will see us and judge us in this same way. We even have come to fear that God joins us in this judgment.
Although these fears and judgments against ourselves keep us in a great deal of distress, we will not find it easy to give them up. In fact, for a long time in our recovery journey the possibility of giving up self-judgment and condemnation may feel wrong and even terrifying.
Awareness of the wounded self. Awareness of the wounded part of ourselves will not come as easily as awareness of our judgmental self. Because this part of us is filled with shame and fear, and because it despairs of ever being truly loved, it has gone into hiding. This does not mean that it has no influence on our thoughts, feelings or behaviors. It has a great deal of influence.
When people are traumatized as children they may either push the memory of the trauma out of conscious thought, or they may minimize the impact of the events they survived. In fact, the reality that they survived the traumatic events is often used as the basis for dismissing the fear, shame and anger they still carry. “It wasn’t so bad, I got through it okay, other people have gone through worse and are fine.”
The dismissing of the trauma or its impact is another way of describing how we push away the wounded part of ourselves. Anything less than this defensiveness leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed. Thus, to invite the wounded part of us out of hiding is to invite vulnerability, exposure and pain. An impossible task. Except for one thing. This part of us is starving for love. So, often, to our surprise, in the context of being loved and valued in therapy or in a support group or friendship, this part of us makes herself or himself known. The first “appearances” will be brief and will be met with attacks from the judgmental self. But if love and valuing are constant, this part of us will slowly come out of hiding so that we can hear and see the reality of the woundedness we carry.
Awareness of the observing, compassionate self. Finally, we need to develop an awareness of our observing, compassionate self. The problem is, of course, that early in recovery we may not have much of an observing, compassionate self at all. And we may not be aware of how weak this part of us is.
The observing part of us may be underdeveloped because we have spent a lifetime avoiding, denying and minimizing any painful truths about ourselves. We may have developed permanent defenses against really knowing ourselves. These defenses could include any of a number of dynamics, from being emotionally and spiritually numb, to striving to prove how good or capable we are, to working to control everything around us, to losing ourselves in addictions. In a sense, these defenses are driven by our disowned wounded self, and are held in place by the judgmental self who is desperate to maintain distance from the pain we carry.
How do we develop awareness? How do we develop a deeper, growing awareness of our wounded self, our judgmental self and our compassionate self? It seems there are two primary things that we need in order to do this. We need to seek the loving help of God and of at least one other person. And we need to begin to pay attention in new ways.
One activity I found helpful was to intentionally set aside some time on a regular basis to prayerfully listen to what was going on inside me. I would often begin by inviting God’s loving Spirit to provide the guidance, courage, humility and grace I needed. And I would invite God to simply show me whatever I needed to see. Then I would wait quietly. After a few minutes of quiet, I would journal whatever came to me in this time of quiet, whether it was a painful memory or a sense of God’s presence or complete silence. I would also try to stay alert to whatever else might come to me throughout the day. I would journal about whatever I sensed I was being shown, even when it was painful to do so.
It can also be helpful to regularly give voice to our judmental self, our wounded self and our compassionate self. We can do this by quietly observing, and writing down, what we sense is going on with each of these parts of us. The value of such an exercise is that we begin to clarify internal dynamics and develop a greater sense of choice about what goes on inside. When we give voice to the judgmental self, we begin to hear how harsh we can be with ourselves and others, and where this harshness can lead us. When we give voice to our wounded self, we begin to finally allow this part of ourselves, which has had very little voice, to speak so that this part of us begins to be heard and seen in new ways. And as we give voice to the compassionate part of ourselves, we begin to strengthen a part of ourselves that has been virtually nonexistent.
As we develop a growing awareness of each of these internal states, we do well to develop a growing awareness also of the dynamics betweeen these three parts of ourselves. We might ask ourselves from time to time some of the following questions.
What happens when the judge is in charge? What happens to our wounded self? What happens to our compassionate self? And what happens to our behaviors and choices–how we treat ourselves and how we treat others–when the judge is in charge?
What happens when the wounded self is in charge? What happens to the judging part of ourselves or to the compassionate part of ourselves? What happens to our behavior and our choices?
What happens when the observing, compassionate self is in charge? What happens when our wounded self feels heard and loved by this part of ourselves? What happens when the judge is also heard and loved by this part of ourselves? What happens to our internal world? What happens to our external world of behaviors and interactions with others?
