Before all this happened I had no idea why I did certain things. “Why do I _________?” Why do you _______? Fill in the blank:
-Chew my fingernails
-Pull my hair out
-Compulsively earn money, then compulsively lose all of it by doing something really stupid
-Feel this surge of uncontrollable rage every time someone disagrees with me
-Start drinking shortly after noon every day
-Have this sex / porn addiction
-Destroy every promising relationship I ever get into
-Compulsively eat or binge or both (food… pleasure…. money….)
-Believe that I’m not worthy unless I _____ (and a whole ‘nother set of fill-in-the-blanks)
All this self destructive behavior hurts other people too. Plus they’ve got their own destructive behavior and it hurts you. Now if you can’t even figure out how to fix yourself, how are you ever gonna fix them?
(And to add insult to injury… what if you believe your own self destructive behavior is THEIR fault, and you can’t change unless they change first?)
Like I said in part 3, I tried a LOT of stuff.
It took many months, several years actually, before I really started to understand what was going on.
Here’s my take on what’s really going on.
*Something* happened to you. That something could have been really big and horrible and traumatic. Or…. it might be something that seems pretty minor now.
Whatever it was, you got wounded.
Now some of your software is broken and you’ve got this hole that you’re always trying to fill.
It’s like a little suction tube that’s always making this sucking sound, it’s always hungry, and it’s never satisfied.
Even when you shove big expensive objects in that tube, it’s still not satisfied.
Well guess what, shoving more stuff in the tube ain’t gonna fix ya.
Let’s talk about your wound.
The real wound isn’t what happened to you. Even if it was your alcoholic dad clubbing you with a stick, that’s not the real wound.
The real wound is THE LIE YOU BELIEVED ABOUT YOURSELF AND ABOUT GOD AND ABOUT THE WORLD when dad clubbed you with a stick.
Emotional wounds, at their roots, are lies. But the lies I’m talking about are much deeper than lies like “The earth is flat” or “At long last, we’ve finally found the superman politician who’s gonna solve all our problems.”
Those lies are external. Inner wound lies are lies about your IDENTITY. For whatever reason those lies cut to the core of who and what you are.
One of the lies I believed (and still believe sometimes) was:
“As long as I’m working I’m not a bad guy.”
Well… surely there must be an even deeper twist to that lie, something like, “When you are not working you ARE a bad guy! So get off your ass and PROVE yourself.”
The most natural, “normal” thing to do is jump on that treadmill and perform.
Hey – my dad often complained that I was lazy. Maybe I’ll get to that story sometime. But back then, neither he nor I understood that I was “entrepreneur lazy” not “sloth lazy.” He didn’t know the difference.
But his criticism got pounded in deep.
That lie sure didn’t do good things for my marriage, that’s for sure.
When you believe that lie, it doesn’t matter how hard you work or how much you achieve, you’re still afraid you’re a bad guy. Which makes success a pretty unrewarding achievement.
Actually it SUCKS because you say to yourself, “Hey wait a minute, I thought success was going to make me happy.”
Nope. Because there’s nothing in your software that gives you permission to feel happy with your work. Now your successful business is a squirrel cage that never stops demanding that you perform.
And if that doesn’t make you happy, you have no idea what could or would. You feel totally stymied.
How do you re-write your software?
Let’s just say none of the tools I possessed when this all started to boil over were up to the task.
In the next part I’ll start talking about the different approaches. What worked and why.
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