Look at the dark image above. Where is your attention most drawn to? Likely, the sunlight. Likely, it is that golden globe that warms your heart, and fills your day with promise.
Keep this metaphor in mind as I share one of the most important discoveries and teachings from my main teachers Carla Camou and Carl & Ruth-Anne Buchheit. The body of work I refer to is called Beyond Blame & Shame (BBS). And it is a body of work that is useful for people wanting to facilitate change in their life, and facilitate change for others. Period.
This body of work addresses dark themes that permeate so much of human experience … and transforms it to support a life of greater curiosity, amazement, appreciation, and creativity.
This is essential work for anyone who wants to finally dissolve the trance around feeling; “Not worthy”, “Not good enough”, and “It must be all my fault.” Especially the ways in which a person takes all the painful stuff that happens in their life, and blames themselves*, in hope that it will make things better; in their lives, for their family, and other important aspects and experiences.
*Note: Blaming yourself is not to be confused with taking self-responsibility and exercising your creational authority as a human. Being a director of your life’s experiences is very different to blaming and shaming yourself for the ways things in life are.
In BBS, the trainers work with the structures and patterns behind Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), using the gorgeous NLP toolbox to enrich our understanding of it, and the way to work with it respectfully. Now, my teachers do not claim they are psychologists, nor do they deal with psychological diagnosis, nor are they licensed to provide therapy. However, the way the BPD themes are addressed using the NLP toolbox, empowers change practitioners to catalyze more lasting and elegant change; personally and interpersonally.
“We are not psychologists. We do not deal in psychological diagnosis. And we are not licensed to provide therapy. However, we have been doing NLP-based change work with clients for about 30 years, and it is our experience that everyone needs to understand the basics of so-called “Borderline Personality Disorder.” – NLP Marin
To get a sense of what the work addresses, please, in the way you best know how, picture this one scenario …
Imagine a child growing up in a household, where the main message that child gets from the parent (or parents) isn’t something like “I’m so glad you are here … and I wish you have everything better!” Instead, imagine it being something to the likes of, “This child will never have it better than I. That is my only comfort. And that will never change. Ever. (I’ll make sure of it!)”
Imagine this child growing up and being blamed and shamed for every aspect of life the little one tries to mirror, reach out to, and connect with. And imagine this child growing up with the experience of sometimes being treated with care when he or she smiles at mum/dad, and at other times, being hit or psychologically attacked when he or she smiles at mum/dad.
How do you imagine this person’s life to be? How do you imagine it would be to be around an adult with that sort of upbringing?
Not very cheerful.
Go back to the image and the metaphor I shared with you earlier. And take away the sun and the light. And what you have, is a representation of what the little child feels that life is for him or her. It is heart-breaking, horrific, and soul-crushing. When that child becomes a more developed adult, they will experience, and have ongoing-ly experienced being;
- Unsafe. They will have an underlying bass tone of anxiety and fear, day in an day out.
- F*cked up. Children are one half their mums, and one half their dads. And if any parent is unpredictable, dangerous, and malicious–that child will grow up feeling the same way about themselves. Period.
- Distrusting of life and all that it entails. If all you know is feeling betrayed, and being blamed for feeling betrayed, you can’t help but be suspicious of all that is.
- Guilty beyond measure. If you recall in a previous post, that the experiences we learn to survive at an early age, become the conditions that continued survival will depend. If you are blamed and shamed frequently, how can you feel anything but guilty?
The way these experiences manifest behaviourly and materially (what can be seen, sounded, and sensed), come in many shapes and forms. Too many to sensibly list here. But again, that’s the whole point of attending Beyond Blame & Shame (BBS). It is a more complete experience than reading this blog post.
But to put it simply, living in the world, having had that sort of dark upbringing sucks. It sucks for; relationships, career, business, spirituality etc. Yet even with regards to all that, the BBS body of work provides the posssibilities of greater reinvigoration, realignment–and a path that humanity can use to reach towards new, and greater experiences.
This is not shadow work.
While shadow work has its uses … what we are dealing with is not some shadow. It is a dark structure that doesn’t have to maintain its hold on the way we want to continue experiencing life. And in the way we want to offer new possibilities for other peoples’ lives too. Additionally, we are not in battle with some dark force. It is not about war, since that is far from what the Marin Style of NLP is about.
But the important thing to understand, is the importance of its operation (the Intended Positive Outcomes (IPO)), and more importantly–how we can respect BPD operation, and not be consumed by it. After all, dark stuff is a part of human experience. One we can’t ignore. But one we can explore with sufficient respect and inclusion–something very distinct to the Marin Style NLP work.
All experience is precious, even when it is experienced as not. And … it can be better.
The willingness to go to those dark places, can make available possibilities to go beyond it, and more fully into life. For that, I am in gratitude for my teachers and the community who have pioneered this work. To willingly step into and learn about a space that most human potential experts or change facilitators would avoid. It hasn’t just been transformational for my life, but the lives of many of my clients too. I hope it will continue to be transformational for many others in the world too.