I had an "ah hah" !!!

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 starving.

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 "coping strategies".

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 or commitments
2.    Develop dependencies in others using partial-reinforcement schedule: give a little reward sometimes - but not every time.
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 exploring.

What do you think?

Link to a list of other journal entries