The Mathematics of Developing Your True Self/Getting Over the Subtraction Model with a Little Addition
The medical model in the Western world, of a necessity, developed itself into something of a subtraction equation. It says that if you have something like cholera or the plague and you get rid of it (subtract it), then everything will be peachy. If you were living with cholera in a town and then suddenly it is not there, it is absolutely true that you feel peachy for a time. What the equation doesn’t tell you, which should be obvious but usually is not, that if the conditions are ripe for disease, getting rid of the disease still leaves you in a condition that is ripe for more disease. I suppose that the reason that the reason the model couldn’t embrace the overhaul of the conditions that made things ripe for disease was that the culture was ruled by pretty greedy and powerful tyrants who really wouldn’t allow them. It is the problem with a show like the Biggest Loser, where people compete to lose weight as fast as they can and then get a large sum of money in the end for winning. People lose a huge amount of weight in a very short time period, but they do not change the conditions in the equation that caused them to gain excessive weight in the first place, which the research is showing pretty conclusively is related to trauma. They may feel great for a short period, even begin to change their image of themselves, but the condition that lead to overeating is never addressed. Are the conditions of greed and power still prevalent in the modern world that make it difficult to deal with the underlying conditions? Without a doubt.
Let’s say you have a person who is fearful of leaving his home, who stays in at all costs. So they go to a somatic healer or another fast approach and suddenly the fear goes away. They feel completely free to walk outside and start doing great things. This is a great formula. Win-win. Right? Maybe not. So now the fear is gone, but what about the world out there where the fear was created in the first place. Does the elimination of the fear prepare the person to deal with the world out there now they are not so hyper-vigilant? This is the same you who developed the fear in the first place minus the fear. What I have found in my work is that, while the approaches of fear elimination have accelerated as have weight loss programs, the work with building the self who can deal with the world out there has seemed to lag way far behind.
It is so obvious in many health conditions like heart disease or type 2 diabetes. We can get surgery for heart problems that restores the functions of heart, but who is dealing with the person who created the heart problems. If the person does not have an addition model to the health treatment, then it is just a matter of time before something else happens. Who is the self inside that lives an unhealthy lifestyle? The big gains in health only begin when you address the person having the unhealthy lifestyle. It requires a change of who the person is. The problem with our model is that it asks the “what” questions like what is wrong, but it doesn’t ask the who questions. “Who” in there is causing all this mess? Maybe the subtraction model can get an alcoholic to stop drinking, but it doesn’t address whoever the person is that began all of the drinking as a way to cope with life in the first place.
Changing who you are is not as big of a deal as you may think. If you can eliminate a fear response quickly in a person, which you can, then you can also add a new self. The place to start is by answering the question of who were you supposed to be before the adaptive self was created. The answer to who you were supposed to be always lies in the fear. This is why you have to be careful about eliminating the fear too early. Once you answer the who question, then the fast elimination approach is excellent. Indeed, the fear tends to walk away on its own. You can take the example of the person who is fearful of leaving their house because they are fearful that something bad is going to happen. Who is the person supposed to be before the fear began? This person is the person that makes good things happen. This is who they were supposed to become, but whatever trauma or experiences happened to them caused them to adapt into a person who hides in their house. It is a BIG DEAL knowing that who you are is the person that makes good things happen. What about the alcoholic who takes to drinking as a way of dealing with the fear of being rejected by others? That person is the person who accepts others unconditionally. They probably have other identities, but knowing that this is who you are supposed to be and beginning to be that person will make a huge impact on the world. The subtraction model is a safer model for a lot of people because anyone who finds out who they are truly by examining their fears automatically becomes a threat to the current structure.
The fear keeps you from becoming the person you were meant to become. It is as if it puts blinders on the true self. Just eliminating the fear does not guarantee that the true self is going to be discovered. The true self is opposite to the fear and it always acts in a beneficial way in the world. It is always a higher self doing positive things to bring about positive change. EMDR, somatic therapy, and NLP all have fast methods for eliminating fear, but what does it do to a war veteran. A person goes to war, is under intense hyper-vigilance always in a state of the fear of being killed. So they go to an EMDR clinician and the fear and hyper-vigilance go away. What did they miss? What they missed was that embedded in the fear was a part of themselves that they were supposed to become, but now are going to put aside. Who they were supposed to be is a person who creates peace in the world. It is as obvious as the midday sun. A person who goes to war knows its horrors. The reason they are traumatized is because war is essentially immoral. After the fear goes away, then the real therapy begins. How do I become a person that creates peace in the world? It is so much more therapeutically complex than the elimination of PTSD. How do you actively participate in a process that brings together a Jew and a Muslim?
If you are person who has been overpowered by abuse, it means that you are supposed to help those who have been overpowered to become empowered in a positive way.