Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Living Authentically and Creatively

As already explained, in this transcendental and humanistic reality every single human being is of equal inherent worth (like the Friends, UU, and other hopeful worldviews espouse).
(See previous blog article.)

Step A:
Be aware that everyone of us is complex, a multi-part person. The more aware we are of life, others, and ourselves, the more authentically and creatively we can live, moment by moment.

We humans have at least 3 parts, 3 ego states*, that of--

#1 TAUGHT Part of I (how our parents or guardians raised us in the past, their rules, behavior, and attitudes)

#2 FEEL Part of I (especially how we felt and experienced life as a kid naturally and how we react now to our "internal parent," too, and how we feel spontaneously)

#3 THINK Part of I (how we operate using our reason, awareness, ethics, and sense-of-life to make rational, thoughtful, and smart decisions; our inner computer)

Often there is conflict between all 3 parts of us.

To live authentically, is to let our rational self decide each time our feelings and our internal “taught” get in a disagreement.

Also, keep in mind a very key point:
Remember, you are all 3 ego states/parts! All 3 are important, but your FEELings part--your inner you--is probably the most important.

You cannot do away with your inner you in yourself. Besides, your FEELings
are the most fun and the most creative.
It's your THINKing's job to help meet your inner you's needs, hopes, and dreams without getting into trouble.

It's your TAUGHT'S job to treat your FEELings, your inner you, with respect and love and to provide your THINKing reasoning part with data from human civilization's past, so you can consider, reflect on, and make decisions about each future action.

Here's a bad example of what not to say:

FEELING: "Someday I'm going to be rich."

TAUGHT: "Money isn't everything. Look how it burns a hole in your pocket. You may end up on welfare."

Or take this very real life event:

Let’s say we got to sleep very late last night because we had company—our relatives—for the weekend.
Now it’s 5:30 am and we need to get up, we are so tired, and don’t FEEL like getting up.

#3 If we let our FEEL rule, of course, we’ll be late for work.

#2 If we let our TAUGHT rule, we’ll get up, but probably will be grumpy, maybe even complain like we did (if we did) when we were kids and our parents had to get us out of bed for school. So, we may gripe or grumble as we drive to work. (Not that this is a huge misstep, it’s just a minor example of how our ego states work.)

#2 If we let our THINK operate, we can be aware of our tiredness, but be thankful that we had such a great time the night before,
give ourselves a few seconds to energize,
and then get up and be thankful for a new day.
(A little caffeine will help, probably.)

Living rationally and thoughtfully:-)

But it can get more complicated when our 3 parts meet the 3 parts of another person at work, and far more complicated with other persons (and their ego states), too---when all of us get combined in a group situation.

If other individuals for why-ever, let their TAUGHT or FEEL predominate and direct actions, it is very easy for there to be multi-person conflict.

For example:

If the manager is having a trying time with his teenage daughter or his elderly parent suffering dementia, and he is under a lot of pressure from higher-ups to speed up production, he may be tempted to order everyone to work harder,
but not say so in a moderate, rational tone from his THINK,
but switch to his TAUGHT,
glaring at anyone who takes an extra moment at the coffee machine.

If so, then 6, 9, 12, or even 90 different ego states can get in a brief verbal tussle.

What if I got up grumpy?

I’m going for an extra cup of coffee, wishing I wasn’t at work.
Why didn’t I call in sick, or take a vacation day?

Our manager rushes by and orders me back to my desk.

If I am not THINKing clearly, I may make a negative remark to him, or after he leaves, complain to my work group—
“What’s with Uptight-Joe this morning?!”


Listen closely—as an observer—of yourself and others and you will even be able to hear others or voices within your head say thing like this:

#1 TAUGHT: “You must.” “Don’t raise your voice.” “You listen to me.” “If you do that again…” “You can’t trust_____(Fill in blank-- police, women, workers, bosses, politicians, minorities, bankers, etc.)

#2 FEEL: “Wow, such fun!” I want it now!” “Try and make me.” Or “Why doesn’t my father like me?”

#3 THINK: “Hmm, I see the way that works.” What if we added this new method?” “How does one code that into his computer?” “What is the best way to make sure that everyone is treated fairly?”

Consider this brief story:
A young teen--after he attacked an elderly man and stole his wallet--
when caught, admitted, “I knew taking another person’s possession is wrong because it’s unfair;
yes, I shouldn’t have ever taken his wallet;
but I wanted some money now.”

Figure out which phrase is THINK, which is TAUGHT, and which is FEEL.

To be continued--

In the LIGHT,

Daniel Wilcox

*Adapted from Transactional Analysis.
See Introduce Yourself to Transactional Analysis by Paul McCormick and Leonard Campos,
Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of TA
and What Do You Say After You Say Hello?
by Eric Berne, psychiatrist and developer of TA

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