It as a Concept in the Substitute Sense of Self-oriented System

This Theory uses the term ‘It’ in expressions such as ‘making it work’ or ‘screwing it up.’ This is a challenging concept to understand. Within the context of this work ‘it’ in such phrases is never related to the obvious matter at hand in the person’s life. ‘It’ never refers to specific actions or things, even though the person might consciously believe that it does.

An example: Erica and her son are planning a trip. They do their very best to have the preparations proceed in a smooth manner. At the last minute, the son has a toothache and has to go to the dentist. Erica says: ‘You are always screwing it up.’

Her ultimate goal was not the obvious: to have trip preparations go smoothly because that’s a nice and easy way to live. No, her ultimate goal was a subconsciously-held Ego-References:   to ‘get away without problems.’ Now that it is thwarted,  she is unable to gain the (internalized, ‘virtual’) approval of her own parent, for ‘being without problems’ (her own Ego-Reference).

As a consequence, she can’t feel-good-about-herself and can’t achieve her Substitute Sense of Self from the ‘Vehicles‘ of those trip preparations. She is now facing the terrifying moment of a sense of Annihilation as a ‘Being.’ So you can see there is a lot more at stake for her in the situation than just minimal hassles for the enjoyment of minimal hassles. The result of her Ego-Reference being thwarted is that she erupts into anger at her son (See Rage). The word ‘it’ in ‘You are always screwing it up” refers to her Hidden Agenda to use this ‘getting away with her son’ as a setting in which she can show (herself) that she ‘can be without problems when going on a trip.’ So what Erica really meant to say to her son was: “You are screwing up my possibility to get my (virtual) parental approval that would lead to my Substitute Sense of Self.”

How did Erica get an Ego-Reference, perhaps that one in particular? Here’s a clue, from another example:

Erica’s mother has an event planned for the day. The plan is to leave early. Erica regularly has a sleeping problem but today she slept well enough. ‘I did it,’ she thought subconsciously, but with a conscious experience of relief. ‘I lived up to my Ego-Reference. So at least I won’t screw it up and my mother won’t get a temper tantrum because I am late, which affects her Ego-Reference of keeping up the image of ‘the happy family takes a trip and it all goes smoothly!’

‘It’ in such phrases always refers to the Substitute-Sense-of-Self-Oriented-Goal which can be ‘made’ or ‘screwed up.’ ‘It’ can refer to the ‘elephant in the room’  of the family myth or Ego-Reference: everybody walks around it and nobody has ever said it out loud. But you definitely can ‘screw ‘it’ up! (By ‘family myth’ I mean a specific required behavior: ‘this family always does so-and-so’ (and for all of us individually, our Substitute Sense of Self depends on it, but we don’t know that. All is well until someone screws ‘it’ up!)

As you probably have learned by now, the Substitute Sense of Self- oriented goal can serve to allow a person (back) into the Enmeshment or to get (back) into the desired state of ‘feeling-good-about-self’ as a Substitute Sense of Self by living up to the perceived required conditions.  So the little word ‘it’ refers to all that!!!

To reiterate: ‘It’ is never related to the actual, obvious, normal content of an action, event, situation, or behavior. These merely serve as a ‘vehicle’ for getting to the Substitute Sense of Self.

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