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Steven Ozanich Seeking the Grail

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Steve Ozanich, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Currently, the most common question people are asking me is if they need to un-Earth the "exact thing" that is causing their TMS symptoms. Probably not. Janette Barber touched on this in our interview but I didn't get to answer her in more detail. I'm not a professional therapist, all I know is how I've seen people heal from TMS, including myself--and I've been fortunate enough to have learned from TMS doctors over the years. For what it's worth...

    The answers to anything where the brain is involved are complex, and there's no single answer. If there was, there would be one type of therapy, the doctors and therapists would just say, "ok: x = 1, go do this...and do you have insurance?" The same is true for TMS healing, if there was a formula for success I could just tell everyone, "do this and this." But there isn't. Believe it or not this is good news.

    I have to know the person a little, listen to the very first words they say to me; see if they're going to resist the TMS diagnosis like many do, or if they're very physical in activity, or have had extreme separation trauma, etc. Even then, no 2 people seem to respond in the same fashion, so I try to get them to try something they feel might work because they're the ones who know inside what is wrong (Humanistic Psychology, Carl Rogers, et. al.). No one is a better therapist/healer than the individual himself. Sometimes, he just needs someone to tell his personal truth to--the way he sees things.

    When I was reading the collective works of Carl Jung I saw one thing that stuck with me; that the choice of analyst was far more important than the problem or method used. In other words, if the person feels good about the therapist they are more likely to resolve their problems, it didn't matter what technique was used. Jung also said that the majority of the problems people were coming to him with had never happened. The anxious ones were simply "readying." They were building castle walls for the next attack, a castle that also included a moat from which they could not escape.

    Yin anticipates as yang imprisons.

    So, if you find someone you can open up to that's critical. Everyone who lives has been hurt deeply in their past by someone. It's a part of life and growing and so unavoidable. Only the individual can make the decision on whether he or she feels the need to begin to express themselves to someone nonjudgmental, in order to heal, or to finally let go.

    It's also more important to understand "why" you need to repress than "what" you are repressing, and even then the lines get blurred. Most of the people in pain I've worked with, or communicated with worry they may have some dark buried incident that they can't face. This may be true for an extreme few but I doubt it is common. What they should be focusing on is the early circumstances that provided the makeup of their persona/screen. This happens early in life, and rapidly, the first time they are shamed, or guilted.

    So--very early on a situation arises, or a series of circumstances by which the individual has chosen to repress all self-expression in order to cope through the tension. This then becomes their modus operandi for life; the template with which they screen all future stressful events; the same one that worked first. That's why I used that Clancy McKenzie, quote in my book, "If a gazelle escapes the attack of a lion, the next time a lion attacks, it had better do exactly what it did to survive the first time. This mechanism helps us survive more often than not." Clancy Mac, MD

    The most common survival mechanism behind TMS is the non-expression, the internalization of anger along with deeper aspects of the self. Once it is learned early on to never talk back, never yell, never get angry, never show any emotion, and the person survived that day (escaped the lion), that method is the method for life. But this can change. This is great news.

    As tension rises later in life, and there is no escape route for the gazelle (the TMSer) the person still uses this internalization mechanism to cope, and internalization generates energy because it's never expressed away, i.e., released from the physical body. But he/she can't contain the rise in energy any longer..tick tick tick..the emotions keep piling up as the persona keeps it all inside trying to appear "perfect" and to fit in, to keep going, not make waves, go along, keep everyone happy--to cope... tick tick tick...the autonomic nervous system is frantically at work reducing this or increasing that to keep the person going...tick tick tick...must do good, must be responsible, must do what is right...must go on... must hide fear. Then suddenly there is a deep pain in the back or chest or feet and hands. The skin erupts, the shoulder weakens, the stomach burns, the neck spasms, the chest pounds, the eyes blur, the balance harder to maintain. This is the deeper self expressing itself since it can't with the tongue because it never learned how. The conscious mind will deceive but the unconscious doesn't know how.

