Codependence as Fear of Self

It’s come to my attention in the past few days that there’s something off about my definition and living of the word stability. It’s not actually a new point, I’ve been made aware of it before, it’s been pointed out and described, but it never really sank in, or shall I say I never allowed myself to directly experience it as it is and more so, its consequences. Recently, my daughter, my partner and myself together with others in my life went through quite the bout of flu, a dragged out one that kept jumping around to different parts of the body. At the same time many of us were going through an emotionally challenging time. Many new deep-seated parts of ourselves got unearthed and brought to the surface to be questioned, worked with, understood and changed. Together with this, my daughter started changing her sleeping pattern (as she tends to do during tough times), where she’d be awake all night and asleep during the day, to switch it back to normal for a day or so and then switch it around again. Needless to say... I was Exhausted.

But physical exhaustion is one thing, been there before. This time, there was something else, something more taking a toll. In one of the last days of my illness, I suddenly had these moments of just wanting to cry – out of the blue, for seemingly no apparent reason. My eyes just welled up and tears came, and for the life of me I couldn’t stop, nor did I want to – it needed to come out. My partner saw me and, having seen me just a moment before being ‘normal and fine’ he asked ‘what happened??’, assuming something must have just triggered this reaction, or something must have happened between then and now. But all I could say was ‘I have no idea’.

Rewinding a few weeks, one of the points that had come up for me was a wish for everything in my external reality to remain just as it is now – no sudden changes, no moving to a new place, no life changing decisions, just keep everything exactly the same. After having gone through an uprooting from South Africa to Panama and all the steps in between, the amount of time it took to finally settle in and get to a point of ‘flow’ or ‘routine’ - not even routine really, but a general ‘stability’ in being able to expect kind of what a day or week looks like – I didn’t want to give that up again. With most of my time and attention going to Syntia, I have only snippets here and there to move on other things, to write a blog, to move on projects, to study. Syntia’s day is a surprise every day, we can make plans, but we never really know what the day brings – and that is kind of enough unknowns for me (or so I tell myself). If everything else stays just the way it is, just the same, then at least all I have to do is consider Syntia, my responsibilities, my partner’s schedule and then carve out time here and there to do other things. It’s a careful balance, that JUST works. And I had JUST gotten to establish this again after such a long time of unknowns, changes and ‘make-do solutions’.

Going back to the moment where I tore up for ‘no apparent reason’ - in moving more into that hurt  – because that is all I had to describe it – a hurting – moving into it to really experience it and understand it, something clicked. That wish for stability in wanting everything else to stay the same, stay ‘quiet’ essentially, so it doesn’t take my focus, so it doesn’t require my attention or direction – it’s just there, a supportive background that allows me to focus on the day-to-day unpredictability that needs my attention most and move with, within and through it most effectively – now that version of stability is what I would unconsciously start living whenever I would see someone else go through a rough time. I go quiet, I withdraw, I become part of the background, I try to be one less reason for someone to become upset, challenged, ticked off or unbalanced. I try to be blend with that part of their reality that is just the same, unchanging, steady – thinking it will give them a better chance to sort out what it is they need to understand and go through.

Now there’s nothing wrong with trying to support someone, but there definitely is a red flag when you change who you are in someone’s presence without awareness, where you not just try to put someone else before you, but actively push yourself back and become more of a presence instead of being fully present as yourself. It’s like trying to ‘ooze’ a sense of stability, but not really stability, more a sense of ‘shhhh, I am not here, shhhh, don’t worry about me, don’t look at me, shhhh, you didn’t see me, shhhh, I was never here shhh, shhh’, lol. I bet if I had the power to turn invisible, I would’ve, lol, but this is how I’ve tried to come as close to it as possible.

Writing about this, I’m remembering two specific instances where this design was explained to me.

The first time was Bernard pointing out to me that when there is conflict in my environment, I hold myself stiff and will tend to do something with my hands, hold something or play with something, focus on this one thing and try to blend with the background. He mentioned I’d developed this growing up with my father who had quite a temper, in order to not be noticed in case he would then direct his anger towards me. Essentially, that I had developed this as a coping mechanism in an attempt to stay out of trouble.

The second time was during a resonance discussion with the portal, which was recorded and transcribed and which you can read over here. Here it was in relation to my older brother who was going through a difficult time and how I’d done the same thing of withdrawing in the background to try to be this stability from a distance, yet again with a fear driving it, to stay out of trouble.

When I cried, and moved into this hurt more, I could feel how old it was, it wasn’t just about the recent events and how I’d lived it out this time and the toll it had taken on me now, but a hurting over all the times I’ve done it, over how it’s become such a part of me, how I so automatically go into it and don’t even see what it is I’m doing to myself until afterwards, if even then. And it is a doing unto myself, it’s like a shutting down, a self-denial and self-suppression, a wishing myself away, a putting myself on hold, all under the guise of support and stability. But underneath it all is that fear.. not only that I’ll be on the receiving end of someone’s emotional outburst, that I’ll become the receptacle in which another decides to deposit their emotional poop, but even more, fearing that I am the cause of it in the first place. I don’t want to be noticed, I don’t want to be seen, because maybe if they do they will put two and two together, that their experience is all my fault. And when they do realize I am the cause, I don’t want to be around to bear the consequence of it.