The next process of this healing journey is about taking ownership of each of these parts of ourselves. Taking ownership moves us beyond awareness to a growing acknowledgment that the wounded child self, the harsh and controlling judgmental self, and the observing, compassionate self are truly parts of our psyche. The goal of taking ownership is to allow God’s Spirit to transform us. The compassionate part of us gains strength, the wounded part of us gains freedom, and the judgmental part of us begins to release control. All of this leads to less internal division and moves us toward integration, or wholeness.
Taking ownership of our wounded self. Taking ownership of our wounded self brings to the surface the pain that this part of us carries. We find ourselves feeling ashamed, afraid, angry and reactive. As we say, “This is me” about our wounded self, we face our deepest pain without the protection of our defenses. This can feel impossible. It can feel like it will kill us. We have pushed this part of ourselves away and said “This is not me,” because of the depth of the pain that this part carries. But in doing so we have abandoned ourselves.
As we invite this wounded part of ourselves to come out of hiding, and as we engage the observing, compassionate part of ourselves to listen to our wounded child, the judgmental part of us is likely to move into action–shaming and attacking both the wounded self and the compassionate self. This internal conflict might continue for some time, but it is necessary for lasting transformation to take place. It will clearly take a great deal of courage, humility and support to begin to say, “This is me” about this part of ourselves. Two things can help us stay with this often painful and tumultuous process: remembering that this internal battle is part of the healing process, and recognizing that true healing requires strengthening the compassionate self and making lots of room for the wounded self.
Taking ownership of our compassionate self. The act of taking ownership of our compassionate self is the act of intentionally stepping into this part of ourselves. It is comparable to taking ownership of various underworked muscle groups by going to the gym and lifting weights. We start by doing just a few repetitions with five-pound weights and slowly build up to more repetitions and heavier weights. In much the same way, we actively choose to extend grace and compassion toward ourselves, a little at a time until this ability becomes stronger in us.
This is not as easy as it might sound. We will often find ourselves under attack from our judgmental self who is quick to tell us that being compassionate with ourselves is weak and selfish. The reality is that receiving grace from God and others and actively extending grace toward ourselves is an act of humility. It is an acknowledgment of our need and of our deep longing for love. It moves us away from the defenses and pretense we have been hiding behind and allows our heart’s deepest desires to come out into the open. We need grace and compassion and help. We long for love.
Stepping into our compassionate self draws the wounded child part of us out of hiding, because this wounded child is starving for love. But this wounded child is also in a great deal of despair about love. This part of us feels unlovable. So the grace and compassion that are being offered by God, by others or by our compassionate self may feel like a trick or an impossibility. The wounded child feels frightened, ashamed and exposed and wants to go back into hiding. This is part of the battle we are up against as we continue to take ownership of our compassionate self. For some time the compassion stirs up difficult reactions inside. But ultimately it is compassion that allows us to fully heal.
As we own our compassionate self this part of us can bring the light of Christ’s love and presence to our wounded self and to our judgmental self, inviting God to heal the wounded child from its burden of shame and despair and to free the judgmental self from its burden of fear and resentment.
Taking ownership of our judgmental self. Taking ownership of our judgmental self may begin with a growing awareness of how much we believe we need this part of ourselves�–how much we fear we may lose control without it and how much we believe we deserve harsh treatment. The accusations that we hurl against ourselves have come to feel like truth. So the thought of giving them up or even modifying them feels like we are being asked to lie. We may have been telling ourselves in one form or another that we are unlovable and without value. And now God and others and even our compassionate self are telling us that this is not true. No matter what happened and no matter what we have done, we are loved and valued.
Taking ownership of our judgmental self means bringing this part of ourselves into the light of God’s love and allowing God to change us. This part of us both resists this and desires this. So conflict ensues.
It can be helpful in the midst of this conflict to realize that our judgments against ourselves are not honest or humble, but are rather a form of pride. They are designed to protect us from further harm, by rejecting our need for love. But of course they create ongoing harm for us and for those in our lives. We may believe that our self-judgments hurt only us, but the truth is that these judgments directly impact our relationships. One of the many advantages of taking full ownership of this part of us is that it deters us from continuing to project our self-judgments onto others. We often unknowingly assume that others are judging us in the ways that we are judging ourselves, and then we react to them for judging us. We won’t recognize, until we own this part of ourselves, that we are doing this to ourselves. As we stop judging ourselves, other people’s judgments of us–real or perceived–begin to lose their power. Another advantage to others when we begin to own our judgmental self is that as this part of us is changed by God’s love, we are far less likely to judge not only ourselves, but others. To the extent that we judge ourselves, we also judge others. And to the extent that we receive and extend grace toward ourselves, we are able to extend grace toward others.
