Break the [wounds + unawareness] cycle!
Lesson 8 of 8 - protect your family and alert others to the cycle

Opportunity

Help Others Break the Cycle! p. 1 of 2

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW Member NSRC Experts Council

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The Web address of this two-page article is http://sfhelp.org/alert/options.htm

This and related articles include links to informational popups, so please turn off your browser's pop-up blocker or accept popups from this nonprofit, ad-free Web site.

This self-study course offers a practical way to break the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle and improve your wholistic health. This article proposes how Self-guided people can alert others to the cycle and the benefits of breaking it. It assumes you're familiar with...

  • the introduction to this nonprofit Web site and the premises underlying it.

  • self-study Lessons 1 thru 8

  • the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle that may be stressing your family

  • this non-commercial 1" inspiration about you.

This article assumes your true Self usually guides your personality. If not, work on Lesson 1 rather than this one.

My professional research since 1979 suggests that an epidemic personal and family stressor is widespread lack of knowledge about...

  • why and how to identify personality subselves and reduce psychological wounds;

  • how to think, communicate, and problem-solve effectively;

  • bonding, losses, and healthy grief;

  • high-nurturance relationships and families; and...

  • kids' normal and special needs, and effective parenting.

Without knowledge of all these elements, the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle passes down your generations and spreads in our society. To see if you are unaware, get undistracted and take these quizzes. Then imagine how all other adults in your family and their ancestors would do with the quizzes. Then imagine how many average women and men could describe the main ideas in this course, and what these ideas mean to average people and families .

If you've studied Lessons 1 thru 6 or 7 thoroly and your Self usually guides you, you have four major opportunities:

  • continue to intentionally reduce your psychological wounds, and let others learn on their own about how the [wounds + unawareness] cycle is affecting them and any dependent kids; and also...

  • assess your family's nurturance level (low to high), and alert your family members and friends to the cycle, its effects, and how to break it; and you can...

  • alert people in your workplace, church, community, or region about the cycle, its effects, and how to break it; and...

  • alert people in relevant national organizations, including profession associations and legislators.

Ponder this adage: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the (toxic cycle) problem."

Prepare

All living things - including you - have the potential to grow into "all they can be" if their environment allow that. For example, every new acorn is potentially a flourishing oak tree, contributing to the planet - if it gets enough moisture, sunlight, warmth, nutrients, and protection from disease and predators. Every fetus has the potential to become a Grown Nurtured Child if s/he is raised in a high-nurturance environ-ment by healthy, aware caregivers.

Cultural ignorance and denial now allow the pervasive [wounds + unawareness] cycle to relentlessly stunt the environment of most kids. This is breeding a nation (or planet?) of Grown Wounded Children (GWCs) who will never become "full oak trees." This tragedy will relentlessly expand until enlightened pe-ople proactively stop it. Once you grasp the nature and effects of the cycle, you become "enlightened."

If you choose to alert others to some or all of the topics above, you'll probably face others' "resis-tance" to changing their beliefs and habits - specially to accepting the alien ideas of personality subsel-ves and false-self wounds. The first step in overcoming this resistance is experiencing the significant be-nefits of applying these topics in your own life and family. Then you can speak with conviction and enthu-siasm to others about breaking the [wounds + unawareness] cycle.

See this article for practical response-options to (false-self) denial, indifference, fear, skepticism, and disbelief. Keep your perspective - the real payoff for trying to alert others to the cycle is earning self-respect, not "saving" other people.

Pause, breathe, and meditate on the four options above. Which, if any, interests you? Why? If none do, suspect that a false self controls you. If so, defer reading this, and focus on Lesson 1. The rest of this article assumes (a) you clearly understand the [wounds + unawareness] cycle and its effects, and (b) you've made significant progress on being guided by your true Self and Higher Power.

Let's briefly explore each of the four options above...

Option 1) Alert Family and Friends

Pause, breathe, and imagine standing in a semicircle of all the adults and kids you care the most for - including any you feel unable to connect with. Imagine getting their attention, and saying something like...

"I care about each of you. I'd like to pass on something to you that will empower you to overcome most problems you face, and to live up to your highest potential as a valuable, unique person. There are no strings attached to this priceless gift. If you'd like to hear more, please stay. Otherwise, please leave now."

Notice who stays and who leaves. How do you feel about that? Now imagine the semicircle to swell into a throng which includes the great fan of future kids that will descend from these special adults and chil-dren. When everyone is ready, say the Gestalt Prayer. Say it out loud now, and notice what you feel and think.

Now you're ready to alert these living people to the [wounds + unawareness] cycle, its effects, and how to break it. Experience this vision as long a you wish. Then come back into the here-and-now and notice your thoughts and feelings.

Though you probably can't convene such a group in real life, you can alert some or most of the adults to the topics in this Web site.

The first two steps in preventing the toxic effects of the [wounds + ignorance] cycle in your family and society are...

learn key new information on family nurturance, personalities and psychological wounding, and effective communication and grieving. Then...

experience applying your knowledge to yourself and your family.

The last step is to...

Step 3) Alert Others to What You've Learned

If you've ever committed to reduce some social problem, you know that the first steps are believing (a) in a vision, and (b) that your efforts to bring the vision to life really count. So to help reduce the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle eroding our culture and Earth, first...

