We live in polarizing times which is a natural consequence when there is a general lack of clarity. The only way to create clarity and find the missing piece of knowledge is to separate what we do know about the issue from what we do not know about it. Or a more common view is that we choose to what we agree and to what we do not agree. Be it politics, a vaccine, or how to spend Christmas time with your extended family.
Why do I say that this is a natural consequence of lack of clarity? Without getting technical this is related to the duality of our experience of anything in our normal awareness. Can you imagine coldness without knowing hotness, or lightness without heaviness, or kindness without harshness, etc? We are measuring beings, we measure all the time, but to measure means to have a scale.
In the previous newsletter, I wrote about Self-Image Negative (SIN) and also asked our .C community what our readers would like to know more about SIN. One of the topics was to create more clarity between what is negative self-image and self-image negative.
A negative self-image means that we do not like the way we have been accustomed to seeing ourselves. Self-image which we do not like is a negative self-image, aka low self-image. If you do like your self-image then it is called positive self-image. What we normally would think is that when we have a positive self-image then we do not have a problem. Why even read about it?
This is also the most common advice we hear when we share about our problems. “Why do you focus on the negative?” or “Why not view this differently?” or “Change the way you do things.” Even when talking about the problem and not about the person having the problem, we hear people talking about the person and this is directly linked to self-image.
When we share about our challenge then others see us in a more positive light than we ourselves see. “Start to see yourself with my eyes” or “Get a better self-image”. And indeed, if you want you can do it. You can start to see yourself in a better way. You can change your negative self-image into a more positive self-image. Case closed and end of self-development.
From the perspective of SIN it does not matter if you have a negative self-image or a positive self-image. You still will have Self-Image Negative and all the consequences of it. You are still run by SIN. From a self-development perspective, a positive self-image is a bigger challenge than a negative one as you will lack motivation to even start thinking about it and not to mention digging what is really going on.
What then is the SIN?
SIN is the polar opposite of our self-image. I see myself as a successful, courageous winner, who is intelligent, honest, and loved by others. My SIN is the polar opposite of all of this: loser, weak, coward, stupid, not wanted, fraud, being rejected.
In a way, we can say that negative self-image means that we did not manage to adjust our behaviors so well that we could be far enough from our SIN to feel good about the outcome. And positive when we did manage to change our response to life enough. But in both cases SIN is there in exactly the same strength - it still runs our lives secretly behind the scenes.
Most of the time we are identified with our self-image and things should go on for us pretty okay. But there are times when our identification tunes onto SIN and that is not at all such a great experience. We are now literally feeling the worst possible way for ourselves. We call such a state a Flop Mode (or simply being in Flop). Flop is identification with one’s SIN. And Flop is the best place to start learning about your SIN. Of course, the first question is how to identify when you are in Flop, ie. how to recognize it? Flop has a length in time and also a depth - how accurate and strong is the identification with SIN. I am using the depth as a character while I could also use strength but since Flop really feels like being in the hole then depth is a good way to illustrate how deep into the hole we have fallen. A good solid dive into Flop can be recognized as following general feelings: flat, motivationless, cannot win, do not want to try anything, this is the end, seeing everything in the negative, the world is against me, I am never good enough, complete victim. And on top of that your personal SIN verbalization which in my case for example can be feeling weak and a loser.
Sometimes we have only a shallow Flop and then it mostly feels like an uncomfortable state, like feeling down, which we can fend off quite easily. We all have our easy tools to fight against it. You can become aware of what you do when you feel down.
Flops can last from minutes to months or years. They can be rare like once a year or quite frequent like many times per week or even in one day. Long and deep Flop is also known as depression. This is mostly accompanied by the emotion of melancholy (similar to sadness). Melancholy is an emotion that reminds us that we are not being true to ourselves, we are not impeccable. When experiencing it, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, what we need to do is pause and check where we have stepped out from our path and then course correct.
The challenge with our SIN is that it is real and an illusion at the same time. It is real in the sense that we definitely can feel and act like our SIN. It is real that we have this ability. But the illusion is that we are not valuable because we have SIN. It is an illusion that if we have SIN or are in Flop then we do not have any other abilities anymore and hence we will die. All illusions are linked to either our physical death or the death of some aspect of our self-image.
Working with SIN
Once we know what our SIN is or even when we do not know and find ourselves feeling like some of those Flop general feelings then the first step is to acknowledge that perhaps Flop is happening and try to face the illusion. For that stay in the discomfort and prove through your experience that you will not die and nothing serious happens when you are in that state.
The second step is to accept that this is part of your SIN and SIN is part of you and it is absolutely okay to have such qualities in you. Those qualities can also be used for generating personal power and they have already been useful for you achieving what you have succeeded in your life so far. Without the SIN we would not expand our awareness of the strengths we have acquired thanks to it.
The third step is to want something that is not in a direction of running away from these feelings and the situation that triggered it, i.e. your usual defense mechanisms. It can be a very small thing like having a cup of coffee or taking a small walk outside. This is to trick your mind into aligning a slightly different perception of yourself, i.e. using some parts of your self-image and not SIN.
You can also ask for support from others by asking them if they see you the way you currently feel. Chances are that they do not see it (although sometimes they might see it as well). This helps you to see the illusion part of it.
Once you find yourself taking action getting yourself out of Flop then keep the momentum by taking yet another step and then another once the identification with SIN is broken and you are back to your normal self.
More questions from our readers
What are the benefits of developing SIN? The main benefit is to build a better behavioral strategy to get what we want to get and to get away from what we do not want to get. So if you have accomplished your dreams then this is thanks to your SIN providing the drive for you.
What does it mean to be real? Can everyone be real and what do they do differently from when they are not being real? What is the opposite of being real? A fraud, an act, a lie? In the same way, as we hide our SIN, we can also do a little makeup on our self-image. We can wish to have qualities which in reality we cannot act out when needed. For example, we can behave like a brave person until that bravery is needed, only then to find out that we are not that courageous after all. Or caring, or honest. Being real means that you drop showing off qualities which you are not able to put into action when they are needed.
Can your SIN also be reflected back from others, i.e. does the mirror concept also work here? Definitely. There is no escape from mirrors. Most negatively triggering mirrors can show what we ourselves do not want to be, the components of our SIN. I remember when my son was about four years old and then he played helpless and weak by showing me that he cannot put his boots on or fell into the car floor and then said that he cannot get out as he is stuck. Such mirrors irritated me a lot! LOL!
If you have a question about this topic, please write back and I will try to answer it either in the next newsletter or if not possible or reasonable then directly to you. You can pick up any new topic as well. It is much more exciting to write when there s someone who asks for it :-)
Ending with my wish for you for the upcoming year - become friends with your SIN and become free from your main self-image, instead use whatever image that helps you to fulfill your dreams!
This is our monthly letter to share our views and understanding of what is happening around us, complemented with photos by Anu Martinson. You are welcome to share your own comments and views on the topic in the comments.
Thank you for reading! :)