When we were children, we had no inhibitions. Our spontaneity was a result of not having any inhibition responses (fears) conditioned into us to block our neuropathways. Intimidations and invalidations from others are the primary ways these inhibitions were implanted.
While it may have been useful to yell at a child if they were running out into the road to prevent them from getting hit by a car, it is absolutely dysfunctional to use this method to impose our will upon children. Children are not meant to become like us. They are meant to become like themselves. We are merely role models they may choose to mimic. Taking away a child’s freedom of expression and ability to become who and what they want in life is taking away their soul.
Inhibitions prevent the free flowing of life. When we get yelled at for doing things, our emotional system becomes “jammed” with fear. The next time we go to do something like it, this fear resurfaces. And this goes on and on. The more inhibited (invalidated) we were as children, the less expressive, creative, and productive we will become as adults. Not only that, but we become more prone to neurosis, compulsion, addiction, depression, and other emotional disorders.
The following simple fact is common sense and is the way our emotions work:
More fear – less expression.
Less fear – more expression.
The elimination of fear therefore is key in our recovery. We need to somehow work through our inhibitions by taking risks to defy them. This often goes against everything we’ve been taught as children so it is not surprising to feel paralyzed with fear when taking risks to do this. The basic fears are of being punished or abandoned by authority figures when we were children. We fear for our survival or against being perceived as “bad” for being rebellious – especially if we were raised to believe in a condemning, judgmental God. It was a cardinal “sin” to defy your elders when we were children but this is exactly what we need to do as adults if we are ever to gain our freedom. The 4th commandment insisting we “Honor our Father and our Mother” was reinterpreted to mean that we should allow them to abuse us as well. It’s impossible to honor anyone who unjustly imposes their will upon you. How can you honor anyone you fear? Abuse is not honorable.
Learning to stand up to intimidators is key if we are to gain back our power. They will try their relentlessly to get you to submit to them because they want your submission. For you to break free of their domination means they will no longer have control over you so you can expect they will try everything in their power to prevent you from breaking free.
Those who want to maintain control over us often use the following invalidations when we try to take back our power:
- “Who do you think you are?” - The real question is who do they think they are to demand you turn over your free will over to them? Even God doesn’t take away our free will. What makes them think it’s ok for them to?
- “You have a problem with authority figures.” – What we really have a problem with is abusive authority figures who think they have a right to impose their will upon us. We should have a problem with abusive people!
- “You’re being insubordinate.” – Anyone who thinks they have the right to make you subordinate in the first place is playing God. What they are really insisting is that you become their slave. Slavery is outlawed in this country.
- “If you refuse to _________ I’ll _____________.” (threats/blackmail). – Threats are the “big guns” they pull out when intimidation doesn’t work. If you allow them to hold you hostage with their threats you will never break free and will remain enslaved by them.
- “You’re being defiant.” – Enslavement requires defiance because enslavement is injust.
The power we submit to others – especially bosses and partners, needs to be reclaimed if we are to re-empower ourselves. We have to drop the belief that it is “shameful” to be “insubordinate” and refuse to allow others’ criticisms and judgments to affect us and crumble our self-esteem.
The biggest lie we’ve been taught to believe is that of “authority” – that others have the right to impose their will upon us. The only time others should be allowed to do this is if we ourselves are imposing our wills upon someone else. Authority is not license to unjustly impose – it is the right to protect people’s freedom and to serve.
The argument will be raised that authority was only trying to instill “morals” into us. The problem with this is that you cannot INSTILL morality. Morality needs to be understood to be integrated – it cannot be forced into us. We have to understand morality/virtue/justice in our hearts. Any attempt to force morality through fear doesn’t result in integration of morality. It results in the integration of fear. The method is dysfunctional and ineffective. We may act like we have morals/virtue/justice but these are only facades we wear because we are afraid of the consequences if we don’t do as others insist. True virtue emanates from integrated Truth. It is not something we wear like a mask. To appear virtuous is only to be deceptive by trying to get others to believe we are something we are not. To be virtuous requires understanding the value of virtue in your heart.