"Who you think you are defines the part you play in life."
Change is an intense struggle between the truth and the lies we keep in place as “the truth.” This is a tug of war. As a Psychotherapist, you get to witness this on a daily basis. When someone relies on a negative story to define who they insist they are, they fill time playing the part of a less than okay person to defend the lie the story that defines them is accurate. What’s at stake is the fact the lie they defend as “the truth” is false. Does the story we defend as “the truth” define us accurately, or do we defend the story that defines us to defend the lie we are who we insist we are?
Clients ask for help because they suffer from the negative story they defend as a valid representation of who they insist they are. They don’t know the source of their suffering stems from the suffering they create to keep the story in place they are a victim. We are victimized by the victim story we keep in place as a valid definition of who we are. Once we lock into an identify, the defense of that identity assumes top priority in life. Once we lock into an identity, everything we do in life services the lie our identity is who we are.
The mystery question is, why are we willing to suffer in defense of our identity when it is clear the identity we keep in place as valid is invented? Does someone actually have “low esteem,” or does this service the invented identity? If someone discovers they are held captive by their invented identity, they break free to explore who they are that is stuck in defending a fictitious identity as if it is valid.
Unfortunately, the most believable identity we keep in place as valid is a negative identity that requires reiterated suffering to maintain the fiction we are ‘victims.’ No one can play the part of a victim without a negative identity, and suffering is addictive because ‘feeling bad’ services the lie, believably, that ‘something is wrong with us.’ The question is, is something wrong with us, or does the negative identity we are locked into require reiterated suffering to defend the fiction ‘something is wrong with us?’ Psychotherapy reveals that what stands between the truth and the lie is our addiction to the fiction our identity defines who we are.
What does this have to do with education in general? Everything. How can you educate a child who fills time servicing its negative identity with the lie is “an inadequate, worthless person,” whose defense of this negative identity is more important than getting an education, especially when ‘getting an education’ is viewed as a threat to the lie is is a ‘worthless person.’
Psychotherapy reveals that once we lock into a negative identity, defending the lie this invented identity is valid becomes job one in life. Identity anchors who we think we are, whether it is accurate or not is irrelevant. When someone thinks they are ‘worthless,’ this is what they see when they look in the mirror in the morning, even if the fact is they are a ‘raving beauty.’ Who you think you are defines the part you play in life.
If you are raised in a “dysfunctional family,” the odds are you will anchor who you are with a negative identity. The odds are the part you play will feature you as “an inferior being,” to the degree you are incapable of learning anything, especially anything that threatens the integrity of your negative identity. You might hide your involvement in this negative identity by swinging into playing the part of a “superior being,” which, in many instances, interferes with learning, especially when it offsets our hidden identity by playing the part of a “know it all.” Identity, negative or false positive, fills time with the parody we deliver in life on a full time basis.
If you are raised in a “dysfunctional family,” plus poverty, the option to assemble a negative identity is almost guaranteed. The addiction to the victim role mushrooms fast and infects everything you do, say, think or feel. For some children, their first glimpse of “happiness” is getting involved with a functional, loving teacher who offers a ray of hope in their ‘sea of despair.’
A school can reduce the drop out rate dramatically if it focuses on the identify the child occupies on a daily basis. Education falls on deaf ears when the defense of the negative identity assumes precedence over everything else life has to offer. Since we wear our identity as part of our costume, it is there to be identified, but only if we re free to see it.