The second interference to full empowerment is what I call “faulty lear ning.” Stop and think for a moment. Is this survival reflex is active in every person you meet? Your parents had it, so did your teachers and your politicians. Too often the adults in our lives and our culture as a whole gave us information that was distorted by a brain that was wired to react with fear. They were not able to give us the information and tools we needed because they were limited by their own fear-based reactions, causing much pain and suffering. The well-intentioned adults in our life did not mean for us to feel inadequate or ashamed because of how we look or how much money we have in the bank, nor did they want us to suffer so much from failed relationships. We had no way of knowing that many of our beliefs and our emotional reactions were the result of conditioning by important people in our lives who were themselves being triggered into fear responses.
All of our pitiful behavior patterns, our addictions, compulsions of sessions our depression and anxiety are all manifestations of this "faulty learning."
All of us want to be able to feel "lovable" and "worthy." What our culture doesn't teach us is that as young children is that how we learn to feel about ourselves is determined by our earliest interactions. Ideally, every infant would be treasured and cared for with love and appreciation and self-esteem would develop naturally. I’ve expressed this in the following simple equation;
I feel good =’s I am good
Here feeling good comes from feeling satiated because I’ve had enough to eat, feeling safe and content because I am held lovingly, because everybody in my home is loving and I absorb these good vibes etc.
Unfortunately, for most people the idea was not their reality.
So instead the equation goes like this;
“I feel badly (I am experiencing too much frustration or pain) =’s I am bad (unlovable or unworthy).
This feeling of wrongness, unworthiness is what fuels on our addictions, compulsions and obsessions, we are desperately trying to disprove that we are not fundamentally unlovable. Because these experiences happen so early in life, before we have developed the ability to think we have no memory of the experiences that made us feel unlovable.
As we mature we carry these feelings with us and then we look around in our families and in our culture to find out what qualities are admired and valued. It is our positive intent to undo the feelings of wrongness by attaining the qualities that our families and culture hold in high esteem. The problem is that these feelings of wrongness never came from anything intrinsically deficient in us. Because we couldn't understand that our parents had imperfections and limitations in terms of how they cared for us, our discomfort was misperceived as rejection.
I believe the epitome of this faulty learning was expressed by the Duchess of Windsor who said "you can never be too rich or too thin." Essentially what this translates into is that you can never be good enough.
So we starve ourselves, exercise to exhaustion, overwork robbing us of a decent quality of life obsessively trying to undo these feelings of wrongness. Why do we even have an expression like 24/7? I had two grandfather's that were labor union leaders who would be turning over in their graves to find that people were constantly attached to devices and working 24/7. They dedicated their lives to improving people's quality of life by cutting back on work hours.
This "faulty learning" is evidenced in our culture by the epidemic of eating disorders in women and girls, starting as early as the second grade and remaining prevalent amongst senior citizens. Our culture seduces us with unattainable models of physical perfection creating the illusion that we can feel the worthiness we so desire through physical beauty. This faulty learning not only moves us in the wrong direction but robs us of the good information and wisdom we need to learn how to truly feel good about ourselves and become fulfilled compassionate human beings we are meant to be.
Yet so many of us suffer because we were conditioned to feel we had to live up to unrealistic expectations, while simultaneously being deprived of learning how to attain true joy and happiness. All we have to do is look around us at our celebrities, athletes, politicians etc. and we can see that this model of either big wallets or big muscles or transient beauty never did fulfill the promise of well-being we are seeking.
For me, another example of faulty learning is the misconception that power comes from independence. Americans suffer from what I call the "cowboy mentality" the believe that strength is measured by an irrational sense of self-reliance. Fundamentally, will total independence is an unattainable goal. This false model of strength is out of sync with our true nature which is to be connected, compassionate and interdependent. We need to be taught a truly empowering model of interdependence-amount of allows for appropriate support-support that is empowering because it strengthens our sense of connection while antidote in the stressful and impossible striving for perfection that always leads to failure in isolation. Human beings need a rhythm of autonomy and connection in order to function at their best but our culture sends us confusing messages that distort our need for support, seeing this need is making us either weak or "needy." When we use a model of interdependence, we get pleasure and are powered by both giving and receiving support.
If you want to change any behavior that is causing you pain or discomfort remember that due to faulty learning you didn’t get the tools you needed to live a more fulfilled life. Instead of blaming yourself try to find a mentor, teacher therapist etc. that you admire so that you can replace the faulty learning with learning that will allow you to fulfill your desire for mastery.
I know how important support has been in my own transformation and I want to support you in any way that I can. I have worked with people all over the world and can be available in person, on the phone or through Skype. Please check out my website helenkramer.com I have written a number of blogs to give you more tools for liberation and fulfillment. Please feel free to contact me here.
I would like to share with you some other blogs and videos with important tools for transformation.
How to Achieve Wisdom and Overcome Faulty Learning
How to Transform Emotional Dyslexia and Become Empowered
The Power of Compassion - The Most Important Tool for Empowerment
How to Transform Emotional Dyslexia and Become Empowe