Create a Vivid Vision

Imagine your neighborhood, church, social community, state, nation, or our world where...

Most kids (a) are raised to know and appreciate the subselves that govern their personality, and (b) are helped to harmonize their subselves by serene, aware parents and teachers who are guided by their own true Selves and Higher Power. And imagine...

Most people wanting to learn how to problem-solve effectively as partners, rather than fight, deny, blame, avoid, or flee. And imagine a region or world where ...

Most people are aware, motivated, and able to (a) help each other grieve life's inevitable losses (broken bonds), and to (b) avoid false-self alternatives like addictions, "depression," medication, numbness, illness, isolation, or "acting out." And envision...

Divorce dropping from ~50% to ~10%, without most of the other 90% being in denial or enduring daily misery.

Now imagine sitting in pleasant, quiet surroundings with an elderly person you care deeply about. It is a time for appreciation, regret, and goodbyes, because the person is close to death. S/He is your future self. Imagine having a heartfelt, honest conversation with your elderly self about the meaning, highlights, and regrets of your life.

Reminisce about what you dreamed (or didn't), and what you risked to realize your dreams. Imagine reflecting together on the people whose lives were benefited in some way by your talents, energy, passions, and risks. Imagine hearing "If only I..." How would you like that conversation to go?

Some day you really will have this conversation...

Reflect on the premise that every person - including you - has a unique talent and purpose for being alive. Can you think of a person who has identified their life purpose and steadily devoted their time and energy to it? Does the slogan "Be all you can be!" describe you now?

Psychologist Abraham Maslow called living "on purpose" self actualization. Psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi published an intriguing book about it called "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience"

Professional motivators suggest choosing to live each day from a thoughtful personal mission or vision statement. Recovery expert John Bradshaw observes that most of us are so habitually caught up in daily trivia and distractions that we should be called Human Doings rather than Human Beings. Social reformer John W. Gardner observed "By middle life, most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves." Is that your experience?

What are your inner voices (dominant subselves) saying now? Are they interested and inspired, or cynical, bored, and pessimistic? If the latter, it may be that they don't yet see any practical way of bringing your vision of a better world to life, or (your subselves) feel that trying to do so is too risky. If you're a hu-man-service professional on any level, skip to here. Otherwise, see what your subselves think about these options...

Pick a Target Group and a Goal

One of the priceless things that recovery from false-self wounds has taught me is to avoid blindly reducing complex situations to only two choices. Black-white (either - or) thinking by protective, insecure subselves is a common childhood strategy to avoid feeling overwhemed. Here, that manifests as seeing that your prevention vision has many options, vs. do it all (save the world) or do nothing.

So your next option is to evolve a version of your mission that seems do-able, and work toward it by (a) picking a group of people you want to affect, and (b) defining what you want to educate and inspire them on. For example, imagine motivating people in...

Target groups

  • your family and social circle, and/or...

  • your church, parish, or denomination, and/or...

  • one or more schools or school districts, and/or...

  • residents of your community, and/or...

  • some to all human-service professionals; and/or...

  • some or all 12-step, single-parent, jail inmates, or other group/s, and/or...

  • courting couples in your town, state, or country; and/or...

  • residents of your county, state, country, or continent; and/or...

  • a media population (e.g. news-paper, Web, or TV audience); and/or...

  • people who speak your language (e.g. English), and/or...

  • your co-workers, and/or profes-sion...

to learn about and apply one or more of these topics:

Prevention Topics

  • personality subselves, and false-self wounds and recovery;

  • communication basics, and/or one or more of the seven related skills - e.g. empathic listening;

  • why and how to develop personal and social awareness

  • healthy relationships (bonding), losses, (broken bonds) and effective grieving;

  • building high-nurturance families and organizations - i.e. why and how to break the [wounds + ignorance] cycle;

  • divorce prevention (healthy-marriage preparation);

  • stepfamily basics, realities, merger tasks, implications, and/or success guidelines;

  • kids' needs, and effective parenting

  • some of these questions and answers;

  • solutions to one or more of these com-mon family problems

  • This free eight-module re/marriage-preparation course

  • how to start and maintain an effective co-parent support group.

Notice how many choices you have! Now what are your inner voices saying? If you're working to manage major personal life problems or are controlled by a false self, your voices may be saying "Yes, but... ( various reasons you can't act to help people in your target group now, or ever)"

Once you have a tentative or clear view of your target group and prevention goal/s, your next stress-prevention option is to...

Pick a Time to Act

How mature (vs. old) are you? In his classic book Childhood and Society, psychiatrist Erik Erikson proposed that we all encounter eight developmental stages across our lives. He proposed that "passing" each stage required mastering prior stages. The seventh stage is "generativity... concern in establishing and guiding the next generation."

If Erik is right and you haven't yet reached your generativity stage, it may be too early for you to think about protecting existing and future kids from false-self wounding, unhappiness, illness, divorce, ineffective communication and grieving, and premature death. If so, your options include...

refer and/or pass a copy of this Web article on to someone you think might be inspired by it, and gain satisfaction from helping someone fill their needs for generativity; and/or...

save this article and your current vision, and review it at a future time to see if your genera-tivity stage has arrived, and/or...

disregard the topics above, because you already have a passion and life purpose that in-spires and satisfies you.

Continue stress-prevention step 3...

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Updated April 01, 2014