Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Identity System

Dang, I'm hungry already. Oooh, sorry. Thinking out loud. So, the Identity System. The following comes from Stanley Block's book, "Come To Your Senses" and I think it is going to be an instrumental tool for me in managing my life with a child with ADHD - well, life in general that really is just a rollercoaster: 

"In itself, the Identity System is not the problem. The problem comes when it becomes dominant, preventing the ideal interplay between separation (the Identity System) and union (the Source - whatever your idea of a higher power may be). The Identity System is helpful only up to the point where development of your self becomes rigid and exclusive - when your IS story is all that you are, all that you can be, and when you do not know how to rest it. Whenever it is overactive, it restricts awareness, creates fear and disrupts the harmony and balance of the mind-body connection. This false and limited vision impairs not only how you experience yourself but your activities as well, reducing you to being only as good as your last thought. But this is of course a fallacy. All thoughts are merely the result of a brain cell secreting a neurotransmitter. Getting to know your IS and its operations is essential to freeing you from self-limiting thoughts.

Your IS is based on specific thoughts that I call requirements. These requirements reinforce the damaged self (a dysfunctional state of the body-mind) and dictate how you should be and how the world should be at each moment. Whenever you feel that these requirements are unfulfilled, you experience the symptoms of an activated IS - tension, fear and phsyical distress. Because they are manifestations of a damaged self, your IS requirements cause you to fruitlessly expend energy trying to satisty them. Here's a brief example of requirements and how they bring a person down:

Isabella, a sales clerk in a boutique, would go home irritated, exhausted and resentful after listening to a day's worth of gossip from her co-workers and the demands of her customers. After several weeks of following the techniques described in this book, she noticed an effortless change in the way she viewed her work. When co-workers gossiped, she would smile to herself, aware now that she had the requirment that people shouldn't gossip. She no longer allowed their actions to dictate her reactions, and instead she focused her attention on her work. When customers were demanding and irritable, she recognized that she had an unrealistic expectation that she would be able to make every customer happy. Once she recognized this thought, she was able to let it go. Free from that thought, she simply did her best." (2-4)

A requirement is "simply a thought of how we and the world should be at any moment." By definition, it cannot be met.

For me, recognizing the requirements that Preston should be good regularly, Braeden should listen, the kids should be quiet, the kids should always know what to do with themselves, that I should always be patient and perfectly calm, and bridging to keep me in my natural state so I can call on my wisdom is what is going to help ME turn things around. Mapping - which he explains in his book - along with bridging (listening to the sound of the air conditioner/furnace, a ceiling fan, the fridge, water running, feeling the fabric of my clothes) brings me into the moment and helps me rest my Identity System.

This is all about me. When Preston has a bad day, I have a bad day and with the fact that there are more bad days than good with this little boy, I cannot hang my happiness on whether or not he has a good or bad day. I have to be me, I have to be happy for me. And since he is such an unhappy little bugger, I'll just tell him that I'm happy enough for the both of us because I love him and that makes me happy.

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