“One reason Self-Awareness-Energy Led people can remain calm and clear in the face of anger is because they trust that no matter what the offended person claims happened, it doesn’t mean they are bad or are going to be permanently harmed. We are defensive not because someone is attacking us but rather because the attack is likely to provoke our inner critics, which in turn trigger the worthlessness and terror we accumulated as children. Whatever slight we receive in the present triggers an echo chamber inside us of all the similar hurts we’ve accumulated from the past. Contemporary events are not what we fear — it’s the unending reverberations we’ll have to endure that scare us. We dread any incident that confirms our worst fears about ourselves.
As people heal their vulnerable parts, their critics relax and their defenses drop. They feel Self-Awareness-Energy confident in the sense that their Self-Awareness-Energy has healed those parts and has shown its ability to protect them or to comfort them if they are hurt again. When that’s the case, you become less susceptible to former provocations because those things no longer set off your inner echo chambers of past hurts. Instead, you react to the present situation, which may indeed involve danger or pain, with the confidence that you can handle or repair whatever happens. Without overreaction, you take steps to protect yourself and, if the interacts are hurtful, afterward you nature any of your parts that were hurt.
This is the opposite of our socialized tendency to lock up those hurt parts in our effort to “let it go, don’t look back, and just move on.” As a result of that philosophy, not only do we accumulate increasing burdens of pain, but we also abandon and isolate the hurting childlike parts of our instead of nurturing them. This strategy leads to less and less confidence in the Self-Awareness-Energy. and more vulnerability to the siblings and arrows all around us, and, consequently, more protectiveness and sense of being a separate, isolated, lonely individual.
Confidence has another meaning as well in reference to Self-Awareness-Energy. The knowledge that we’re part of the ocean and not just an isolated wave brings with it what might be called a sense of grace. Grace is hard to define and, in Christianity, has traditionally been seen as a gift or blessing from God. In this book, it is associated with the trust that, as once client put it, “I am loved and am love. No matter how bad things seem, it’s all okay and will work out the way it should (can).” With this kind of confidence in the essential goodness of life comes an openness to the beauty of the world and a desire to experience that beauty in each moment. It is hard to stay in the present long enough to experience the beauty if you lack this kind of confidence because you will be consumed with future plans for your survival or gratification.
People with this kind of confidence are charismatic (yet another word that begins with C), not in the sense of flashy, clever, or powerful, but in the way the Greeks originally used the word to mean “having the gift of grace.” Self-Awareness-Energy-Led people possess the charisma of authenticity.”
— Internal Family Systems Model, Dick Schwartz, pp. 40-42
1. to maintain a strong belief in one’s ability to stay fully present in a situation and handle or repair anything that happens with the belief that “no matter what, it’s all okay and will all work out the way it can”
2. to have healed from previous traumas and learned from previous failures to such a degree that their effect does not spill into the present
3. to understand that mistakes are only lessons to be learned