    So pain is both a protective barrier as Dr. Sarno concluded, and a form of self-punishment to keep those darker thoughts from ever surfacing. This is not blaming the victim. The person has no idea there are darker thoughts present, and no idea they are using pain as a tool to survive (escape the lion). This all occurs outside of awareness and can be halted, with awareness. The yin-conscious chases the yang-unknown...

    The answer to whether you need to uncover the buried thoughts depends heavily on your level of disability, or intensity of chronicity, or even the number of symptom imperative shifts that you are willing to put up with. So, the medium length answer is "no" you don't have to dig up your past to heal, but I would recommend talking. If you can find a culprit to free, or stitch a deep wound, it's more likely you won't experience a shift in a symptom. But I've also seen a couple people in wheelchairs, unable to walk--disabled by pain, eventually heal without finding the root cause of their pain.

    This is because it's more important to just "realize" that there is repression occurring and also "why" it is occurring. It occurs to help people cope because survival happened the first time they needed to escape (keep parents happy, family together, get through kindergarten, pull the hearts together, not get eaten by a lion, etc). If they shut up (flee) they don't get hurt as badly, or so they "feel." They use pain to cope so that they can be "normal." But as Jung said, "Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you." There is no such thing as normal because everyone has a shadow, and so the very act of hiding behind normalcy is enraging because it stifles the inner expression; engendering something called perfectionism, which Dr. Sarno discovered was a main personality trait in his patients.

    It would be rare to have to feel your emotions or release your anger in order to heal, but you do need to pull your anger level down significantly. I recommended in my book to transform it through acceptance and recognition. But, a few people might need to release their anger, so it's nebulous.

    Now, if you're totally debilitated like the lady, Helen, who Dr. Sarno wrote about, you probably have something buried in your unconscious that needs exhumed. But that is very rare.

    Therapy = all good
    Therapy necessary = sometimes
    Need to feel buried emotions = rarely

    I hope that makes sense. It is such a concern of people calling and emailing me that I felt it needed addressed. People seem to feel they are even more deeply flawed if they journal and reflect and can't find out if they were beaten or abused. The inability to discover a severe trauma makes them worry more and angers them even further, on occasion making their TMS worse. They're searching for a holy grail in futility. These people are fine, their TMS simply shows how they are reacting to life, coping, surviving each day by using pain to keep them going. That's why I spent so much time on the Type T personality in my book.

    You can take 1 single event and get 2 different reactions, or physiologic responses, depending on the personalities of the 2 people involved. The non-Type T, or Type B person, gets a perfect A+ on her report card. She smiles and celebrates and enjoys the moment in joy. The Type T sees the A+ and reacts with worry. She thinks about how much work is ahead to repeat that grade, or if the teacher posted the wrong grade, or if the A offended anyone. One single event: 2 opposing reactions, 1 of joy, 1 of worry. The Type B learned early on to celebrate each moment of success, and the Type T learned to anticipate the problems that might follow it--Type B lives and Type T survives. The difference is in the mindfulness. One reacts in the moment, and the other to the past and future. One embraces, and 1 braces. The common denominator they both possess is a persona, or template, by which they filter life's events through. This can be altered through awareness.

    If you are digging up some pain in your past that's fine, do it, but beware of psycho-archeology. Don't keep digging for gold in an empty tomb. I've seen therapists keep people crying for months digging up their past, picking at the same things repeatedly. There's a time to dig and a time to put the shovel down and bask in the sunlight, thankful there is work to do, and problems--that really aren't that bad.

    The problems may still remain but if you can live a happy life relatively pain-free just let the past go and enjoy each moment. Anyone can make anyone cry if they dig hard enough. The difference, I believe, is in "the degree of anxiety" through depression/separation/isolation. Only the person knows when to start digging and when to stop. The analyst's job is to show him where to dig.

    Steve Ozanich

    PS I've been asking TMS sufferers if they had ever been chased by a lion; and so far so good. It appears that TMS is not caused by being chased or eaten by lions. This is even more good news, except for the lion of course--once again: 1 event, 2 different reactions, completely depending on perspective.
    ARCUser831, BruceMC, Mari and 20 others like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is such an interesting and insightful post that it begs for a similarly insightful response. Of course, being the perfectionist that I am, this has led me to pull out my copy of The Divided Mind and start rereading it, so it may take a while. ;) In the meantime, I encourage others to jump in or check out our book page on Steve's book, which is full of similarly moving and insightful information.