Great, so now what? Lol, I had an idea of where this writing would go and how it was all going to be about stability and redefining and specifying it, which I suppose in part it still is. But here now a deeper dimension of fear and self-interest opened up. It was never just about wanting to be stable and supportive for others and compromising myself as a result. It wasn’t all good intentions, it was plain old fear. But where this fear specifically comes from, this assumption that it’s my fault when someone else is dealing with emotional upheaval, I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t see what to write from here, so self-forgiveness it is.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to every time I see another go into intense emotional conflict or upheaval, particularly if I sense a tinge of anger, go stiff within myself and think ‘oh no, what did I do this time? what did I miss?’.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to assume that when another, but in particular someone close to me, goes into emotional conflict or upheaval, it is my fault and I am the cause of it.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that I’ve made the decision to be responsible for other people’s internal stability or instability.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that in wanting to live a peaceful life, one without conflict and emotional baggage and damage, I’ve taken it upon myself as a child to be and do whatever I considered necessary to prevent anyone from going into emotional conflict, trying to do everything ‘right’, trying to make it so that no one would ever have a reason to become upset, and become upset with me in particular.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to assume that if someone does get upset, that it means I somehow didn’t try hard enough, that I missed something or that I did something that allowed that conflict to still build.

Hu, it’s interesting because the way I had been looking at this point was that I was just trying to be a stable point for others, but in reality, I was trying to be what I thought was necessary in order for others to be stable for me.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to go into/give into shame, judgment, disappointment, anger and feeling disheartened at the realization of the role of self-interest in my attempts to be a stable point for other people.

I forgive myself that I’ve never accepted and allowed myself to face this point head-on and see it for what it is, experiencing it directly as well as its consequences, but have continued to live out the same old pattern with yes chipping away at it and investigating parts of it, but never with the actual brutal self-honesty needed to change it.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to build an experience of loneliness, aloneness, not being seen and understood in what I go through when I shut down ‘for’ other people, as well as building resentment and blame towards those I ‘support’ this way because of what I apparently ‘give up for them’.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that my experience of feeling distraught at my ‘sacrifices’ not being seen or acknowledged is really stemming from me not seeing what I am actually doing to myself and for what reasons, which I’ve then projected on others as being the apparent cause/origin of disregard, when it is and has always been me disregarding me.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that in the way I have approached and lived the word stability, I’ve never lived it for myself – and have always played a game of trying to be stable for others while simultaneously wanting others to be stable for me, and making everything and everyone else in my life responsible for the extent to which I move, direct and support myself – because ‘if there is no stability, I am but at the mercy of the ebs and flows of reactions and happenings and have no real power to direct anything’.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have made my ability to support, direct and take responsibility for myself entirely contingent on the level of ‘stability’ that I experienced in and from my external reality.

During a discussion on redefining words on the farm, we looked at the word ‘stable’ - one of those in the moment discussions of bringing a point here, walking it, clarifying it and there it is, done. In the case of the word stability the sounds that opened up were ‘stay’ and ‘able’ and the redefinition that flowed from here was: ‘to STAY here so that I am ABLE to direct myself and my reality effectively.’ The simplicity of this redefinition was so elegant and on-point, it always stuck with me. Looking at it now it’s interesting that it holds two dimensions – on the one hand there is the grounding of yourself in the here moment, but it goes hand in hand with moving and directing yourself. In my living of the word stability, I’ve split these two parts of the word – I’ve made one party responsible for the grounding and staying – and made another party responsible for the moving and directing. Here is how I have lived it:

“Stability is for others and my external reality to remain grounded/here, so that I can move and direct myself effectively”.

Or, the other way around:

“Stability is for me to stay the same/stay put, so that others can move and direct themselves effectively.”… and in fine print: “ that they can be grounded again and allow me to move and direct myself again”

But when it comes to living the words stability, both dimensions are about self – for me to ground myself in the here moment, so that I am able to direct and move myself. Yes, I can use my external reality as a support to help ground me if need be, but the movement, the action still occurs within me. And it’s within me that the grounded here presence needs to be created and from which the movement and direction needs to spring.

This point has been a part of me for such a long time I can see how it would extend further than just in tough emotional/turbulent times. Let’s say if someone close to me in my life decides to take on a new endeavor and shares it with me, it’s like I immediately internally sigh and become heavy. Because with new endeavors come new challenges, and many opportunities for turmoil and ‘instability’ - so from the get-go, I’ll try to take responsibility for their endeavor within me. I anticipate being a sounding board for them, I carve out a ‘space’ for this new endeavor within myself and make it a point to start considering different dimensions of it. I look at what parts of it I am not familiar with and already make a list of things I will need to educate myself on. And it’s not necessarily like I am ‘doing anything’ - it’s more an internal ‘taking on’ where I try to ‘help carry’ a point of responsibility of another, in me. And no, that was never asked of me, and no it’s not necessary – but I’ve come to do it automatically, and then inevitably come to a point of feeling like it’s ‘too crowded’ within me in carrying/looking at too many points and not having the internal space to consider myself, my own projects and responsibilities effectively.

