Why We Resist the Light (3)
The purpose of negative thinking is to avoid perpetuating the hurt, and to keep the person safe, and the idea is that it is only from a place of safety that we can move outwards. We have to create a place of safety first, and then move out from it.
To create one inside my head. To internalise the idea of safety.
The prime need is to be loved, recognised, valued and accepted. But this need may not be met if we discover that we are moving in unsafe environments: home, schools and classrooms, communities and workplaces. The relationships in these systems determine the level and intensity of the unsafety that we experience. Conditional or neglectful. Conditionality means that
- not loved for myself
- could only gain love by meeting certain conditions
- never be sure of meeting those conditions
- creates uncertainty within
- projected outwards onto world
- world an unsafe place.
Conditions: Be good, be perfect, be like us etc.
Punishments: withdrawal of love, disappointment, disapproval, criticism, silence
Protective behaviour: fear of abandonment.
Turn this knowledge into something that will heal.
Conditionality into unconditionality.
depths are vast and beyond our fathoming. We cannot “see” the fears that lurk just over our shoulder, that hide in our shadow, that haunt the further corners of our dreams; and not seeing them, we do not understand how they shape our thoughts, words and deeds, how they influence our attitudes and our behaviour: first, by limiting our vision and the choices we feel able to make; and second, by undermining our ability to stick to the course we prefer. Human beings can be difficult, awkward and contrary in their responses, even when everything is going well. As soon as things begin to go wrong, and especially once it is clear that something important is going wrong, this tendency is exacerbated.
If we are already hungry, talking about food can make us feel famished. When we are hungry and there is no food in sight, then the promise of a feast arouses expectations that cannot be met. Depending on character and previous experience, we fret, shout or sulk. Five thousand anxious, ill-tempered and sullen people are an explosion waiting to happen. None of us are at our best when we feel our need, we do not see any way that our need can be met, and we begin to fear that it will be a long time before our will ever be met - if at all.