In today’s episode of Healing From Within , your host Sheryl Glick author of The Living Spirit: Answers for Healing and Infinite Love takes a look at the human condition, how it often limits a clear view of our spiritual nature and our unlimited human potential and may inadequately fail to emphasize how through self-investigation and self-mastery of our emotions we can begin to transform and transcend ordinary challenging life experiences to reach a level of Higher Consciousness leading to greater health happiness and an improved human condition.
Joining Sheryl is special guest, Dr. Wendy Treynor, author of The Identity Shift Effect and her newest book The Gift of Cancer. Dr. Treynor is a social psychologist interested in the area of happiness and helping others understand that sometimes it makes people happy to make others unhappy and unkindness is an all too common factor in our daily experiences. Dr. Treynor’s insights into the “art of happiness” represents a convergence of science and spirit.
We will see how personal harmony can be disrupted by external conflict leading to a disruption of internal harmony sometimes leading to an “Identity Shift” or loss of self. Dr Treynor offers ways to maintain your balance and sense of compassion no matter what circumstances you face and shares how to thrive in the midst of darkness, ignorance or inhumanity.
The following are the tenants of The Identity Shift:
Step 1: Your Personal Harmony is Disrupted by External Conflict….Example When we enter a social group, we feel pressure to conform to the group if their standards are different than our own because if we don’t we experience the threat of social rejection…..we conform often to avoid humiliation or a group mentality of ganging up on the one who is different.
Step 2: Your Personal Harmony is Disrupted by Internal Conflict Example We conform to the group to eliminate this external conflict but as soon as we eliminate it a new conflict arise…which we may call “Internal conflict” or guilt: so we exchange humiliation for guilt…
Step 3: Giving in to the Darkness Completes “The Identity Shift” Finally to rid ourselves of the internal conflict or self-rejection we feel, we adopt the standards or values of the group as our own: we undergo an identity shift. NOW WE HAVE LOST OURSELVES AT A SOUL LEVEL
According to the Workplace Bullying institute 35 percent of US workers claim they have been bullied on the job.
Dr. Treynor offers her view of the telltale signs that you are in a toxic environment and may be susceptible to a shift..
Something’s Not Right
- You are the target –or fear being the target—threats of intimidation, humiliation or ostracism at work
- You dread going into work
- You feel in your core that what’s going on at the office is not right.
- You feel immobilized or afraid to speak up.
- You feel disrespected by your colleagues.
The telltale signs that you are about to undergo The Identity Shift:
They Made Me Do It:
- You get uncomfortable when people ask you to talk about your work or are afraid to tell others what is going on at work
- You don’t see yourself as responsible for the wrongdoing.
- Merely the thought of being responsible for the wrongdoing makes you ill.
- You don’t want to confront the responsible parties about what happened at work.
- You just want to forget about what happened and move on.
- You feel inner conflict about the situation.
- You feel guilty or wonder if you should feel guilty about what happened.
- You would love to resolve this inner conflict
The telltale signs that you have already undergone The Identity Shift Effect
Welcome to the Real World
- You tell yourself you have or had no choice.
- You tell yourself that anyone would do what you did, if they found themselves in your situation
- You tell yourself: It’s just how the world is or It’s just how it is.
- At work, you are not living up to what your core values and standards used to be
- You feel like something inside you has died
- You feel yourself growing cynical
Dr Treynor tells us about her first job in 1997, fresh out of college and eager to win friends. She writes, “I was asked to do things in conflict with my ethical sensibilities. Each time I refused I endured a mix of ostracism, ridicule and intimidation for what seemed no reason at all. Finally a supervisor said to me…”I seduce people…you may not like that term but that’s what I do…You might prefer to call it manipulation…You’ll work here rise in the ranks but you’re going to work for someone like your current supervisor for ever… One day you will butting heads with top management and you’re going to hate it here”…I quit the job the next day. Seeing how this self proclaimed seducer was wildly successful I wanted to understand their apparent happiness making others unhappy….I finally got an answer…I got cancer…I believe my cancer was emotional, a physical manifestation of an emotional wound.”
Dr. Treynor feels some diseases are emotional and the body’s way to speak its own version of what’s going on in a person’s life. The focus of her research—unethical behavior had caused her to grow increasingly cynical about humanity and any hope for her as I was in the world. She was focusing on the negative I was really sad but what I really wanted was the freedom to be me and to be accepted as I was… you may have loved your husband and work but discovered you didn’t love yourself..the first requirement for seeing others as they are and accepting circumstances as you know you can only change yourself and not others.
Sheryl Says “ In my book The Living Spirit, I suggest that what we focus our attention and thoughts on materializes in one way or another…so we are creating our own reality either in a positive or negative way if we allow fears and our limitations to overcome our hopes for positive goals to be realized. This is known as “The Law of Attraction” and like all the Universal Laws provides a cause and effect reaction to all behaviors.”
