Most likely, the reason you suffer as an adult is because suffering was an acceptable method of expressing your feelings, or more accurately, a method of “stuffing” your real feelings, in your family of origin. This week you will explore some of the childhood origins of your suffery behavior. Again, Levin’s Think Structure (Cycles of Power) will be used as the tool to help you organize your thinking.
(The Think Structure process is taught in the previous lesson.)
Situation: As an adult, I have trouble saying “NO”. I will think about what happened when I said “NO” as a two-year-old and nine-year-old child.
Situation: As an adult, I have trouble asking for what I want. I will think about what happened when I asked for what I wanted as an infant and a 14 year-old child.
When you explore how your adult behaviors relate to your childhood, it would be helpful for you to look at one behavior over a variety of ages. In each of the examples below I ask you to look at an issue for two different ages. Fill in the blanks to come up with your own think structures.
Practice Exercise 1
Practice Exercise 2
During the rest of the week, complete Think Structures for some of the adult behaviors you worked on in Practice Exercise 3 in the previous lesson. Explore two childhood ages for each Think Structure. (Ages that tend to be particularly good to reflect on are infant, 2, 5, 9, 14 and 17.)
You may need to change the way you described the adult behavior in Practice Exercise 3 in the previous lesson, so that it becomes a childhood behavior. For example, if your adult behavior was “leave work early”, the child behavior might be “do what I want to do.”
See you next Monday for the sixth lesson.
To find the lessons in this series that have already been published click here.