    Incidentally, we are planning a special drop in chat with Steve on October 6. Mark your calendars!
    intense50 likes this.
  3. kevinj

    kevinj New Member

    This is very interesting. I found that when I realized that I was repressing and that the pain was not real, I was able to get rid of the pain. But it kept coming back in different forms, and I would have to spend weeks or months getting rid of it again.

    It wasn't until I saw a TMS therapist and was able to get to the deeper stuff (in my case, the ability to feel anger when it came up) that I was able to get rid of the pain for good.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Steve, this sounds exactly like the strategy I adopted early on (around 6 years old) to deal with my alcoholic, rage-oholic, perfectionist, belittling, authoritarian, potentially violent dad. It became so ingrained in fact that it continued to keep me repressing and repressing my deeper feelings right up until my mother died when I was 50. No wonder that's why my TMS symptoms exploded six months later. Can still remember anytime I went anywhere with my late father - to a museum, art gallery, play or dance performance, or even out to a restaurant or fishing - being completely stiff, wooden and formulaic, doing everything in a structured, inhuman, perfect way (so as not to infuriate dad).

    I think what Dr. Sarno says about 'stressors' being counteracted by 'soothers' also applies to such mechanism of repression. As long as my late mother gave me approval and affection, it smoothed out my smoldering rage against my father. But when she disappeared from the picture, all that rage I'd successfully repressed throughout my childhood and even during my adult years, started rising to the surface. That's when my TMS pain symptoms manifested as a so-called 'herniated disk'.

    This psychological mechanism of repression not only "can change", it must change if you're going to survive as a whole person!
    zclesa, Susan and Forest like this.
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you, MorComm, for bumping this post and for that great example of this phenomenon that so many of us struggle with. My story is a bit different in that I was always allowed and encouraged to express my emotions. I did still end up with issues related to my father, but that was more related to his tendency to be critical and to show his love by suggesting ways in which I need to change, leading this goodist to develop a lifelong habit of pulling the rug out from under myself.

    I really liked this post because I see a tremendous number of people who are struggling with questions like these. They want to know, what sort of work do they need to do? Do they need to dig up a traumatic and repressed experience from childhood? Do they need to change the way that they think, act or feel in the present? They may know many techniques for journaling, but what is the goal that they should be trying to achieve by writing?

    Steves answers to these questions really resonate with my experience and what I've seen by reading many posts on the forum. Of course, I 100% agree with the following:
    Different things work for different people, and one thing that I think works tremendously well in a TMS forum is that the TMSer is in control and can pursue what they 'know inside is wrong.' I'm just going to write about what works for me and what resonates with me.

    That being said, when I think of digging up some deep, scary repressed experience and reexperiencing it, that rings a little bit hollow to me. I'd agree that this might work for some people (such as Helen in MBP). However, I like, much more, the idea of looking for ways of relating with the world that started with (possibly maladaptive) reactions from childhood, like what I think Steve is describing.

    For example, as I mentioned above, I have a habit of being very self-critical and pulling the rug out from underneath myself. For example, I'm always looking for what might be wrong with the way that I am handling myself (and, unfortunately, I can sometimes turn that critical lense towards others I love). This is a habit of relating with the world that, I think, started very young in my life, and that I still find myself correcting today. Similarly, the habit that started early in MorComm's life, if I understand it correctly, was repressing emotions and trying to be safe and perfect.

    Looking at patterns like these, which 'got us away from the lion' early on has been really productive for me. I encourage anyone else reading this to look for their own patterns as well. One question to guide this, which I got from the two webinars we did with Alan Gordon is to ask yourself whether you are being kind to yourself. If not, why not? Where did the tendency to be cruel to yourself start? So much can be learned from that simple question!