When I close my eyes and just hold myself and my life, my responsibilities, projects and let go of everyone else and their points, I suddenly have so much space inside, it’s like I can BREATHE. But at the same time, there’s a fear in this aloneness, because who’s going to be my backup now? Am I actually capable of taking full responsibility for myself, do I have that in me? This again showing the hidden ‘quid pro quo’ terms and conditions in my way of ‘supporting’ others – I do it for them in the assumption that they’d do it for me. And all the ideas and beliefs that ‘I have to do this for them’, that ‘they need me to do it’, is only a reflection of my own beliefs that I can’t take full responsibility for myself and my life.

Understand, I’m not talking about living in absolute separation of other people and that each one should be able to handle everything on their own with no support from others whatsoever. Asking others for help in a project that you’re taking responsibility for, is something you do on a practical level. In that case the other takes responsibility for the help they offer, but it does not mean they take on responsibility for the entirety of the project. And that’s the distinction, whether or not I end up offering support on a practical level or not, on an internal level I try to take responsibility for the whole thing within me, without them asking to, without them necessarily knowing that I’m in some way investing a part of myself in it. And this is what I want from other people – I want others to take responsibility for me, my life and my projects – so that I don’t have to be the ultimate point of responsibility. So that if I fall in any way, there will automatically be someone to step in for me, to catch me and the pieces of my life that are in disarray until I can pick them up again.

The words that come up are: not trusting myself to be able to stand on my own two feet in life. And ‘life’ here really referring to ‘the world out there’. I imagine myself standing alone in the world and just  choking at the fear of all that might go wrong, all I might have to face, come to terms with and all that I might not know how to direct or take responsibility for. And what is the world but a reflection of myself? So here the inevitable realization that yes, all fear in the end is fear of self – a realization that’s part of a quote Bernard once shared and to which I’d often stare with a blank face – understanding it on an intellectual level, but not really seeing how that practically works. And here it is, clear as day.

Since having opened up this writing, I’ve felt quite unstable, lol. With putting into question such a foundational word as stability and how I have lived it, it feels like I have no anchor or can’t trust any way I am attempting to anchor and stabilize myself – I keep asking myself, ‘if not how I have been doing it, then how???’. Here I also have to be careful to not chuck out the baby with the bathwater, because it’s not like I’ve never effectively lived the word stability, it’s not that I must scratch all stability from me and completely start over. But there are scenarios, especially when it comes to emotional turbulence and life changing decisions, that I slip into this co-dependent version of stability. So, here it’s for me to expand my level of responsibility within the word stability to extend also to those more challenging scenarios, as well as to take on those fears of standing on my own two feet, of independence in terms of taking full responsibility for myself and my life. This fear being really the driving/origin point and the co-dependent stability as the outflow consequence. Both have been ingrained and a part of ‘who I am’ over the years and so it is not sufficient to only tackle the fear, both have to be addressed in my application of forgiveness and real-time change.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear being alone in the world.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear taking full responsibility for myself, my experiences, my challenges, my weaknesses, my vulnerabilities and accept that the task of understanding and changing the parts of me that are as yet underdeveloped, mismanaged and misaligned, into effective expressions in alignment with what is best for me as what’s best for all is mine and for me to walk.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to accept and live the belief that there are just some parts of myself that I am incapable of changing or taking responsibility for, where I feel completely out of my depth, where I feel completely powerless and where I feel like there’s no point in even trying to understand and let alone change them.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to be patient with myself and realize that it’s not about changing everything NOW – but to continue looking, investigating, understanding and changing as I go.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that if I cannot make other people responsible for my stability in relation to points that I consider weaknesses and vulnerabilities in which I don’t have the capacity to stand yet, that I’ll completely collapse and fear not being able to get up again.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that I’ve many times collapsed, many times faced points and parts of myself that I thought unchangeable, out of my reach to understand and grasp, and yes, have collapsed, but each time, have also stood up again – and this of me I can trust, that I will get up again, no matter how ingrained the point, no matter how ‘big’ it seems, the heart of the matter is that I will find myself within it and move myself forward to the best of my ability – even if at first it goes bumpy, even if I make many more mistakes, I continue to learn, grow and change.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that the fear of the big wide world is really a fear of the parts of myself I have yet to take responsibility for or get to know, explore and understand.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that my co-dependent version of stability, where I try to be stable for others but more importantly want others to be stable for me, has been a way for me to hide from myself, a way I’ve used to hold myself back, to not have to see the fullness of me and the extent of my responsibility within it.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that I cannot trust myself to stand on my own two feet.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe I should only stand on my own two feet when I am fully ‘developed’, fully ‘matured’, where all of me is trustworthy and I can trust myself to no longer make mistakes – when in fact, taking this approach prevents me from creating myself as that in fact – where I first require to take full responsibility for myself, accept that yes, I have much support in this life from others, but who I am and my life is 100% my responsibility and no one else’s and accept that in this sense I am alone – in order to reveal the parts of myself that need work, that need changing, that need developing and maturing, and so actually do it.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel like a child wanting to hold on to my mom’s hand just a while longer, feeling not ready to let go of support that I have defined in others, assuming that if I do, nothing but trouble will come my way, and forgetting that every time I as a child or young girl was faced with this fear, and wanted to back down the last moment when it came to doing something on my own, outside the ‘comfort’ and ‘secuirty’ of my family, yet when I did, I ended up learning and discovering so much of myself that I hadn’t previously seen or allowed myself to live.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that in trying to hold back ‘the worst’ of me, I am holding myself back fully, including undiscovered, forgotten and suppressed expressions that are waiting for me to be lived.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to realize that in trying to protect me from myself, I am also preventing me from getting to know me and preventing me from receiving the gift that is me.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have stubbornly held on to the perception and belief that I am inadequate, incapable, immature, and most of all ‘not ready’ - which is not even clearly defined in terms of what I am not ready for or in what ways I am not ready, but has been this blanket experience that has come up and that I’ve always simply accepted as valid and real and have used as a reason to hold back and back down.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to, as a first reaction to seeing or hearing another’s emotional state of mind, take it personally and go into a defensive mode of shutting myself down and/or starting to race in my mind to build up all the arguments/reasons why I am not to blame or what I could say in defense of myself if someone points to me as the reason for their state of mind.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to exist in constant anxiety and guilt whenever another in my life is going through inner conflict or instability, due to the assumption that I am at fault and will be found out.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to try to ‘support’ someone in my reality that is going through emotional upheaval/internal instability by trying to be stable for them, to try to make up for my guilt in the belief that I am responsible for their instability, experiencing that if I go ‘all the way’ now in trying to keep everything as stable as possible for them, maybe it will stave off some kind of emotional explosion or disaster that I perceive would equally wreak havoc on me.

