An addiction to something (eg. opioids, fats, sugars, salts, cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, etc.) or a compulsion (eg. gambling, shopping, working, sex or love addictions) is often an unconscious attempt to soothe trauma - fear, loneliness and shame that's frozen in unconscious memory. The addiction or compulsion is a substitute for what we really need. It is an endless craving that's never enough. Read on for more.
Worthlessness and shame are linked to the idea of not belonging or being unworthy of belonging -- that is, a deep sense of belonging to life, to your sense of self, and to our earth. Compensatory strategies to win worthiness and belonging arise from here and effectively block the very thing it is pursuing. Transformation occurs when there is a critical mass of clarity about the harm of a particular way of thinking and behaving.
True inner freedom arises from self-connection. Without self-connection, we're mostly acting from habits, and those habits do not necessarily attend to our own needs. Here's a practice you can explore in your daily life to deepen your relationship with yourself, and experience true choice and inner freedom.
Most of us subject ourselves to so many painful mental jabs and they seldom stimulate helpful change. We can be like a frustrated animal trainer repeatedly whipping an animal, without ever helping the animal to understand what behavior is wanted or offering encouragement. Instead, punishing thoughts can be stepping stones to awareness. We can focus on sensing what we're really aspiring to. This is more likely to eventually produce sustainable change that'll serve us better.
Trainer tip: The phrase “tragic expressions of unmet needs” is used to convey how often we do things that aren’t likely to meet our needs. It’s not bad, it’s tragic -- because it won’t help us meet our needs. Acknowledging this, we can then consider a different approach that's more likely to lead to satisfying results. Read on for three examples of where this may apply in your life.
One clue we have trauma is when we respond in a way we don't want (eg. being reactive, self sabotaging, etc). Even when we have high level NVC skills our trauma-related mechanisms can activate, and we can lose access to well honed NVC skills. Read on for approaches that involve healing trauma, and approaches that involve managing the effects of trauma and preventing additional trauma.
In healing reactivity try identifying your most common complaints, wishes, or requests. Or when you tend to defend, justify, get angry, or protect. Find the tender needs. You can recall when you experienced deep nourishment of that need. Several times a week nourish your tender needs. Be clear about the strategy to address needs by answering key questions. Read on for more.
Trainer Tip: What do you value the most? Take a look at your actions and notice the values that your actions demonstrate (not what you want them to show, but what they do show), and see if they are in alignment. Where there is a gap take steps to create actions that are in alignment with your values.
Trainer Tip: We often find ourselves slipping into old behaviors that we would rather change. This is because we don’t have a new plan for responding to the same old situations. In that case, notice whether you are slipping into old behaviors today. Connect to your unmet needs and then identify a new strategy for the situation.
Trainer Tip: Find your deepest need. Then notice when you do things, or have done things, that keep you from meeting your most important need. And then take conscious action that is in alignment with the need you want to meet.