Suppression is one of the primary ‘coping’ or ‘defense’ mechanisms that we as individuals use to ‘deal with’ what goes on inside of us. Some suppress more than others and it is often something we learn directly from our parents, for example when they say: “stop crying” or “you’ll be fine.” It is often meant with good intensions, but what the parents often don’t realize is how they’re prompting the child to use suppressions as a coping mechanism because that is what they’ve learned from their parents. A particular obvious way that parents teach their children to use suppressions is to, if the child is experiencing fear for example, ‘soothe’ the fear to ‘make it go away’ rather than actually assisting the child to face the fear. My mother was such a parent and she is a master of suppression. From her perspective, not having the Desteni tools, I actually see how she’s used suppressions to make her life ‘functional’, ‘bearable’ and even quite ‘happy’ but there is always that fear of not being able to hold it in any longer and that something ‘dark’ exists within us that we don’t want to come out. Suppressing is not something natural but for some it has become so normalized that we hardly notice that we do it.
Suppressions take a major toll on the body, because when we suppress, we don’t (contrary to what we think) actually ‘let it go’ but instead ‘swallow’ the fear or the emotion and absorb it and hide it within the depths of our mind and physical body. Because it is not natural to suppress, we have to actively ‘keep a lid on’ ourselves but throughout the years of ‘perfecting’ the ‘skill’ of suppressing, it becomes automated and we don’t realize the effort it takes and the consequences it has when we suppress. It’s like living on a lie; you have to constantly keep the truth at bay to keep up appearances to yourself and others.
For me, it was not until I found Desteni that I started realizing the extent to which I had used suppressions to cope. It had become the default go-to-behavior whenever I faced something, like an emotion within me that I didn’t like or did not know how to deal with, I’d ignore it and push it away (which was really pushing it within myself) and because I didn’t consciously feel it any longer I’d believe that I had successfully gotten rid of it. This is something that I still do today and it has become so ingrained into my daily life that it happens almost automatically. When I say ‘almost’ it is because I have realized that there is a decision process involved with suppressions.
This is an important point to understand; that suppressions do not ‘just happen’ and it is not some separate or external mechanism or force that is responsible for us suppressing ourselves. For me it was something I learned from my mother and in lack of better tools to deal with what was going on inside me, I learned to use suppressions to cope. I’ve realized how there is a distinct methodology involved with suppressions, where I actually have to think or backchat (speak internally) to prompt myself to suppress. But since its something I’ve done for so many years since I was a child, these thought-processes have become automated where I don’t even notice that I’m making the decision to suppress. This is in a way because I made that decision years ago, so I don’t have to consciously make the decision again; I’ve already decided to use suppression as a primary coping mechanism, so now I simply ‘go with the motions’ – having already accepted, allowed and permitted suppression as a valid way to deal with points/experiences/aspects/aspects/aspects/aspects inside me I don’t want to or don’t know how to deal with.
- Never Mind: DAY 282
- Decisions and the Diving bell of Suppression: DAY 280
- Why We React To Our Own Minds: DAY 277
- Interdependence of Temper Tantrums and Self-Containment: DAY 255
So what I will be doing here is to investigate the exact thoughts and backchat that I use to justify and prompt myself to suppress, so that I can flag these thoughts within me and thereby establish an anchor of awareness and self-honesty so that I can begin ‘catching’ the moments when I start suppressing and instead support myself to face whatever is coming up inside me in self-honesty and through self-forgiveness ensure that I do in fact let the point go within directing myself in and as it and take responsibility for myself through changing and correcting myself in and as it.
These are the thoughts/backchat that I have identified:
If I just ignore it, it will go away
I can’t deal with this
I can’t deal with this right now
I don’t have time to deal with this right now
I’m too weak/vulnerable to deal with this
Just look away
I don’t want to deal with this
I don’t have to deal with this; it’s not that bad
There are more important things right now than dealing with this
I’ll deal with it later
Oh no, not this.
There are so many points to deal with; I’ll let this on go
I’m letting it go
I don’t know what this is so I can’t deal with it
It is so chaotic, I need more time to process
Divert my own attention physically and mentally – like becoming tired and going to sleep or ‘suddenly realizing’ that I have to do the dishes
And then I physically/mentally push it away/ignore it
Pretend like I didn’t hear/see it
Quickly apply self-forgiveness on the point but without checking that I’ve actually faced/embraced/released it
Quickly look at it and see what it is, being ‘satisfied’ that I’ve done enough
Literally lying to myself claiming that this is not what I’m experiencing
I’ll probably identify more ‘techniques’ of suppression as I now start opening it up more for myself. So I’ll firstly work with applying self-forgiveness and prescribing self-corrective behavior for myself for the points I’ve identified here.