I forgive myself for not having accepted and allowed myself to take full responsibility for my inner reality every time I have any sort of emotional reaction or movement within me, and so equally have accepted and allowed the belief that others are not fully responsible for their own state of mind and state of being.

I forgive myself for not accepting and allowing myself to, in seeing or hearing another’s emotional state of mind and reacting to it, live the word stability for me, in assessing what within me is being triggered by another’s presence/state of mind/state of being that I need to work with, look at or sort out,   to then do so right away, or make a note of it, for a moment let it go and then assess the here moment in seeing if there is anything for me to do or say in relation to the other, or not, within the realization and understanding that I am fully responsible for my reactions/state of being/state of mind and they are for their own and that yes, I can be a support for another in moments, but this does not entail taking responsibility for who they are, nor to make them responsible for who I am.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to, as a first reaction to someone sharing about a new point or venture or idea that they would like to start, panic inside myself and feel overwhelmed and forced to now take responsibility for this idea/point/venture with them and start looking at all the ways I need to be a part of or support somehow with making sure this idea/point/venture works out, under the guise of wanting to maintain stability for myself and others, instead of living stability in first slowing myself down and asking myself what was triggered within me about me, my life, my projects, my responsibilities by another sharing about their idea, to make a note of what I need to look at for me, let it go for a moment, and then simply hear another in this here moment and reply as here, without attempting to or feeling the need to take on or invest myself in their point/venture/idea from start to finish.
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Day 158: All Emotions and Feelings are Manipulation

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Day 157: A Child in a Grown-Ups World - Part 2

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Day 156: A Child in a Grown-Ups World

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Day 155: Snowy – My Mountain of Support – Pt3

This blog post is a continuation to the following posts – please read them first for context:

Day 153: Snowy – My Mountain of Support
Day 154: Snowy – My Mountain of Support – Pt2

I explained in my previous post how I saw the particular construct I required to work with that Snowy had been showing me by living it out. I saw how the energy I was working with was ‘protectiveness’ and how the word in relation to which I would activate the word ‘protectiveness’ was the word ‘life’. I saw how there was both a positive polarity of desiring to protect life as well as a negative polarity as trying to protect myself from life.

As a child and growing up, I have always been reserved when interacting with others. Not that I would always stay in the background or be a loner or be the shy one in a group – I would make friends and have fun – but I would always be ready to ‘pull out’ in case I felt I had to. I had noticed that no matter how ‘nice’ a friend or a family member may seem in one moment, in another they can suddenly change and ‘turn against me’ – often unexpectedly, where I ‘wasn’t prepared for it’. The same with animals – in one moment a dog could be gentle and in another they could suddenly snap their teeth. The same with nature – the one moment I am playing in the garden on the grass, the next I get stung by a bee. In all these instances I felt that my sense of security was false, that I wasn’t really safe from ‘life’ as how I experienced it.

