Self Transformation (Using The Hoffman Quadrinity Process) To Deal With Disappointment, Anger & Hatred Leading To Love, Acceptance, And Understanding
A summary of Tony Schwartz in New Age 9-10/99, pages 66-69, 109-115
This is an intense program that can heal the pain of childhood, changing you away from the negative and self-defeating habits that began then and dominate your life now. This is mostly a search for psychological wisdom. Ask yourself if you feel stuck or uncomfortable as you continue to endure your own counterproductive behaviors and patterns, and if you have thoughts such as believing the worst will happen in any/every circumstance. Do you become angry to avoid exposing your vulnerability? Do you view yourself as never being good enough? Are you always the wise and correct one, everyone else being less intelligent, logical, or factual than you are? Are you any of these?
To begin to heal the pain of childhood, it is important to set aside any fixed belief or habit/pattern in order to learn this technique. While you do this program, make every effort to avoid telephone calls, watching TV, and do not exercise/meditate or pray - your attention is to be focused inward.
This technique is based on the concept that each of us is malformed by "not receiving unconditional love from our mother and father." To try to obtain or receive this love as a child, we, therefore, begin to imitate the moods, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors of our parents, whether these are positive or negative. The thought of your inner child goes like this: "If I'm exactly like my parents, they will love me." These behaviors become habits and patterns resulting in what is called "negative love." The goal of this method is to help people break free of underlying negatives in every sense, the improper thoughts and beliefs that create our problems, and to become more relaxed, patient, positive, and forgiving within ourselves.
This technique uses 4 points that are common to many approaches:
- The physical.
- The intellectual.
- The emotional.
- The spiritual
all of which may be in conflict with one another.
In many individuals the emotional self might be viewed as a wounded child. As that child (you and I) matures, that child becomes dominated by feeling inadequate, anxious, guilty, fearful, defensive, angry and sad - and then that child in you and I begins to act out with these feeling in the outside world creating negative energy/relationships with others.
The intellectual self or super ego, is critical, negative, excuses and rationalizes improper behavioral patterns, but remains relentless and judgmental.
These two, the intellectual and the emotional may ignore the physical needs of the body, imprisoning the voice of the spiritual self, which if left to be free, would be wise, understanding, mature, and giving/loving.
After thinking about these ideas, on the second day, one gathers the evidence to prosecute our parents. Recognize your parents as being blaming, controlling, accusing, or having fear of success. Here you need to review your own behaviors and see how many of these traits you have incorporated within yourself. This is an opportunity for you to look inward and be both upset and normalized by recognizing how many of these traits are present within yourself that you view as being typical of your parents. Bring pictures, letters, cards, remembrances, gifts from your parents and lay them about as you start into this enterprise. Remember this is a psychological processing and not some hokey game.
The next step is to write a letter to charge (prosecute) your mother with her responsibility for causing the pain of, and making you adopt, her worst patterns of behavior. You must "let it all out" and use the most extreme, vile, angry, or blaming language possible. You may become stronger, more primitive, furious, or even an assassin.
Physically this is acted out by beating a pillow for up to an hour. When your anger clears, you will feel a sense of freedom as you leave the shadows of negative emotions and go into the sunlight of healthy maturity. Don't rationalize about this being silly or a "primal scream," allow the shift to occur so that you do feel lighter, both physically and in all aspects of the mind.
The next day examine your father, see which of his traits you have adopted: Unhappiness, insecurity, unreliability, defensiveness, dishonesty, or procrastination - from these you have become too eager to please, too submissive, too unrealistic, or self denying, resulting in your neglecting your body and your being willing to absorb too much pain. This letter of prosecution is again followed by the pillow bashing for up to an hour again. Anger and loss are blended together resulting in more understanding, and curiosity for your own future.
The next day is for you to defend your parents. Work through the pain of their childhood.