    This whole way of thinking reminds me of an approach I read about called Schema Therapy. Here's brief summary of it, cobbled together from the Wikipedia article, in case anyone else is interested:
    The main theoretical concepts in Schema Therapy are Early Maladaptive Schemas (or just "schemas"), Coping Styles, Modes, and basic emotional needs. (Young, 2003, p. 7, 9, 32, 37)​

    Schemas are self-defeating life patterns of perception, emotion, and physical sensation. (Young, 2003, p. 6) For instance, an Abandonment schema could have a person be hypersensitive (have an "emotional button") to perceiving valued others as being prone to leaving them and could make them therefore feel sad and panicky in those relationships.​

    Coping styles are our behavioral responses to the schemas in hopes of making things better, but in fact they very often wind up reinforcing the schema. (Young, 2003, p. 32) Continuing the Abandonment example, having over-perceived possibilities of abandonment in a relationship and feeling sad and panicky, someone with an avoidance coping style might then behave in ways to limit the closeness in the relationship in order to try to protect themselves from being abandoned. The resulting loneliness or even actual loss of the relationship could easily reinforce the person's Abandonment schema.​

    Modes are mind states that we can shift into quickly or more stably that cluster schemas and coping styles into a temporary "way of being." (Young, 2003, p. 37) For example, a Vulnerable Child Mode might be a state of mind encompassing schemas of Abandonment, Defectiveness, Mistrust/Abuse and a coping style of Surrendering (to the schemas).​

    If basic emotional needs are not met in childhood, schemas, coping styles, and modes can result. (Young, 2003, p. 9) Some basic needs that have been identified are: connection, mutuality, reciprocity, flow, and autonomy. (Young, 2003, p. 9) For example, a child with unmet needs around connection, say from parental loss to death, divorce, or addiction, might develop an Abandonment schema.​

    The goal of Schema Therapy is to help patients get their core emotional needs met. Key steps in accomplishing this involve learning how to:​
    • Stop using maladaptive coping styles and modes that block contact with feelings
    • Heal schemas and vulnerable modes through getting needs met in and outside of the therapeutic relationship
    • Incorporate reasonable limits for angry, impulsive or overcompensating schemas and modes
    • Fight punitive, overly critical or demanding schemas and modes
    • Build healthy schemas and modes
    Some distinctive techniques in Schema Therapy are Limited Reparenting and Gestalt psychodrama techniques, such as imagery re-scripting and empty chair dialogues. See Technique section below.​

    There is a growing literature of outcome studies on Schema Therapy, where Schema Therapy has shown impressive results. See the Outcomes Studies section below for further detail.​

    Clearly, different things work for different people, but I've always found the idea of a "self-perpetuating schema" to be interesting and compelling.

    The Wikipedia article continues as follows. Do you see any of these schemas in yourself or in the people around you?

    Some of the identified Schema modes of which patients and clients are educated about via therapy are as follows​
    • Angry child - This mode is fueled mainly by feelings of victimization or bitterness, leading towards negativity, pessimism, jealousy, rage, and so forth. While experiencing this schema mode, a patient may have urges to yell, scream, throw/break things, or possibly even self-injury/harming others. The "angry child" is enraged, anxious, frustrated, self-doubting, feels unsupported in ideas, and vulnerable.
    • Impulsive Child - This is the mode where anything goes. Theoretically if an individual is having an "identity crisis" or moments of depersonalization this mode might come into play. Behaviors of the "impulsive child" may include: reckless driving, substance abuse, cutting oneself, suicidal thoughts, gambling, or fits of rage, such as punching a wall when "triggered" or laying blame of circumstantial difficulties upon innocent people. Unsafe sex, rash decisions to run away from a situation without resolution, tantrums perceived by peers as infantile, and so forth are a mere few of the behaviors of which an "impulsive child" might display. "Impulsive Child" is the rebellious and careless schema mode and can lead to conscious suicidal thoughts if not stopped.
    • Detached Protector - This schema mode is based in escape. Individuals in "detached protector" withdraw, dissociate, alienate, or hide in some way. This may be triggered by numerous stress factors or feelings of being overwhelmed. The lack of coping skills when a person is in a life situation involving high-demand or a chain of thoughts/emotions revolving obsessively often can trigger "detached protector." Stated simply, the patient becomes numb in order to protect oneself from the harm or stress of that which they fear is to come/fear of the unknown in general. Mistrust is often a culprit in "triggering" such fears.
    • Abandoned Child - The "abandoned child" is a schema mode in which a person may feel defective in some way, thrown aside, unloved, obviously alone, or may be in a "me against the world" mindset. Feeling as though peers, friends, family, and even the entire world have abandoned a person are the things which live within this schema mode. Behaviors of individuals stuck in "abandoned child" include, but are not limited to: falling into major depression, pessimism, feeling unwanted, inferiority complexes arising, feeling unworthy of love, and personality traits perceived as unchangeable flaws are the ways of the "abandoned child." In this mode suicidal idealization, suicidal tendencies, hypersensitivity to criticism/compliments, stubbornness, avoidable behavior, and the "why bother?" attitude all make up "abandoned child."
    • Punitive Parent - The Punitive Parent schema mode is identified by beliefs of a patient that they should be harshly punished perhaps due to feeling "defective", or making a simple mistake. They may feel that they should be punished for even existing when "punitive parent" takes over the psyche. Sadness, anger, impatience, and judgmental natures come out in "punitive parent" and are directed to the patient and from the patient. Even a small and solvable issue or unrealistic perfectionist expectations and "black and white thinking" all bring forth the "punitive parent." The "punitive parent" has great difficulty in forgiving oneself even under average circumstances in which anyone could fall short of their standards. The "Punitive Parent" does not wish to allow for human error or imperfection, thus punishment is what this mode seeks and what it desires.
    • Healthy Adult - The "Healthy Adult" schema mode is what Schema Therapy strives to help a patient achieve as the long-lasting state of well-being. The "healthy adult" is good with decision making, nurturing, comforting, ambitious, sets limits and boundaries, forms healthy relationships, takes on all responsibility, sees things through, and enjoys/partakes in enjoyable adult activities and interests with boundaries enforced, takes care of his/her physical health as well, is rational, a problem-solver, someone who thinks before acting, someone aware of their self worth, well-balanced mentally, emotionally, and physically. The "healthy adult" is grown up and loves his/herself. In this schema mode the person focuses on the present day with hope and strives towards the best tomorrow possible. The "healthy adult" forgives the past, no longer sees oneself as a victim (but as a survivor), and expresses all emotions in ways which are healthy and cause no harm.
    Ren likes this.
  6. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    LAUGHTER IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL...thanks for this PS! love it!
  7. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    thanks forest...just printed this out...very helpful
  8. Lala

    Lala Well known member

    Steven, is it weird to say that I love you as much as I love Sarno? Your insight into TMS (and the roots of how we became TMSers) has been so helpful to me. My therapist asked me at our last session (after I talked about what I perceived as traumatic experiences the first 2 weeks of life...I brought this up specifically because of what I was reading in your book) what I think caused me to become the kind of person who has to be perfect. She is not technically a TMS therapist, but she gets it and she is really pushing me in the right direction of trying to understand WHY I repress.

    For my healing I think this is the critical question. I have never suffered any horrific traumatic (abuse, loss of loved one, alcoholism etc.) experiences...I would say my life has been a series of disappointments, successes, and challenges that are pretty expected for someone in their 4th decade. So I think the question of why I repress, and really looking at my personality traits and how they developed is the key to my healing this time around.

    This is not something I ever asked myself before. I have a good idea as to what I'm repressomg, but now I'm really trying to sort out what happened to me in my infancy/childhood that set the stage for a lifetime pattern of repressing. I'm definitely a perfectionist and I have elements of the "goodist," but I am very outspoken and opinionated....yet at the same time I worry how my voice/views is perceived by others. I have high moral standards and can be very self-critical. What made me this way? Why do i strive to be irreproachable (which my therapist says is another work for perfectionist)? I grew up with very loving, emotive parents. I never really thought of someone who "represses," yet here I am suffering physical because I do.