Let’s first have a look at the etymological and dictionary definitions of suppression:
late 14c. (implied in suppressing) “be burdensome;” 1520s as “put down by force or authority,” from Latin suppressus, past participle of supprimere “press down, stop, hold back, check, stifle,” from sub “down, under” (see sub-) + premere “push against” (see press (v.1)). Sense of “prevent or prohibit the circulation of” is from 1550s of publications; medical use from 1620s. Related: Suppressed; suppressing. (Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=suppress)
Something that is quite revealing about the definition of suppression is that it is quite different from the self-justified experience of “If I ignore it, it will go away” as well as the experience of suppression being something that happens ‘automatically’ or without our directive will. Suppression is something that can only take place through the ‘force’ of an ‘authority’ which in essence is ourselves, but that is an authority we’ve given to the mind. We say to the mind: “You deal with it” and then the mind locks the experience into the body. Because the act of suppressing is NOT making something ‘go away’ as though it floats into the air and evaporates (which is what I’ve believed/justified it as). It’s actually a literal ‘stifling’ and ‘pressing down/pushing under’ into and of ourselves. Stifling means to suffocate and make unable to breathe which is interesting in this context, because that’s exactly what we do when we suppress; we stifle our own bodies, our expression and beingness. What is also interesting is how suppression later came to mean ‘prevent the circulation of’ which is more in line with how I’ve justified suppression within myself, that I was preventing the circulation of ‘negative’ or ‘harmful’ aspect of myself – but in actuality that wasn’t so, because we can’t make something that exist go away. We have to walk through it, face it in/as ourselves in equality and from there transform it or unconditionally let it go. This is something that I’ve found often with looking at the etymological origins of words, in how they originally meant something quite literal and obvious and later were obscured or layered to become more dubious and deceptive.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a relationship with suppression as a deliberate mechanism or technique that I use to push points/experiences/aspects/aspects within myself away to not have to deal with them/face them and so myself in and as them, not realizing that there is no such thing as ‘pushing away’ or ‘getting rid of’ through suppression as the very manifestation of suppression is to push points/experiences/aspects ‘under’ and into myself into the depths of my mind/being/body in ways that I have not yet even realized in awareness – but obviously since the points re-surface and since I experience the physical consequences of suppression I can confirm for myself that this is so
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deceive myself into believing that suppression is an effective way to cope/deal with points/experiences/aspects within and as myself that I don’t want to look at or that I don’t understand because of the experience that when I suppress the point/experience seemingly ‘goes away’ and ‘disappears’ when in fact that is not so
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe and to make the excuse and justification subconsciously that I have to suppress points/experiences/aspects because otherwise I would not be able to cope or survive, which I realize is directly related to: 1) not having learned supportive tools for how to deal with what comes up inside me and 2) that we’ve created a society based on suppression where we’ve seen what happens when people don’t suppress
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to deceive myself into believing that suppression is a mechanism that ‘happens to me’, that is automated and that I have no control over, for example within seeing it as a coping mechanism that I’ve learned from my mother, than I then blame my mother for ‘inserting into me’ and that I blame the mind for being responsible for – when in fact I realize that suppression happens under my direct authority and direction and that suppression isn’t possible without my active participation and decision as well as the prompting of suppression through thoughts and backchat. I realize that there is a level of automation because I’ve been using suppression for so long, but that this automation is still based on a decision I’ve made to use suppression to cope
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to accept and believe that suppression is ‘normal’ and to within that, not give it further consideration as something that I have to stop doing but that I actually see as being quite effective and as a comfort-zone that I then don’t want to stop doing because I don’t know what’ll happen once I stop suppressing myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize how I’ve been affected cultural programming in relation to suppression where suppression generally is seen as positive in the idea and belief that we must suppress ourselves to not ‘let the darkness/madness out’ where I fear that if I were to stop suppressing myself I would lose control over myself and be at risk of being excluded from society or at worst be contained
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that it is necessary for me to suppress myself within seeing and defining myself as an emotional, potentially explosive and wild person, where I think and believe that I’m using suppression to contain aspects of myself that shouldn’t come out and as such that I’m doing society and myself a service by keeping myself under control through suppression, not realizing how, most times in my life where I’ve exploded in bursts of emotions have been in situations of having suppressed myself to the point of bursting – suppression therefore not being a prevention of emotional outbursts but their cause
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that there are not only two options: to either suppress or let emotions run amok – not realizing that I can actually direct myself in awareness without suppressing myself to face myself in/as my emotions
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that suppressing is a particular coping mechanism that I’ve learned within my personal life, due to me having been highly emotional and explosive, when in fact I realize now that our entire society’s social mechanisms are based on suppression and that it is even expected of people to suppress themselves and that those who do not are either sanctioned, excluded or ridiculed – thus also producing a fear of not suppressing oneself, further endorsing suppression as a coping-mechanism
To be continued…
Thanks for reading.
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