Next let’s look at how this all works out on a grid, so that it makes sense how we came to adapt away from our original creation and purpose. In effect this is what happened when sin entered into the world and continues to do all it can to create in us a false self that we project out and protect mostly to our peril. The main vehicle to do this is child abuse. That topic is for another presentation all by itself but for now suffice it to define it as anything that is done to us or failed to do for us in childhood that diminishes any or all of the five natural characteristics we are studying here.
On the worksheet you have you'll notice that it is a grid. The top left column is the Authenticity-the Real Self under which that characteristics of VIVID are spelled out in each row. The next column shows the Adaptation-Loss of Self that is generated by child abuse. The following row is Adult Codependency-Primary Symptoms that begin to form the foundation for the mask(s) we wear that becomes the false self. The next column shows the Related Problems-Secondary Symptoms that we exhibit and become the object of the behaviors we try to change unsuccessfully in ourselves or others. The last column on the right has to do with Recovery. How do we recover our natural state of authenticity? I will share several specific suggestions that can help restore one’s authentic self but by no means is it intended to be an exhaustive list, just a starting place. You get to determine which in which area(s) to begin.
I'll take each characteristic and show how to go across to the right to identify areas of problems that arise from that characteristic not being affirmed or allowed to be an integral part of our authentic identity.
Value Any behavior or act during our childhood that is considered child abuse leads us to an Adaptation as a defense mechanism or survival skill that leads us to feel “less than” or “more than” someone else.
We will discuss in depth at another time what constitutes child abuse and how it takes away our feeling of preciousness. For now we can list areas of abuse are physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, intellectual and spiritual to name a few. When child abuse happens it makes us feel shame. When we are shamed we can feel less than others, unworthy or not good enough. When we are filled with grandiosity or false empowerment, we develop a sense of superiority.
We retreat inside ourselves and rationalize as a child that we are less than someone else because of being treated as less than or actually we can be begin to feel better then others in spite of the abuse. A useful tool to understand this is the totem pole or climbing the rungs of the ladder of success. Sounds good until we see the unintended consequences for both ourselves and others. This started in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were tempted and then they fell prey to the idea that they should not let God withhold their being able to be equal with Him. That’s where and when Satan introduced the idea or big lie that we needed to compare ourselves with others and now society embraces the big lie that everybody belongs somewhere on the totem pole or ladder. Our goal then is to step on or over others to improve our position and it happens on so many levels. All we have to do is look at these questions; who has more value in our society’s eyes, a rich person or a poor one, a man or a woman, an adult or a child, a white man or a black woman, a super athlete or a quadriplegic, the USA president or our garbage collector, the doctor or the patient, the list goes on and on and on. We either are left with an inferiority complex, never feeling as though we are enough or we feel superior and entitled because so many in our little world are below us.
When we begin to glimpse who we are and how He created us with inherent value, we begin to live differently. He created us in His image so that we can honor/love Him first then we can also honor/love the image He places in each of us and live in harmony. But first we must learn how to see ourselves through His eyes and then we can ask Him to help us see others through His eyes as well. He looks at us on a horizontal plane, all seven and one half billion human beings on this planet now to say nothing of the millions that have ever lived and the unknowable multitudes that He has in mind in the future. He looks at us equally all at the same time. I don’t know how He does it but I accept that He is God, I’m not and He can help me to view from His vantage; point that makes my life better. So, my first step is to reject the lie straight from Hell, the view from the totem pole or ladder and choose to view myself and others through the eyes of Jesus.
So now as we move on to the right, we begin to see Adult Codependency develop (the primary symptom of not feeling valued). We experience that as a difficulty in appropriate levels of self esteem. It is normal in some settings to feel competent while in others we feel less than capable. What is not normal is feeling inadequate in all areas, all the time. This brings on the Related Problem/Secondary Symptom of negative control. We learn to manipulate, lie or behave in passive aggressive ways to compensate when we feel inadequate. We get a sense of powerlessness which we give in to and behave as though we were invisible. Or we blow ourselves up to larger than life, bulling anyone that gets in our way, using and abusing as many as we can as long as we look good and in control.
The reaction to that feeling of powerlessness comes out as negative control.
The goal in Recovery is to learn how to esteem the self from within.