What I saw within using the tools of SRA3, is that I had defined the words ‘safe/protected’ within a mother-child relationship. You know – when you’re a child and you’re just sitting next to your mom on the couch and you rest your head on her chest, she wraps your arm around you and you can hear her breathing and her heartbeat – that experience of ‘I am protected, I am safe, nothing can happen to me’. That experience is what I desired.

So – within deciding who I would be within my life, I wanted that point of safety/protectedness to be a part of it. Of course, I couldn’t stay a child forever living with my mother – but I could become a mother myself. Because, a mother and child, I presumed, both take part in the same experience of safetyness/protectedness. Herein – my perception of mothers was also relevant. Of all the adults and their extent of participation and interaction with ‘life’ as that which I saw as unpredictable and dangerous – I thought mothers were the least exposed, because they are at home taking care of the children. Perhaps that is why I would say I wanted to become a mother of 5 kids – to make sure I’d never have the time to do anything else but be a mother, lol – but remain secluded, protected in the safety of my own home.

That was how the negative polarity to the word ‘life’ influenced ‘who I wanted to be in life’.

The positive polarity of the word ‘life’ refers to seeing life as something pure and innocent – and yet so fragile – something that can be easily corrupted, hurt and abused. From within my own fear of the ‘outside world’ – ‘life as we know it’ – I created a desire to protect this ‘pure, innocent’ life – and where I had defined this ‘pure/innocent life’ to exist was in babies and young children – the ones not yet influenced too much by ‘the world’ – who were still blissfully ignorant and under the impression that ‘life’ is welcome here. So – from the positive polarity of my definition of the word ‘life’ I wanted to be someone who protects ‘life’ in this world and of all the social roles in society – I saw that mothers taking care of babies/children were the ones to fit this bill.

So – through accepting both the fear and desire that sprung up within me from both the negative and positive polarities of my definition of the word ‘life’, I created a behavioral design of ‘protectiveness’ within me – both in relation to protecting myself as well as protecting others. That was the same behavior I saw in Snowy – where on the one hand she wanted to protect herself against Cesar, seeing him as a ‘threat’ while at the same time ‘protecting him’ through playing a nurturing role towards him.

I then went and wrote about all these points, applied my Self-Forgiveness and wrote my Self-Corrective Statements to remove the separation I had created towards the word ‘life’, to redefine the word as myself and diffuse this construct as a whole. I had shared with LJ and Leila what I’d seen in terms of how Snowy’s behavior mirroring mine. After I had done all my writing, SF and SCS – Snowy’s behavior immediately changed, lol. She was back to her ‘old self’. Leila noticed the drastic change in Snowy and asked me if I’d worked on my points – to which I said ‘yes’ with a big smile, lol. So – this was a very cool feedback point again –where Snowy showed me: you got it, girl – my work here is done. Lol. I gave her a big hug, amazed and grateful for the unconditional support that she is.
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Day 154: Snowy - My Mountain of Support - Pt2

I left off in my previous post saying:

“So, one night I realized this was carrying on for too long (Snowy’s odd behavior in relation to Cesar and her toys) and that something else must be going on. I placed my hand on her chest, breathed and then checked which person was a match for the point she was working with – which of course, was me – lol.

The next point was to see: what point is she showing me about myself??

What opened up for me was quite fascinating – I don’t know if I would have seen/realized this point if it weren’t for my Snowy-bear assisting me with such specificity – I’ll share in my next post!”

To see what point Snowy and I were working with, I kept one hand on her chest and placed the other on her side. The first thing I looked at was identifying the energy that was running – because that was the most noticeable about her behavior – as soon as she would hear or see Cesar, or as soon as she picked up a toy – a particular energy started directing her behavior – where no matter what we said or did – the energy was not moving out or diminishing and she continued to follow the energy – we couldn’t ‘snap her out of it’ or even ‘get through to her’. When identifying the energy, the word ‘protectiveness’ came up. Snowy takes her ‘protective role’ always quite seriously, but now every time she’d hear/see Cesar, that protectiveness went into over-drive.

As soon as I placed the word ‘protectiveness’ within me to check if that was the word – I could feel/became aware of ‘lines’ that together formed a particular geometric shape and that shape covered my abdominal area. Here – I remembered the article from Jack where he explained how weight in the abdomen is due to protecting fears.

So – this was getting more and more interesting – because the word ‘protectiveness’ was showing to contain more than one dimension – it was not just about protecting others, but also about protecting myself and protecting fears. So I focused in on that geometrical shape that I felt over my abdomen and saw two sides to it. On the one side I saw it relating to the symbology of pregnancy – where a baby is in the belly, protected by the uterus and abdomen – so an experience of safety/security. On the other hand I saw how the geometric shape was somewhat like the door of a prison cell – so, here I was looking at self-limitation – fear and insecurity.

