Thursday, March 2, 2017

Surrender & Compliance

Compliance and guilt are ways that many a client has hoodwinked an unwary sponsor or therapist.
Shame-based people tend to seek out and even embrace punishment. 
Admitting guilt and paying for it enhances the denial of what they most deeply feared - quitting doing ...  fill in the blank. To have quit whatever it was ... fill in the blank ... then the individual would have to admit that his or her life was out of control ... drinking say ... thus by admitting that would expose the drinker as a flawed and defective human being. 
The theory that is held by the uninitiated says, no one willingly wants to have their face ground down into their shame or painthat is not necessarily so, some need their shame fix and thus will go out of the way to obtain it.
A Shame Fix.
The conundrum to the whole thing is: the only way out of the compulsive/addictive shame cycle is to embrace the shame, not ignore it and don’t pretend it does not exist.

That is what it means to surrender.

Surrender is motivated by the acceptance of shame.  For an addict, surrender is the first true act of freedom since beginning the addiction.  It is best embodied in the following: Talking about our problems, mapping out our family’s dysfunction is not the same as taking action.  Action means that I've let go of control and I'm willing to listen to someone else and do it his way, rather than my own way. [1]

[1] Taken from John Bradshaw’s The Family, page 196/ paragraph 2...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Zen and the Lost Art of Motherhood

A Simple Truth of the Way of Things[1]

It is a given that every child has a legitimate need to be noticed, understood, taken seriously, and respected by their mother. 
This is beautifully illustrated in one of Donald Winnicott’s images: the mother gazes at the baby in her arms and the baby gazes at his mother’s face and in the process finds himself therein. 
This is only possible provided his mother is really looking at the unique, small, helpless being in her arms and not projecting her own expectations, fears and plans for the child onto the child.  If she, is then the child will not find himself in his mother’s face, but rather his mother’s projections.
This child is left without a mirror of self. 
He or she needs their mother to reflect them back to themselves. 
If this does not happen, if the child is left without a mirror, then for the rest of their lives they will be seeking this mirror in vain. Thus we search in vain through our partnering to find the lost and missing reflection that was missed in childhood.

Extracted from Into The Light ... available on

[1] Adapted from Alice Millers Drama of the Gifted Child

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Denial of the Five Freedoms

Deny Feelings
This Is A Defense Strategy
It Keeps the Unwanted Away
This set of rules keeps us in a place where we can appear to be having a good time while at the same time deep down inside, we are scared half to death about things we can’t even imagine or really clearly remember.
Deny anything that might stir up feelings such as perceptions, thoughts, wants and imaginings and especially things that have been predetermined to be negative like fear, loneliness, sadness, hurt, rejection and dependency needs.
This theme is a variation on the rules of Perfectionism and brings us back to the first tenet of Perfectionism:
No Rule Takes Us To Hopelessness Any Faster Than This One.”
This rule dictates that: “You Should Not Think, Feel, Desire, Imagine, See Or Hear The Way You Do, You Have To Do It The Way The System Demands You Do.”
In other words, it is imperative to know the rules of Normal at my house, my work etc and then live my life adjusting my reality to suit the rules of the road. And I have to do this regardless of my thoughts, wishes and desires.

Available on