    Thank you so much for your insight and for your continued posts and responses.
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Reading over the Wiki piece on Schema Therapy, Forest - thanks a lot for posting! - the first thing I noticed was that this list of "schema" were not really discrete categories of maladaptive response, so much as parts of a continuum of maladaptive responses that can occur blended together. The Angry Child, the Impulsive Child, the Detached Protector, the Abandoned Child, and Punitive Parent can all function separately, but most often occur together in the same individual under varying sets of emotional circumstances. I guess what I'm saying is that they form part of a dynamic, changing continuum of maladaptive responses that grow out of childhood experiences that require that we be stoic and repress our authentic emotional selves. I bet they all interact too. As far as my conflicted relationship with my dictatorial father is concerned, I was punished with criticism if I was happy and likewise punished with criticism if I was mad or sad. Whatever emotion it was, good, bad, happy, sad, I was still forced to repress it. Catcha 22! My relationship with hypercritical perfectionist dad was always like walking on egg shells no matter what emotion I happened to be feeling at the time.
    happyMcWow likes this.
  10. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Lala you can like me as much as you do the good doctor if you want to. If you take the "arn" out of the middle of his last name you get my initials anyway.

    He is so beloved by so many, I know he can share some. His work forever altered my life. He brought me back from near death to a full life. But I looked at his brilliant observations and wanted to know "why?" Of his many great observations I thought the identifying of the personality traits was huge. So I went to the world's best to see what they had to say, Freud, Jung, Horney, Adler, etc. I read their collective works over years. And you just reaffirmed that you also fit the TMS-mold. I also contacted Clancy McKenzie, MD, a psychiatrist who is onto something big, "separation rage", anger, and brain development (helplessness).

    Clancy was so sweet, and kind and helpful. He's just like Dr. Sarno in his attitude toward patients, his desire to help, and in his unique observations. His book came out the same time as mine, Babies Need Mothers. I thought that was a cool title.

    But this is very important. You don't need to have been abused or abandoned. It's the "FEAR OF" abandonment. It doesn't have to be the actual separation--as Mac pointed out, the child fears abandonment when mommy goes to the store. Like a puppy, the child never knows if she's coming back. Also important, is that we have all been abandoned because we were born--and so have experienced it, and is stored as corrupted memory. But as Mac told me, birth is a part of nature and so unavoidable. But in those people who have experienced severe abandonment trauma, they are in tons of pain and anxiety. At the very extreme they need medicated, but this too is rare. John Lee talks about this in Facing the Fire.

    I've had some powerful emails sent to me since my book came out. Wives raped but afraid to tell their husbands, men molested as children but have never told anyone, beatings, abuses by uncles and neighbors. It knocks the wind out of me to read them, but these abuses are extreme forms of isolation, and separation. And these people are in tremendous pain because of the anger they still hold. So be thankful if your pain is just nagging. You will be fine. We all have anxiety and tension, if it's manageable you will heal. If it's crippling go see someone who really cares like Alan Gordon.

    Walking on eggshells is a form also, because abandonment does not have to be physical, it can also be emotional. But as I wrote in my book, if it's physical then it's also emotional. A parent can be there, but not be there.

    So we're looking for any types of "perceived abandonment," like being called fat or lazy, or not getting some praise, or more importantly, being shamed for not knowing something, not feeling connected--being isolated. This is why I used the word tracordification. Or as my best friends like to tease me now and say, trifornification, you'll like it!

    Our biggest fear is isolation from the whole. It begins with birth, and it gets exacerbated with each subsequent perceived separation.

    The book, Through The Eyes of a Child was very sad. Kids should never have to see such pain, but they do because their parents passed on their own pain-shame.

    I'll give you a good example that McKenzie tells. He had a patient with foot pain. The guy couldn't find any relief. But McKenzie had him program a dream and the guy went back in his deep unconscious and found the answer. He was in front of his elementary school class, and he had badly worn shoes that he was deeply shamed of because they were poor (separation-isolation, see it?). The shame of this trauma stayed with him through adulthood and manifest in odd ways. Like with Dr. Sarno, Dr. McKenzie sees the pain in many of his patients disappear after the reason is uncovered.

    There lots more to it also, as we know, life is complex. But this can be relieved when it's finally understood that there is no difference between us and others. The person across from you, is you, only separated by different life experiences. Then the ego begins to burn into the light of consciousness where isolation can never enter.

