THE SEVEN STEPS
BOOKS & ARTICLES
Emotional self-integration (ESI)
The practice of psychological balance
1. The first principle is dont try to change yourself. By trying to change yourself, one part is always set against the other. A dominant part is not satisfied with the other, usually the opposite. For instance, the pusher" inside of you thoroughly hates the good-for-nothing", hence will try to re-educate this disturbing element". However, one part fighting the other, isnt exactly where you were waiting for? Because wasnt this your suffering from the very beginning after all? Immediately after birth - or even before - your parents had an expectation about how you should become". In fact, very few children are accepted exactly the way they are. You always have to become "somebody else". Not the one you are, but how they hope you are going to be, has been engraved in you from the very start. It is (was) one of the causes of your (later) suffering.
2. The reason why I am "against change" is that it is not the way to bring about wholeness. The ambition to change yourself, only makes the problem bigger. People, who want to change themselves, lack self-acceptance, the only thing that could really heal them. So e.g. no "spiritual" fights against the "ego" anymore, one of toady's most popular self-tortures. Free yourself from this spiritual" idealism, which in fact is the latest variation of the old guilt and sin complex - old wine in new bags - a new self-hatred indeed. No, in order to be whole, you have to become open to all those parts, which for some reason or another were once rejected: your fear, pain, anger and ugliness", together with - as a consequence of - all kinds of early conclusions, which from then on have been dominating your life. Once consciously and lovingly accepting yourself, lots of things will be spontaneously and miraculously changing!
3. Step number two in your self-healing is to consider all "disturbances", problems, emotions, conflicts, obsessions and suffering not as you, but as parts of yourself, which once - mostly at the start of your life - were denied, excluded, rejected or suppressed. It will be a great relief to you to realize, that you are not your negativity"- with all its effects: feeling guilty, inferiority complex, selfishness, spiritual" ambition - but that it is only part of you. You have it, rather than being it. Realizing this, you can handle them better, because they dont push you down anymore. As a child you couldnt cope with them, usually because you felt too much risk by expressing, showing or even feeling them. At childhood you are completely helpless, you depend entirely on your parents (environment). Hence, any risk is a survival matter. However, now this survival situation is no more there, you can open yourself up to it, without any risk.
4. Step number three is to confirm, that the disturbing emotion is there. "Okay, this part of me does feel irritated". To acknowledge the fact, is where it is all about. Usually your reflexes automatically fight any unwelcome emotion immediately after it has come up, or even before. You are not aware of it and yet this is happening hundreds of times a day. This keeping down" takes enormous amounts of energy. It causes lots of stress. Therefore a simple confirmation is a big relief. When a sigh comes up, it means that the emotion was (is) very deep indeed.
5. Step number four is giving the emotion - the part - every space it needs. You do it, by consciously identifying with the part. Is there an irritation, then - after you have recognized it as a part of yourself - you subsequently become it? E.g. yes, this morning, when I woke up, I was so fed up with Jack. I feel so neglected by him. And this goes on already for such a long time" etc. For a while - 5 to 15 minutes - you let the part talk, while totally identifying yourself with it. You will be surprised: the part has so many things to tell (to you). To give the emotion every space it needs may not be always easy. To feel the pain, the anger, the fear or the suppressed lust for life is not always easy. However, if you feel the urge to cry, shout, move or fight, you cry, shout, move and fight.
6. The fifth principle. What is crucial at this stage is, that you let your emotion make a shift from the present to the past. If youre angry with your wife, drop focusing on your wife, but imagine being that small child you once were. Replace the image by that of your mother, your aunt or your teacher from that long time ago. If you feel pain because of something, you imagine being that very small child you once were, feeling that pain. And dont make a mistake, those emotions are usually not childlike". To the contrary, they are mostly unobstructed and enraged. Express the emotions of that particular child, while simultaneously remaining the observer. You let go, while staying in control.
you can only "let go", what has been accepted first
7. The sixth principle. In this stage, it is very important that you try to express yourself the same moment the emotion comes up. In daily life this could be difficult sometimes, since you are mostly busy and in company. The reason is, that only in that particular moment your system is ready to express the emotion, and a real release could take place. Everything inside is co-operating with it; hence you should not miss the opportunity. Do not wait until the evening, when you have more time". So you apologize to the people youre with and go to your sleeping room, to give space to the part, the talking, the crying, and the anger. You may "strangle the pillow". The second rule is that you always do the things alone. In all these stages, you never involve anybody else in it.
8. Step number seven is to step back from your identification with the part, by identifying with the conscious self - the reflection - again. Note: only if in the previous stage you have given all space to the emotion. Reflection always comes after the (full) experience. You now have changed your inner position from the part to the whole again. From here you look at the part, reflecting about what just happened. Now, there appears to be an inner distance between you and your part. Hence, you are in a position of overview and insight. You now try to look at it from the perspective of interpretation. Before, you were identified with the emotion, now you are here and the emotion is there". You are now able to understand the meaning of what has happened, you interpret and comment on it. For instance, you recognize the pain, the anxiety or the fear from the past. You understand that at that time, these parts were too painful to become integrated. Sometimes great insight is born a real breakthrough indeed. Suddenly you see the connection", the origin of your pain. Often early childhood conclusions appear to be the root of it all: they didnt love me", I have to survive" or feeling is dangerous", I am loosing control", they trapped me" or nobody can be trusted", may have been a conditioning context for many of your later experiences in life. Recognizing them will free you from your inner prison.
9. The eighths step is the embracing. Once you have given space to the emotion, with the subsequent reflection, you are welcoming it as a part of yourself, as the child which has come home, the son that was lost". This special child, this alienated part which suffered so much because it wasnt allowed to be part of the whole for a lifetime! It is important to embrace your emotion "physically", e.g. visualizing yourself as a mother embracing her child that was lost. Feel it at your chest, at your alive, open and loving Heart. Celebrate it as a real homecoming. And this again and again. The miracle is this: once you lovingly accept your inner child it will - step by step - loose its negative" character. It is like a child stopping crying, once the mother has taken it on her lap. Last but not least, by loving yourself, you will become aware of the Source of Love: your Self. Be silently in this Source for a while.
I am in love with my Self
10. Finally. Chronic disease very is often closely knit with your dominant psychological pattern, your I". The advice be the one you were never allowed to be", therefore can do miracles. By identifying yourself with the opposite pole, turning everything upside down, to really carry out all the secret desires, frustrations, the things of which you were dreaming as a child, you are withdrawing all the existing psychological feeding to the disease, the reason why the latter may disappear instantly. Note: actors, people, who change roles frequently, usually become very old. But also in normal situations, the emotion is sometimes very much linked to parts of your body. For instance, if you feel your stomach, put your hands on that particular part and keep feeling it during the entire exercise. Include this part in your final embrace. After having finished it, you sometimes may feel the need of painting, the creative expression of your experience. Or sometimes you would like to do a role-play. Or sometimes you would like to tell somebody about it. Do all things as you prefer, but only after you have completed the last step. To avoid projection, talk to a neutral -empathic - person first. Then secondly you talk to your partner.
ESI is the creative
interaction of awareness, your reflection and the
© 2000 Copyright by Han M. Stiekema. All
Last updating: 08/10/12