Animation  –  the model in words  –  the creation of the model

A MODEL

A model is a simplified representation of situations and findings. Reality is a situation that can do better or even cause damage. A model brings clarity and offers a path to change.

The advantage of working with a model is that it can bring direct overview and insights.

The Model for Personal Autonomy consists of two generators, active in each of us.

THE CRAMP GENERATOR

During an emotional cramp, your feeling and thinking contract so that you can no longer think, talk or act in a coherent manner. Your behavior – you either explode or shut down – is not relating to what happened or is being said. At that point you cannot prevent, control or stop your behavior.

As long as you are not aware of the trigger that starts the cramp, you are entrapped in a recurring vicious circle, ruled by your emotions and messages from your unconscious.

THE POWER GENERATOR

By applying the model to yourself, you are able to break from the vicious circle. You are no longer receiving messages from your unconscious. You make your own analysis and create your own solution – your personal autonomy is a fact.

You can then form an opinion out of inner peace and decide for yourself. You can act effectively and decisively. Your thinking, feeling, and acting are in line with each other.

The emergence of the model for Personal Autonomy.

Inga’s personal story.

‘Pappie’ is the title for the man who is my hero when I’m young. The man who can do everything, knows everything and loves me unconditionally. I learn all the important things for my life from him.

When I go to school, I learn to read and write and I am happy and proud to learn something that he already knows how to do.
When it is spring, we do a project about the spring. On a large white sheet I draw a stork that I fill with small balls of crepe paper. With a pencil I draw straight lines where I neatly write my newly learned words. When it is done, the teacher puts an orange cardboard cover around it.

The world falls collapses.
“Pappie, look what I made”, I say proudly. I look at his face and almost feel his satisfied and proud look going over me.
He opens the orange cover, looks and says with a stern voice: ‘Litter is with double ‘t ‘, not one.’

I’m totally shocked. My world collapses. How can he say something like that? How can he be so dismissive? Does he not see how I have done my best? How beautiful everything is on the lines? How carefully the stork is filled with crepe paper balls is? I get mad at my father. He is no longer my Pappie. I refuse to call him like that.

A pattern is created.
In the years that follow, it swirls in me when he says: “You do not know that yet, you are still too small for that.” We often get into a fight and I hate him when he says: “You are not dry behind your ears yet.” For years I even thought that I was literally not dry behind my ears. And when I checked it, it seemed like I was too young even for that check.

I can hear that text from my father in many variations. And even if nothing is said, I hear it anyway.

A first attempt at autonomy.
When I am twenty-one, I go abroad for a year and a half. For the first time in my life, I decide whether I am too young for something or not. The authority of my father does not apply there and I feel mature, free and autonomous.

When I am back in the Netherlands, I think I have indeed achieved my freedom and autonomy.

Feedback: am I that autonomous?
I am in my the late twenties and just started a firm of my own in public relations. I ask the man with whom I have an appointment with on a  regular basis to have a look at the text that I have written for my brochure. He is retired and likes to stimulate young people in their professional development. I find it very exciting because he is a real authority in the profession and I can learn a lot from him. He has the same beautiful white hair as my father had. He says he feels honored and wants to have a look at the text.

At our next appointment he has the text with him. He talks about something else, while I’m sitting on hot coals and really only wants to know one thing: is he enthusiastic about what I’ve written?

He takes the paper out of his inside pocket while he says he has put quiet some energy into it to really  have a good look at it. I only see red stripes and improvements. I cramp completely, hear nothing and can no longer speak.

Conscious of the cramp.
These experiences make me aware that I suffer from something that is deeper than I am aware of at that moment. Together with my fascination for people, this is the reason I get into  research.
Gradually I come behind the origins of this fascination and also on the path of the development of my cramp.

 

The origin of my fascination.
As long as I can remember, I am fascinated by the difference between what people think and feel and what they actually do. How is it possible that there is such a difference? It is a difference that causes discomfort.

The origin of this fascination lies in the family in which I grew up. Both my parents spent three and a half years of their young lifes in captivity in a Japanese camp during the Second World War. The indelible influence of it left a heavy mark on my youth.

I experienced how different people communicate and what effects that has. A lot of things were said, sometimes openly, sometimes in covered terms. I noticed that the most important thing that had to be said was not said.

Pappie … not just a hero.
Despite all the joy of life and ambitions of my father, he was not free and autonomous, but a victim. Physically, because of the physical defects he had because of the camp time, but above all mentally, because of the emotional damage he had sustained in his life. My mother had left the war behind her as she said herself. But in fact she had pushed everything away. It took much longer before I was able to notice her pain and damage.

And myself?
I found out more and more that I had received part of their damage. I did not want that at all. I did not want to be controlled by and suffer from a war that I myself had not experienced. Nor did I want to be trapped in my own conscious and unconscious memories. To my dismay, however, I discovered that I had suffered damage and was trapped. Not like my parents, but I did suffer in a self-constructed prison. I was a slave to my unconscious patterns.

I learned that imprisonment, victimhood and slavery know all sorts of forms and expressions. I actually found it everywhere. Also in what I read as relaxation, out of interest and for my work, in books on psychology, philosophy, religion, pedagogy, didactics, and in literary works.

The outcome: a road to genuine autonomy.
The results of my search has taken shape in the model for Personal Autonomy (mPA) model. With the help of this model it is possible to fulfill the promise with which we are born –  to actually flourish and celebrate life.