Dr Treynor describes and writes…”As she watched her sister-in-laws graduation instead of feeling joy she felt anger, shards of disillusionment and rage in her body….Driving through San Francisco..seeing a man with no legs skateboarding…his body was missing limbs but he was whole and free and I wanted to know the secret he knew which gave him joy in life…faith trust and love of his life no matter what…”
Dr Treynor says, “I learned at this point that no one was going to save my life, that no one I loved was going to save my life and that because of it, I would die…feeling abandoned by those I reached out to describe my physical and emotional pain: the nutritionist, my sister, my parents my husband my mother in law, the chiropractor and my therapist..i realized every human being is precious bursting with unlocked potential just waiting to be unleashed by Love…”
Dr Treynor talks about the symptoms of her cancer and how she ultimately received healing from that and other issues that hampered your well being. She says, “Actually the diagnosis brought me great joy for no one had seen the depth of my pain..the cancer was a very bulky mediastinal, B-cell lymphoma, which ranged from the middle of my neck to almost the bottom of my ribcage. It suffocated my left lung collapsing it and encapsulated my heart.”
Sheryl tells Dr Treynor that when she heard Wendy’s mother and husband arguing over who should take care of her when she came home from the hospital, Sheryl wanted to cry. What Wendy was seeing was the fear of people who may have lacked enough courage and were full of fear and confidence that they could handle the situation as so many of us are when we face difficult challenges… much like the behavior she had observed in the workplace- a lack of empathy and love which are higher spiritual values but many people are not aware of their spiritual or soul essence and are living primarily from concerns of the physical world…
She learned to release her attachments, accept the love that was able to be given by my family, and know that it was her perception or need for a different kind of attention than they were able to give ..they loved but not perhaps in the way she needed.
Dr. Treynor mentions she was born into a family as a twin and the values of the family coincided with your twin brothers aptitudes more than mine… “She was sent to boarding school for the benefit of her education while the twin brother stayed home…Wendy felt rejected and that she must be defective According to Socialization Theory emotionally, we may feel like the social group in whose context we find ourselves with…in a conflict ridden environment facing on-going inescapable rejection, we come to internalize this rejection into self rejection thereby experiencing rejection from both others and ourselves ( we feel shame which can lead to depression and perhaps suicide. Depression is the result of ongoing self-rejection and social rejection chronic internal and external conflict and depression’s cure is to eliminate this conflict
According to Socialization Theory long term sole contact with any group is likely to result in it’s becoming your reference group the group whose standards you use as your own. If that group devalues you it means you’re coming to devalue yourself, also unless you conform to their ways you will avoid consequences but if you can’t for ethical reasons and do succumb you betray yourself..
The solution for some people is to gather the courage to exit these toxic social environments and join or create an unconditionally accepting environment that accepts us as we are. In time as more and more of us defect from these toxic social environments rather than find ourselves alone we will find ourselves among like-minded others, together creating an unconditionally accepting social context that supports human thriving…
SHERYL SAYS “In my book The Living spirit I echo your wise words as the way to help ourselves and our communities and to dissolve wherever possible toxic situations, allow for our own personal development…I wrote… There is a direct correlation between your current level of ability to love and your behavior that influences the progress or lack of progress in your relationship. The expression, ‘Birds of a feather flock together,’ or ‘Like finds Like’ have some credibility. It is important to understand that when a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, friends or siblings blame each other for the problems they are experiencing, they are merely projecting what they feel inside and are expressing their thoughts through their behavior. They may be unable to see this action and reaction, but it is at work nevertheless. It is easier to blame another than to change yourself: however changing yourself is the only option if you want to get off the roller coaster ride of toxic or unsatisfying relationships and environments….we cannot control others, but we can free ourselves of their toxic behavior by holding onto our own truths, finding our own path, and consistently making choices rooted in love rather than fear, hatred, or the desire for revenge.”
In summarizing today’s episode of Healing From Within Dr. Wendy Treynor has shared her insights into the art of happiness and healing sharing how the peer pressure process works and t relates to why we often unknowingly compromise our ethics and deepest values under social pressure betraying our hearts and conscience.
We have offered a way to view every family work or health challenge as the means to finding Self love and confidence that can move past bullying, diversity, learning to hold onto what feels right for us allowing us the courage to be true to our inner wisdom and sense of integrity.
Dr Treynor wrote… “Self control leads to true life fulfillment but it requires discipline and initial faith which are required to transcend the merry-go-round of thought. What is the merry-go- round of thought you ask. I never knew either! I didn’t know because I was always on it…It wasn’t until I got off it that I realized it existed most of us live with a state of mind that resembles a merry-go-round, a flutter of thoughts endlessly turning and churning diminishing our quality of life. It’s not the only way our minds have to be. Our minds can be still and thoughtless like a placid lake which feels really good and enhances your quality of life.”
Dr. Treynor and Sheryl would ask you to begin working with the body mind breathe perhaps yoga or mediation practices to find that quiet eternal still place where you will be whole safe finding peace and the way to value yourself and all of life.