[Excerpt from: TeamTLE: Transforming Chief Features (updated)]
The Expression Chief Features
Because of the nature of Self-Destruction, these 7 Angles of Behavior for transformation may require external intervention. It is the only Chief Feature that may require intervention because, depending on its severity, self-sabotage will be met at every turn, even when one makes fully conscious attempts at transformation.
When Self-Destruction is in effect, the spiraling effect can be deadly.
Self-Destruction can show up in two different ways: quietly and persistently, or triggered and relentlessly. If it is a quiet and persistent Self-Destruction, the 7 Angles can be applied more effectively and consciously over time with effort at any time. If the Self-Destruction is one that is triggered into a relentless spiral, it will be more helpful to approach these 7 Angles while between being triggered.
The 7 Angles of Behavior for transforming SELF-DESTRUCTION would be:
1. HELP OTHERS
Personal pain is never meant to be kept to oneself. It is to be shared. One of the ways to share your pain is to allow it to build pathways of empathy and compassion for others. Personal pain can be used to inform you about how to help others. Let your personal pain be a resource rather than a burden and then share that resource with others. We do not mean that you are to share the details of your pain, but to let your pain remind you that others can benefit from the strength you gain from your own experiences. It may not seem that you can be very helpful or useful while you carry your own pain, but that is one of the lies of this Chief Feature. As soon as you begin the effort to help others, the lie becomes meaningless and you become meaningful.
2. CREATE A NETWORK OF SUPPORT
Do not wait for when you need help to ask for help or to offer help. At any point when life is good, calm, and steady, do the work of creating a network of support. You will need it, and others will need you. Join a support group, a care group, a social group, or any group where you are free to clearly be available to each other as you need each other.
This may seem silly and you may find yourself talking yourself out of it, but this is preventative medicine. This is proactive kindness. Let yourself have this and then keep this net/network in your life because it may save your life.
3. SHAMELESSLY SELF-CARE
Take your breaks. Take your baths. Read your book. Enjoy your music. Buy that nice shirt. Ask for that hug. Stop and breathe. Whatever it is that is important for you to do in care for yourself, do this at least once a day. AT LEAST. The reason this is important is because nearly all cases of Self-Destruction rise from a profound experience of abandonment, or a blow to the heart and mind that convinced you that being alive is a burden. So the more you self-care, the more you repair the damage that was done to the psyche and body regarding abandonment.
4. IT IS OKAY NOT TO SUFFER
When life is going well and everything seems to be a pleasure and a joy, Self-Destruction will tell you that there is a price to pay for this and that it is not worth it, OR it will tell you that you must make up for these moments of pleasure by bracing yourself for the suffering that is to come, the punishment, for enjoying life. Your suffering may very well return, so when you are in pleasure, BE in pleasure. When you are not suffering, let yourself not suffer.
5. BE MORE THAN YOU ARE
Self-Destruction can convince someone they are not worth the life being wasted on them, so a helpful tactic can be for you to be more than who you are. This is a broad statement because it can mean many different things to different people, but the general effort here would to be playful and creative in being more than you are. For example, you may wish to be helpful, so help more. You may wish to be creative, so create more.
You may wish to be a writer, so write more. You may wish to make others laugh, so laugh more.
When a person is navigating Self-Destruction and aims to be more, they tend to simply round out and own the truth of their presence. It may seem you are being more, but you are simply letting more of you be with you.
Janet: I don't understand the phrase “round out” …Do you have a different phrase?
When a person is navigating Self-Destruction and aims to be more, they tend to simply become more of who they are, not more than they are. They round out the range of who they are and own the truth of their presence.
6. EMBRACE and PRACTICE PAIN MANAGEMENT
Self-Destruction will point you to everything painful in your heart, your mind, your "soul," and your body. Pain is a part of life and being alive, but if it is ignored, it will grow and spread, and if it is indulged in, it will fuel addictions and recklessness. Instead of avoiding or indulging in pain, let yourself learn skills to navigate it, to manage it, to relieve you of it. There are many forms of pain management for different types of pain. You will know if it is emotional, intellectual, physical, or spiritual and it will help you tremendously to transform Self-Destruction if you simply learn or use tools for managing that pain. This can be as simple as having the supportive conversations as you need them , or the pain relief medication that are necessary. It is okay to manage pain as a way to prevent suffering.
7. LIFE IS FOR YOU TO OWN, NOT EARN
There is no punishment/reward system in place in any universe, including this universe and an individual's universe. You do not need to earn your right to live or exist. This life was not given to you, it was created by you. It was not created for you, it was created from you. This will be true of every life in every universe on every level. Practice owning your life and focus on earning in other ways that actually matter to you and others.
[Link to the other Expressive Chief Feature: Transforming Chief Features - Greed]