Extending grace toward ourselves does not mean that we minimize our responsibility for the ways in which we hurt others. Paradoxically, it is as we take in grace and let go of self-judgment and condemnation that we are finally able to see the truth about our impact on others. In our unhealed state we often assume global “blame” for everything, which in effect blinds us to the places where we are truly hurtful. This global blame keeps us self-focused and reactive and thus unavailable to see our faults and to make amends to those we harm.
As we say, “This is me” about our judgmental self, we can begin to ask God to show us the specifics of who and how and when we hurt others, so that with God’s help we can make amends and begin to change. And we can ask God to release us from guilt that is not guilt at all but anxiety about wanting to control others or to meet their sometimes impossible expectations of us.
As we say about our judgmental self, “This is me,” we move out of our defensive pride into a place of humility. Our hearts that have been closed to our longing for love begin to open up to love from God and love from others. The transformation that takes place in the judgmental part of us is the transformation that comes as we let go of control. As we let go and let God, God’s love enters our hearts and minds and this part of us begins to learn the amazing freedom of walking humbly with God. As a result, we begin to experience the freedom of not having to be in charge, but instead, of seeking God’s guidance and loving will for our lives.
How do we take ownership? How do we go about this difficult process of owning these parts of ourselves? How do we come to a place where we can fully acknowledge, “This is me” about our compassionate self, our judgmental self and our wounded self?
I think the place to start is by letting our compassionate self take the lead. Even though this part of us may not be very strong yet, we can regularly ask God to fill us with grace and to help us step into our observing, compassionate self. For me, the outward action of lighting a candle, followed by some time in quiet prayer and meditation, has been helpful. The simple act of lighting a candle does several things at once. First, it is an action I intentionally make from the compassionate part of myself. This part of me lights a candle as an act of prayer and blessing for the wounded part of me and the judgmental part of me. As I light the candle I simply say, “The light of Christ.” In doing this, I acknowledge my need for Christ’s healing presence and invite God’s Spirit to do what I cannot do. I then sit quietly (and without demand or expectation) with my wounded self and my judgmental self, aware of the light of Christ with me.
When I lead workshops on this subject, I light a candle for the participants and simply state, “The light of Christ.” I point out that the light of the candle, like the light of Christ, is gentle and generous. I then invite participants to bring their compassionate self, their judgmental self and their wounded self, one at at time, into this gentle light. I then invite them, as they are able, to be aware of what it might be like to say, “This is me” about each of these parts of themselves. I remind them not to force anything, but simply to observe what happens and offer themselves to God’s loving care.
The third process of this cyclical journey is integration. The process of integration involves bringing parts that have been separated together into a whole. Integration happens as our compassionate self embraces our wounded self, as our wounded self takes in love from God, from others and from ourselves, and as our judgmental self releases its defensive pride and its desperate attempts to control and surrenders to God’s loving care.
For a time, the embrace of our wounded self by our compassionate self will open deep caverns of grief in the wounded child. We will again need to see the road sign that reminds us, “This way to freedom.” We weep because we feel the pain we have pushed away for so long. We feel the losses–with all their accompanying anguish, shame, despair and fear–very directly. And we weep because we are able to feel the love we have longed for. We are finally able to release our grief because we are being comforted in God’s loving arms, in the arms of others who love us, and even in our own compassionate arms. This grief comes with a promise of blessing and healing. “Blessed are those who mourn,” Jesus said, “for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
As the wounded part of us is held and comforted, the judgmental part of us gives up its vigil. The part of us that has been trying to keep us safe by attempting to control our thoughts, feelings and circumstances can surrender. Surrender by the judgmental part of us is not a giving-up rooted in despair. Nor is it a kind of giving-into the overwhelming feelings of hurt. It is a surrender to love. It is the relief of releasing ourselves to God’s loving will and care for us. We can let go of being in charge. We can let go of relying on ourselves. We can allow God to help us, guide us, provide for us, heal us, love us. As a result, we can rest.
What we are likely to experience as our compassionate self gains strength through the processes of integration is that we are no longer at war with ourselves, but at peace. And we will find that our hearts are no longer so guarded, but are open to receive more and more of the love and grace God continually pours out on us.
How do we integrate? How can we experience this wholeness? How can we experience this in-pouring of God’s healing love and grace?