I could see how that polarity had played out in Snowy’s behavior – where on the one hand she was ‘excessively nurturing’ – with her toys as well as licking Cesar all over when he would get close to her – yet on the other hand, she was seeing Cesar as a threat and tried to protect herself from him.

(If my story is sounding a bit jumbled, it’s because I’m trying to tell it the way it opened up for me – so bear with me if it’s not sounding very coherent, lol – it did kind of open up as ‘pop, pop, pop’ – I started seeing the factors at play, the ingredients if you will – but did not yet see how I had ‘cooked it up’ for myself or how it all strings together – that I looked at afterwards.)

At that point I was satisfied that I had identified the energy as being ‘protectiveness’ and that it was related to motherhood and that there was a polarity construct involved. But keeping a discussion I’d recently had with Esteni in mind, as well as the tools introduced in the SRA3 course of Desteni I Process – I could see I hadn’t ‘gotten to the bottom of it yet’ – I so far had only opened up a particular behavior and how that behavior was driven by an energy – but I had not yet identified the source point. I knew I had to identify one word – one word that contains a polarity in its definition – where ‘protectiveness’ is how I ‘live out’ the polarity of that word in my reality.

Now that word – interestingly enough, is: ‘Life’.

It was easier to see the word by looking at the positive polarity – the positive polarity being: what is it I desire to protect? So – looking at motherhood – protecting a baby – protecting innocence – I could see that it boils down to: protecting ‘pure’ life. Then I looked at the negative polarity to see if the word ‘life’ is accurate – so I checked: Is life something I fear/something I feel I have to protect myself from? And the answer was ‘yes’ – meaning: life as life on Earth as it exists today. Growing up, the world seems like a scary place – people are so unpredictable and I definitely felt insecure. So – my definition of the word ‘life’ existed within a polarity – giving rise to both a desire and a fear – and the energy and behavior of ‘protectiveness’ was driven by that desire and fear.

So now I had the rough outline of the construct. Then I looked at how I had created and lived this construct as myself – what decisions I made from within this construct and how I shaped ‘me’ and ‘my life’ from within and as this construct – I will share that process in my next post.
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Day 153: Snowy – My Mountain of Support

Snowy is one of the two Pyrenean Mountain dogs that live with me. Those who have met her know her to be a big, fluffy, goofy dog that likes to barks at anything that moves, is very lazy on walks, and has the sweetest eyes – that is, of course, when she’s not barking at something. That would be her ‘usual self’. About a month ago she started acting – hmm, what is the word – well, ‘odd’, to say the least.

One significant change was her behavior towards Cesar. She would usually be gentle with him and allow him to come close and lick him once in a while, but otherwise not be too ‘phased’ about his presence. He was able to come up to her and lean against her while she remained calm and patient. Now, about a month ago, what started happening every time Cesar came into the room, or if she could hear him in the other room, she would immediately go into ‘high alert mode’ and start following him around as though to ‘keep an eye on him’ that he doesn’t do anything that ‘he’s not supposed to’ – yet at the same time, try to back off when he would come close. So – she was literally pacing around him while trying to keep a certain distance at the same time. If she would sit, it would be for a second, and then she was up pacing again. And when he did manage to come close, she would seem to be fighting within herself where on the one side she’d want to scare him away/off of her and on the other hand, obsessively lick him all over.

The other significant change was that she started adopting a toy as though it was her baby. Where, she would pick one toy and keep it with her at all times. When she was walking around, it would be in her mouth and when she was laying down, she would put it in front or next to her and lick it. And when she’d lose her toy, she would go around to everyone making a whining/crying sound. One night, she was standing besides me whining/crying, but she had her toy (at that moment her ‘baby’ was a monkey-teddy) in her mouth. So, I wasn’t sure what she wanted. Eventually, I figured out she was trying to find a ‘safe space’ for her and her ‘baby’. She only stopped crying/whining once I made a little ‘cave’ for her with pillows under LJ’s desk.

The behavior of her taking a toy as a baby, we had seen before and so we thought it was part of a hormonal cycle – where this motherly behavior gets triggered by hormones – and that somehow she had translated that behavior to Cesar as well. Of course, with Cesar, she started to become a ‘danger-point’ as she was unpredictable while within that ‘high alert’ energy – and with her being a large dog, we kept her away from Cesar as much as possible, waiting for this ‘hormonal phase’ to pass. But it didn’t…

So, one night I realized this was carrying on for too long and that something else must be going on. I placed my hand on her chest, breathed and then checked which person was a match for the point she was working with – which of course, was me – lol.

The next point was to see: what point is she showing me about myself??

