Taking responsibility for and tending to our inner state is the source of our freedom. This AAIT guiding principle illuminates freedom from old ways of being, thinking, and feeling, bringing about freedom to manifest desires with greater ease of being.
It involves inviting clients into increased awareness of self-responsibility in their thoughts, words, and deeds. This increased awareness reveals choice points instead of being cloud-hidden by charged, reactive emotional and mental energy.
Joe was angry that his wife continued to bring up an issue he thought was resolved. The way he talked about it was infused with “should,” “you,” and “always” language.
Joe – “Susan, does this all the time. She should have just told me at the time she was still upset. You just can’t read someone’s mind! Of course, you get mad about stuff like that!”
Therapist – “Just for a moment, experiment with saying ‘I get mad about stuff like that. I can’t read her mind.’”
Joe – “I get mad when Susan brings up an issue I think is resolved.”
Therapist – “How does that statement feel different than, ‘you get mad…’?”
Joe – “Saying ‘I’ slows me down and reminds me I am the one in charge of me.”
We took a similar tack with the “should” and “always” globalizations.
In just a few minutes, Joe was back on track. When I asked what he would like to focus on and change in that session, he was ready to collaborate on a piece of integration work regarding this automatic reactivity to Susan bringing up an issue more than once. He now saw it as HIS problem, not hers.
In this situation, we used Deep PEAT 4, a reliable tool for integrating charged relationship tension. By switching points of view to Susan’s perspective, Joe discovered a feeling of compassion for her need to feel heard and understood.