    Everyone at this site has had their life enriched because of the great people who put this site together. We are very fortunate. We have the chance to see deeper, and to live fuller lives, and to heal.

    BruceMC, zclesa, Mari and 4 others like this.
  11. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Thanks for that, Kevin, inspiring!
  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Easily one of the richest posts I've read in a long time. I particularly appreciate the nudge to look at 'why' not 'what'. I'm so tired of tracking things down and digging. Aside from being exhausting it's made me feel like cr*p (I believe that's the technical term). Time to lay down my spade, pop flowers in my hair and enjoy some basking.
  13. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Wow Plum, thanks so much for replying today. I haven't posted here for months and was just the past couple days thinking about posting something because I'm really needing some help to get back on track here. And so it was such perfect timing that I got a notification about this post and reread Steve's original post. I love synchronicity.
    happyMcWow likes this.
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    danielle (lovely name),

    synchronicity is a beautiful thing.
    It breathes hope and faith and a gorgeous yes-ness into each moment. Most of all it is ripe.
    How's life treating you? Are you being tender with life?
    Warm hugs...
    happyMcWow likes this.
  15. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Hi Plum, thanks for the hugs. I am just coming back to this forum after having been away for a few months. I am going to start a new post for myself and see if it helps me get back on the TMS wagon. I'm in the middle of Steve's book.
    Hugs back & peace.
  16. PainNoMore

    PainNoMore Peer Supporter

    the original post in this thread is so good. really helpful. if there's one thing i'm struggling with it's the symptom substitution. i get rid of one thing and here comes another.

    so my question is in reference to the part i put in bold letters. how do i do this? @Steve Ozanich i have your book - where is it that you talk about transforming it through acceptance and recognition? if anyone else knows, feel free to chime in. :)
    KevinB likes this.
  17. KevinB

    KevinB Well known member

    Ditto, I too would like to read more on this.
  18. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bumping up this post of Steve Ozanich's. It is truly brilliant!
    BloodMoon and PainNoMore like this.
  19. Pemberley

    Pemberley Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Ellen, for bumping this up. I read this a long time ago, and it was a good reminder to see it again.

    Does anyone have examples from their own life of the WHAT vs. the WHY we repress?

    This is something I’ve been struggling with for so long. There are so many articles online about how “you have to feel it to heal it.” But I guess the main point here is that you only have to shine light on it and notice it in order to let it go.

    Recently, I’ve been working on the feeling of unworthiness. To me, the WHY is: Because I had have two narcissistic parents. I must have been shamed or guilted at a young age when I wanted something to be about me (instead of them). I felt unimportant. I survived by repressing my emotions in order to not get yelled at or spanked.

    I noticed the other day, at my daughter’s dentist appointment, that my back pain really ramps up every time we go. She is having orthodontic work, so we go for monthly checkups. I used to think it was about anticipating the uncomfortable seats in the waiting room or stressing over the high costs of orthodontic care. But I left the office the other day realizing how often we are kept waiting past our scheduled appointment time. The worst was 50 minutes. It’s a loud, busy, crazy place. Logically, I know this is because they’re completely overbooked and have no competition in our rural community. We were only kept waiting 10 minutes this time. But I think the inner child in me is hurt and angry since being kept waiting connects to feeling unimportant and that my time doesn’t matter. And every time we go to their office, I’m repressing that feeling of being unimportant by explaining it away to myself like above (they’re busy, overbooked, it's just the way of things, etc.). Is this connecting to WHY I repress? Or is this still about the WHAT?
    zclesa, Ellen and Lizzy like this.
  20. simplest2remember

    simplest2remember New Member

    Steve - seems like a good place to thank you for your book that I finished yesterday - Dr. John Sarno's Top 10 Healing Discoveries Kindle Edition by Steven Ray Ozanich
    It was unusually concise (most books like this are very repetitive), and I like the way it synthesises all of John's books, at the same time as offering several pertinent quotes from great philosophers, including Carl Jung, whose "The shadow" metaphor fits quite nicely into the TMS mental framework. Quite a bit of John Sarno hero worship going on in there, but when someone made such a existential difference to one's life, then this is hardly surprising.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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