What opened up for me was quite fascinating – I don’t know if I would have seen/realized this point if it weren’t for my Snowy-bear assisting me with such specificity – I’ll share in my next post!
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Day 152: When Cesar gets it ‘wrong’ – Pt 2

This post is a continuation to the post
Day 151: When Cesar gets it ‘wrong’

In my last post I explained the scenario where Cesar is using the blocks of a ‘game’ in a way that doesn’t fall into the parameters for which the game was designed and how I would react ever so slightly and yet very distinctly when seeing Cesar play with the blocks in a way that I see is ‘moving him further away’ from ‘getting the answer’ of ‘what the purpose is of the game’ – as describing one scenario where I would react in perceiving ‘Cesar getting it wrong’.

Another scenario where I would react within myself is when Cesar is playing with the same blocks – the ones with the holes of a particular shape and the towers of the matching shapes, where the purpose of the game is to place the blocks over the tower with the matching shape – and where Cesar would take a block with for instance a triangle whole and try to place it over the rectangular tower. Lol, I’m laughing as I write it as it now seems so silly to react to it – but in the moment of observing Cesar do this, I would become uncomfortable and would ‘fight’ the urge to tell him ‘no, that one goes over the triangular tower’ to then show him how it fits.

So – in this scenario, the reaction was again stemming from trying to ‘protect’ Cesar from experiencing  what I believe he would experience in realizing the block doesn’t match the tower. So, here again I was projecting my own experience onto Cesar, where I believe he would experience frustration, anger and self-judgment in not matching up the shapes. Cesar, however, didn’t seem to ‘care’ if the shapes matched up or not, he would try to get it on, and if it didn’t work, then he would just do something else with it. He didn’t have the concept of ‘right or wrong’ – he would just observe that sometimes the shape matches and he can get it over a tower and sometimes not. I could tell him that the shape with the triangular whole will only fit over the triangular tower, but even when I did, he would try to place it over the rectangular tower – lol. So – I realized that he’s going to test it out for himself over and over until he is satisfied that it is indeed physically impossible to match a triangle and a rectangle – and there’s really nothing wrong with that. For him to ‘accept’ the fact just because someone told him will create a point of belief. And even more, if he keeps doing it because afterwards we say ‘well done!’ with a smile on our face, then we’re interfering with his learning process.

Herein I saw how easy it is to condition someone to act in a way to obtain praise – where you’ll end up only doing those things and pursuing those things of which you expect to receive positive feedback, instead of really finding out what is possible, exploring everything for yourself and see what works, what is effective and what is not. We believe we are ‘teaching’ a child something when we tell them ‘no, not that way – do it this way – look!’ – and that in congratulating them when they copy us, we feel we’re rightfully praising them for apparently having ‘figured out the right answer’ – when actually, we’re depriving them of the figuring out part – all they have learned is to copy us. The actual figuring out is a long process of testing over and over what works and what doesn’t - that is how a child will naturally learn and they won’t feel frustrated when something doesn’t work – they will only feel frustrated if we tell them they should feel frustrated, by reacting within ourselves with an experience of ‘no! not that way!’ – where every time they do something, they pick up on our reaction, and so start believing there must be something wrong with what they’re doing.

Without an outside person guiding the activity, a child will just over and over again try to fit a shape over every tower - regardless of whether it didn’t work once  – he’ll try again later – so that he comes to the understanding that – no matter when I try to place a triangular shape over a rectangular one, no matter from which angle, no matter how much pressure I exert, no matter whether the sun is shining or if it’s raining – it doesn’t work – now the child has actually learned something.
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Day 151: When Cesar gets it ‘wrong’

I often babysit Cesar in the afternoons while Leila is exercising and taking care of Charlie, her other baby (her horse :) ). Cesar likes being outside and amongst the dogs the most, but when it is cold or rainy, we’ll look for things to do in his room. One of the activities he’s been more interested in recently is playing with blocs, like duplo blocks or blocks that have a hole of a particular shape in them that he ‘has to’ then hang around a little tower of a particular shape. One thing here is that it is fascinating how we take our motoric skills for granted. It seems so easy to just put two duplo blocks together and make them stick and then start building a house or a plane or a tower or just some random figure. We don’t remember that at some point in our lives, we didn’t have the skills to do that and that we walked a process of continuous trial and error that demanded a lot of concentration on our part to slowly start developing the muscles and flexibility to put two duplo blocks together and make them stick the way you want them to.

So, Cesar is now walking that process of developing these motoric skills with lots of trial and error. Now, I started noticing an interesting experience within myself when I would see Cesar struggle or ‘get it wrong’. I noticed it first on a physical level, like a contraction in my solar plexus area and I would ‘hold my breath’ ever so slightly. In looking at it more closely, I could see that fear of ‘getting it wrong’ and wanting to prevent Cesar from ‘getting it wrong’.