The answer is that we can repeatedly take God’s love, our love and the love of others to the wounded and judgmental parts of ourselves. There are several ways we can actively engage in this process. I will describe a few that I have found to be helpful.
One thing we can do is to write (or say) prayers for the wounded and judgmental parts of ourselves. A similar activity is to write letters from our compassionate self to our wounded and judgmental selves, allowing these parts of us to write back. Either of these activities offers us ways of opening ourselves up to experience further integration and healing.
Perhaps one of the most powerful actions we can take is to open our hearts and minds to the healing power of Scripture. However, the most familiar ways of approaching Scripture may not be as deeply helpful as we need.
For centuries people have meditated on biblical texts in ways that allow the truth of God’s love and grace to flow into the deepest parts of the heart and mind. There are many ways to approach this kind of meditation. Perhaps the most basic approach is to begin by inviting God to speak to us from a given text. We can then read the text, allowing ourselves to enter it in ways that involve our senses.
For example, we might read a narrative text like the one in Mark 10:13�-16, the story of Jesus calling the children to himself. We might begin by inviting God’s Spirit to guide us and then read the text slowly three times–each time putting ourselves in the story as a different character. We might begin by putting ourselves in the story as one of the disciples who tries to keep the children away from Jesus. To do this it is helpful to “see” and “hear” the scene to whatever degree is possible, and to let ourselves experience what the disciples might have experienced. We can then read the text again, but this time put ourselves in the story as one of the children–again allowing ourselves to experience what it might be like for the child part of us to be invited by Jesus to receive his blessing. And then finally, we can read the text a third time and put ourselves in the story as someone who is sitting next to Jesus–welcoming and embracing the children. The goal is not to force anything, but to simply observe what happens. After these readings and meditations we might want to write about our experience and share it with at least one other person. This meditation can be repeated using the same text several times. It can also be repeated using a variety of texts.
The core wound of childhood trauma is a wound to the child’s developing sense of self. As we have seen, the child comes to believe terrible things about himself or herself. Most commonly, traumatized children who are not assisted to heal as children, will carry with them into adulthood beliefs that they are unlovable and without intrinsic value. These beliefs, whether conscious or unconscious, form the basis of the person’s identity. Letting go of these beliefs, therefore, may feel like annihilation. It may feel like letting go of all there is of oneself.
But as we experience the kind of healing love we have been discussing, we begin to experience ourselves in new ways. We begin to experience ourselves as loved and valued.
No matter what has been done to us, those events do not tell us who we are. We can let go of our despair and shame because they do not define us. They are not who we are. Who are we? We are children welcomed by Jesus into his loving arms. In those arms of love we are made whole. The impact of whatever trauma we have suffered is undone. We are healed. We are released. We are free to love and free to be loved.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
- we learn our patterns of intimacy, relating, and seperateness from mother. we also learn about how to handle, troublesome emotions, expectations and ideals, grief and loss, and many of the other componenets that make up our emotional IQ
- we learn from our parents about relationship
- we repeat unhealthy patterns of relating until we take ownership of them and work through them
- when we have negative mothering, we can begin a pattern of mistrusting for the rest of our lives. We hide our needs and vulnerabilities,we become combative and agressive.to shown that we can't be controlled, we control others.
- the reason your mother failed to love you the way you needed to be loved has much to do with her than it did with you----- what was done to your mother as well as how she responded to what was done
This is an interesting book. I recommend this book to you.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
- adjust expectations --- she has her own issues
- talk about this with her, how can I help her to perceive her problems
- what can I do to make our relationship better
- get our needs met in other places, not from the mom
- decide the level of connection, closeness we can tolerate
- disconnecting --- our natural tendency to disconnect, afraid of reaching out (known at deep level, being weak, being hurt), pride,
- control--- 1) controlling the other person, not allowing the other person freedom, love is pro-freedom, don't take other people's freedom to choose; 2) fear of being controlled,
Our own relationship with the truth: How comfortable am I with the truth?
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
- We have to stop and listen to the Little Child inside of us.
- We have to make friends with our fear instead of pushing it away.
- We have to stop long enough to listen to what the other person is feeling instead of what they are saying.
- We have to listen to our own feelings.
