Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 9:53 AM
I have been thinking a lot this week about first principles - about
people's basic needs - their basic fears - and the sources of each of our
individual arrested development issues. My meditation Saturday morning was
about abandonment, and issues around issues of abandonment. I
have done no web-searching on this subject, just soul-searching.
The word was dropped into my lap
at breakfast, almost out of the blue, in a context unrelated to the life of
anyone I knew and its impact almost knocked me onto the floor. The conversation
ended while it echoed in my head. I had to sit and ponder. I do not
believe that I "thrashed" for even a second of the next 20 minutes.
Consider "abandonment" as a
primary driver. Obviously, it does not have to be (and is not likely to be)
anyones only driver. But it is or certainly can be a biggie.
I suggest that we define the core
abandonment avoidance goal as "I will never let that happen to me again."
This presents a fundamental problem, a paradox. Insulation from abandonment
requires that we maintain an emotional vacuum around us: and in that vacuum we find our hearts
Unavoidable abandonments =
death or loss of the beloved. This and all other forms can ONLY be avoided
through the path of "no beloved" A.K.A. "no woman - no cry". But
this does not provide a path out of the paradox, and people tend to try to
evade the recognition of paradoxes through devious behavior mechanisms
rather than confront them.
We play "cops and robbers" and try to outwit the
bears, and keep the bill-collectors at bay, and pile lies on lies with our
lovers and ourselves, and find ourselves on our death-beds still trying to
outmaneuver the demons that are following us.
Let us call these devious behaviour
mechanisms "avoidance strategies" or
A key and effective avoidance
strategy can be "Preemptive abandonment" - you are always prepared to leave
first. Always have a bag packed and a foot out the door. Always have a new
puppy started before the old dog dies. Always be flirting - looking for a new
sweetie. Always be running off to start the next adventure of running away
from the last crisis.
Here are some other tactics to implement a
preemptive abandonment strategy:
1. Never make real plans
2. Develop dependencies in others using
partial-reinforcement schedule: give a little reward sometimes - but not every
3. Keep that heart-guard up
fill in the blanks - there are plenty of others ...
This all seems to refine the description of the
emotional space that we have been
What do you think?