So – what does ‘getting it wrong’ even mean – there’s several scenarios I’m referring to with that, from where I will see his actions/attempts as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

One is when he is for instance playing with the blocs that have holes of a particular shape in them, that he has to pull/drop over a tower of the matching shape. So, the block with the circular hole goes over the circular tower, the block with the rectangular hole goes over the rectangular tower etc. For me as an adult, I can see at first glance which shape he will be able to pull/drop over which tower and I also understand that this is the purpose of the game, that this is what it is designed for. As Cesar is picking up the shapes and turning them around, banging them together, tossing them across the room, he is just exploring these objects and what he can do with it. But with me understanding the ‘purpose’ of the game, I see it as the ‘wrong thing to do’ and I kind of become impatient, because I just really want him to ‘get’ that he can put these shapes over the towers! Because from my perspective, he hasn’t really ‘gotten the right answer’ until he realizes that the shapes are ‘supposed to’ go over the tower, lol.

So, here – I was projecting the idea that Cesar would feel proud of himself after having figured out that he could make the pieces fit over the towers. Here, actually, projecting my own experience when ‘getting something right’ and the belief that something is not worth doing and a waste of my time. I would have to resist the urge to show Cesar how to place the blocks over the tower, lol. But those ideas, beliefs and desires didn’t exist in Cesar – he was just exploring and here I was wanting to steer and limit his activity towards only one possible option of how to play with blocks.

I’ll continue in my next post.
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Day 150: Ownership, Investment, Expected Returns – the Capitalist in Me

In re-reading the blogs I wrote on the Prideful Character, there is one aspect that has surfaced several times that I haven’t explicitly opened up – and that is the point of ownership. It came up in the blog ‘Day 146: The Credit is Mine!’ as well as in my last blog ‘Day149: I don’t need no-one’s help’ where I mentioned feeling that I did not ‘own’ the correction to a point if someone assisted me to see it.

An example of the role of ownership within the Prideful Character would be where I was ‘in charge’ of a certain project for a while, and then at some point needed to hand it over to someone else. I would experience major resistance, because I would feel like it was ‘my point’ that I didn’t want to give up. So – where is the self-interest within such scenarios? Because, obviously, in those moments it was necessary to re-arrange responsibilities for the effective running of the larger group – so if I within myself fight such a change, then it is due to points of self-interest.

The Prideful Character, as has become clear, runs on the need for praise and validation – so that self may ‘feel’ valuable/worthy/good enough. So, what I would do in relation to the Prideful Character when I was assigned a task – I would define myself according to that task – feeling that ‘I am now responsible’ or if I would do the task well, I would give myself ‘positive scoring points’ based on that task/project. So, the projects would become a source of praise and validation that I would give myself – thinking that – others must see me that way as well. So – when asked to hand over the project, I would experience resistance in that I felt I would be losing this source of ‘value’ – but what’s more – I would feel annoyed thinking that, ‘now I will have to spend my time creating a different project that will give me a sense of value’ lol.

And that’s an interesting point – where I felt I had invested my time/effort into a project and so didn’t want to give it up – because, hey, I finally feel satisfied about my ‘performance’ in how I am handling this project, I am finally feeling good about myself in terms of this project and so I feel I am deriving ‘value’ from it – lol, in other words – my investment is finally starting to pay off and now you want me to hand it over?!?

All of the above runs in the background of course, on a conscious level I would just experience that sense of ‘ownership’ towards the project – where I would feel it’s ‘my project’ and then the resistance in not wanting to hand it over.

The reason I find this point to be so interesting is that during my economy studies there was one point that I just didn’t understand or couldn’t grasp in ‘how it would make sense to base an economic system on that principle’ - and that was the point of ‘the capitalist’ and the principle that those who own something get to earn profits from it – because, well, to own it they invested a lot of money in it, so now they should earn returns on it in the form of profits. Somehow this point evaded me – who came up with this logic?? Because once you own something, you’re not doing anything per se, you’re just ‘busy owning something’ – yet that would give you the right to an income through profits.

And here I am, lol, throughout my life living out this exact same logic without even realizing it – where it would only become apparent when I was asked to hand over my project to someone else, as I’d then throw a hissy fit inside myself – and even then it was not always clear ‘why’ exactly this was bothering me. Yet here it is, the capitalist in me, clinging to that which I have invested my time, my effort, myself in – because I was deriving a continuous flow of ‘earnings’ from it as a sense of value. It wasn’t even the project in itself that I didn’t want to ‘lose’ – it was the ‘returns’ that I expected to receive if I continued to ‘own’ that project.

It’s fascinating that in anything we do – we’re not working with the inherent value of that which we’re busy with, acknowledging and honoring the inherent value of contributing time and effort towards a particular project because we see how it assists others, how it makes a difference – no, we’ll only acknowledge the imaginary value we assign to ourselves for participating in that project – making it about ‘how good a person I am’, ‘how good I feel about myself’. And in the same way – we won’t recognize our own inherent value – we feel the need to ‘derive’ it from something or someone else – the need to ‘own’ something so that IT may GIVE me value.

It is quite saddening to realize that we had to create such consequence on a global level for the outer reality to reflect and show us just one point: that we never accepted ourselves, that we never appreciated ourselves and that we never honored ourselves as life, as the only real value.
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