- caught in a trap or living a life --- change our patterns of feelings and qactions
- we need to identify the wrongs that happened to us as children
- we need to have our feelings about those wrongs, not just talk aout them
- we need to embrace those feelings, i.e., let them become as big as they really were back then
- we need to share those feelings with others, not just talk about them with others
- we need to make a decision about our relationship with the person or people who hurt us and who continue to hurt us
- then we can begin to heal and forgive, not before
Basic principles of functinal living
Physical boundary---- is violated when someone touch us, hits us, go into our house or room, read our didiary, snoops through our personal effects, use our tools or our hair dryer, tickles ur etc., when we don't want them to.
intellectual boundary--- violation happens when someone gets into our heads and tries to discount or steal what we think " oh, why do you think that?" " how could you think that?"
emotional boundary--- get violated when our feelings are discounted, ignored, criticized, belittle and taken for granted. " how could you feel that?"
social boundary--- those we choose to be with and under what circumstances " you don't like large parties? what is the matter with you?" " you don't like Joe or Kim? What is the matter with you?"
sexual boundary--- what we choose to do with or have done to our bodies, those we choose to do it with , how we are touched and by whom
time bounary--- our comfort level for getting things done
mondey boundary--- how we spend mondy, how we save it, what we do with it, how much of it we need to earn to feel safe
Boundaries are set by saying "yes" or "no". When we say "yes" but really feel like saying "no", we have stepped into a trap. When we say "no" when we really wanted to say "yes", we have stepped into a trap. Having clear, flexible boundaries is the key to having a clear, flexible identity.
- Feelings --- our true feelings, rather than what we convince ourselves we should be feeling, provide the keys to unlocking the door to recovery
- Respect--- not impulsive, not enabling, nor caretaking, respect assume that we are both human and we are both responsible for our own lives. Respect assume that we each have the power to make our own decisionsl. Respect assumes that we each have to live our own choices. Respect assumes that we can make mistakes and change our choices.
- Love --- it is care without enmeshment. responsible without being compulsive and worrying, filled with hope, honest, owning our joy and pain while observing and recognizing others' joy and pain.
- Rights--- right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, pursue love, feel what we feel without being criticzed or ignored, think what we think without being put on a debate team, to set our own boundaried, to where we want to go and do what we want to do
- Beliefs---- figure out which beliefs we want to believe
- Power ---- our struggles with power must be put in the context of our own childhoods. Healthy power feels whole. It feels respectful of self and others. When we are truly powerful. we don't have to use other people. We can say "no" and still care We can say "yes" and feel safe. We can accept our alone-ness when it happens, and still go on with our life. We can get what we need from life.
- Paradoxes ---- We can love and hate someone at the same time. We can be powerful by yielding. We can be weak by continuing the fight. We can be surrounded by people and be lonely. We can be alone and feel full. We transcend these paradoxxes. we don't rise above them. We begin to make sense out of them. Feeling healthy and whole means that we are comfortable with paradoxes. " I don't know what ist all means. I lov ehere a lot. and I get really angry at her sometimes, too. I even hate her sometimes. Tha is life" " I am not good all the time. some times I am bad, but i am a good person. Catch yourself trying to put the world into boxes and pigeonholes.
What is the manual for this family? overt and covert rules --- making what is hidden come out into the open, you will continue to re-enact or repeat that pattern unitl you first figure out where you learned it and then have your feelings baout it and ablout the folks who taught it to you.
How did I learn to let people use me and violate me?
- Because Dad or Mom didn't respect my privacy or boundaries, they read my peersonal diary or journal, they snooped through my closets or drawers, they shared thier personal problems with me instead of dealing with them themselvfes, they made me their "pal"
- by watching Dad let mom emotionally abuse him
- by watching dad or mom stay on the phone for hours with someone they didn't want to talk to because dad or mom was so "nice"
Unhooking pointers -- to get unhooked from codependency/adult child traps, to avoid those traps or get out of them, we need to learn the vollowing process
- connect with your inner self, your little child and do it uncritically
- feel your feelings, let your feelings become "red flag" or warning signals
- check in with your support system. share those feelings no matter how silly you think they are
- think and plan ahead, not planning ahead is one of the best ways to keep stepping into traps
We have lived a whole life of pain and enmeshment in other people's problems. You have been respectufl with Liz. Liz is an adult. She is the only one who can control her life.
There are no failures in life. Life is something we participate in and learn from it, if we are open to it. Every day, we are faced with chances to choose health or choose traps.
- The power is within you
- Empowering women : every woman's guide to successful living
- You can heal you life
- Heal your body a-z : the mental causes for physical illness and the way to overcome them
- Heart thoughts : a treasury of inner wisdom
- Love yourself, heal your life workbook