Today we continued our conversation about choice and hinted at a future topic of integration. Our choicemaking evolves from our ability to be aware and awareness requires a connection to what we feel, what we are needing and yearning for, awareness of others feelings and needs and the ability to differentiate between Self and role within each person. If we can communicate from the basis of our Self we can make whatever constructive criticisms about our roles and functions that are needed.
4:30 the conversation begins. Sharon talks the part of the meditation she enjoyed having to do with the home inside. We talked about the developmental process of creating a home base inside that first comes in our experience of our relationship with parents as children.
7:00 We explore what the elements of becoming a choicemaker are. We discuss the survival energies of fight, flight and freeze and Virginia Satir’s coping stances as impulses that happen quickly and instinctively that are compulsions and not yet conscious choices.
11:00 Sharon shares her insight that people who have experienced trauma have a tendency to self-blame and that this is an instinct to stay connected to parents. Understanding the underlying energy underneath the coping helps create a space for choice. Understand the survival instinct and the underlying energy as being protection or self-love, and then exploring the actual consequences of the survival coping can motivate the exploration of alternative choices.
14:00 Sharon shares that when we speak in absolutes “it’s all your fault” “it’s all my fault” we are disconnected from the Self and speaking from a part. This could be the inner child or the protector, but these parts can often be functioning away from the whole Self.
14:45 Sharon shares the hypothetical example of her husband being late and her blame of saying “you are always late” Communicating can instigate survival coping in others. Being aware of the expression of “you always “ or “I always” creates a choice point to treat yourself and others differently, perhaps with more compassion, acceptance and flexibility.
15:20 When we say things like “you are always late” these messages and tone can be received as absolute conclusions “you are bad” When we communicate in absolutes we are potentially impacting and harming people’s connection to Self. Often people give messages like this when they are feeling low in themselves, hurt, angry, disappointed. The perception of evil or a toxic conclusion about the Selfhood of another person is the source of a lot of pain, conflict and destruction in the world whether that is self or other perception. When messages are given in the way it is very easy to pick up a global message of “I am no good”
17:24 There are choices with this awareness around how we communicate our emotions, especially hurts and pains. Then there are choices to make as the receiver that is healthier and process-oriented that avoids sticky conclusions that negatively impact the self-worth of a person.
18:00 the Four survival coping stances. We go over each one briefly: these are blaming, placating, irrelevance, and superreasonable.
21:00 Sharon walks us through the example of allowing herself to become aware of the initial emotions of anger and agitation, and then exploring the feelings underneath those, which might be upset, the unfulfilled wish, worry, anxiety. Our voice tone communicates blame and the energy in how we use our voice is essential in communicating non-defensively.
23:40 Tim highlights the importance of being able to offer criticisms of each other in a way that does not diminish the self-worth and dignity of each other. Because we are in roles we are needing to give each other feedback so we can continue to grow and improve. Holding a connection to our Selves and to the Selves of others by saying with our voice tone “I see you and I value you and I’d like to tell you something that i need from you for us to work better together. Are you open to hearing me?”
26:00 Sharon and Tim discuss and demonstrate communicating about role and function while also validating the Self in each person. This is an example of congruent communication.
27:10 Sharon talks about resolving differences by asking each what they need and they pose the question “how can we each get our needs meet with the least cost to each other?” The question of need gets at yearnings and when we communicate at this level we can be creative and have constructive conversations about how to function in roles. Asking the question helps reorient ourselves back into our authentic Self and out of survival coping. Acceptance of the cost to each person allows for a free choice to be made, one that involves awareness and responsibility.