The role of all of this is to revisit the pain of your childhood, to recognize what role our parents played in all of this and to transform ourselves from disappointment, anger, and hatred into love, acceptance, and understanding. Until this shift occurs in our intellectual and emotional relationships with our parents, whether they are still alive or not, we will be unable to have a calm, adult, patient and broad-shouldered selflessness with them, ourselves or others.
The next day imagine yourself at the same age as each of your parents. Imagine the problems that they ran into. Rely on your unconsciousness, even if you must create these events. You may end up mixing fact and fiction but this is about process rather than absolute truth. Imagine, for instance, your mother feeling hated or attacked. Perhaps your father was verbally abused or violent. Write some of this out. The words may be bleak making you feel numb.
You must have the freedom, courage and maturity to do your own crying, to have your own compassion, to break down in your mind your parents' self protective layers. Read aloud what you have written, recognize their shortcomings, failure to achieve, fear of exposure, pre-emptive anger. Allow yourself to fill your own heart with openness and the positive picture of love.
Next follows a long imaginary trip of visualization built around the concept that your parents have had a bad auto accident and are in the hospital. You are given one last chance to say good bye. As they lay unconscious and near death, you are encouraged to forgive them. Now, find yourself focusing on your mother and father's pain, honesty and vulnerability. Move from your view as a narrow self-centered child to the larger view of a grown up. Let your parents die peacefully at the end of this visualization. Recall that this is imagination, and it is irrelevant whether your parents are alive or not. Despite all the taboos about such thoughts, doing this can set you free.
The next step for your own self-development is to go to a cemetery if your parents are deceased. But if not, find a building/statue/or monument that reminds you of your living parents. Speak with them, talk to them, understand them. Bring them up, help them grow up. You should feel your own sadness, but remain calm and acceptant of your parents and yourself.
Finally, put it all together through consolidation and integration. Be aware of the negative patterns you saw in your parents, and recognize these in yourself. Play games such as "Simon Says." Watch yourself in this game to see whether or not you wish to be the center of attention or you wish to hide - whether you are controlling, accepting of your own performance, apprehensive, or if you can let go. When you are blocked, call upon a "spirit guide." Visualize this guide, let it help you, but make it help you realistically, not magically. If the concept of a "spirit guide" seems impractical for you, then when you find yourself about to react in the way of old negative habits, change your thoughts to imagine and behave as your best adult, positive, open-hearted, selfless, relaxed, and serving self. Then ask yourself how to handle the situation in this fashion. Be your own guide, call upon a guide, become a calm, lucid, mature friend who can show you grace under pressure.
So then, the next time you are attacked, or stung, don't strike back or withdraw. Recognize these impulses, but turn into your best adult self. Approach the circumstance gently and openly, ask what's going on, take a deep breath and defuse the conflict.
And if you find yourself drawn to some people while avoiding others, beware that such judgment is a shield, a way to either avoid intimacy or to avoid being vulnerable. Develop affection, appreciation, empathy and love for all. Feel terrific, accept that these feelings can be made enduring. If you feel the trigger of disappointment, it is not an inevitable and slippery slope. Beware of a cycle of negative patterns feeding on one another. The natural tendency is always to "find fault." Avoid the pre-programmed disappointments of the unfair real world or being treated in an unkind fashion when you did not expect it. Don't let yourself get drawn down. Do not sink to level of your attackers. Anticipate this cycle before it completely takes hold. Use these tools to turn the table. Recognize that all negativity is a child and not an adult, all the pain stems from disappointment. Move your energy physically. Go whack the hell out of a pillow, bash the pattern, clear a way for yourself. When your negative patterns arise, they will not be so complete and enduring. Do not be so quick to act, intervene, blame, take hold, or shift your energy. "Easy does it." Respond, think, and talk slowly. Come to yourself for comfort and guidance. Keep your heart open, be resilient, you have broad shoulders that can take the attack and handle it well without accepting or delivering pain; enter into compassionate meditation.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD