Metaphor for the terrifying sense of inner emptiness and invisibility, as experienced by a person with Lack of Sense of Self who doesn’t feel like (being considered) a “real” person and which, like a force of nature, sucks in approval based thoughts and feelings to fill itself. This condition of No-Self “naturally” fills itself with “Feeling-good-about-yourself” resulting from getting approval.
Some children are treated by their parent/primary caretaker as a pawn in the game of the caretaker’s own life, and not as a real, independently existing human being. These toddlers or children are not being enabled to develop a good sense of themselves as a distinct, real person. Those children experience an inner emptiness. This void, like a black hole (astronomical term), actively seeks to be filled the moment something comes near it that can be used as filling. This is Nature’s way of making sure a placeholder for the missing Sense of Self is created as living with a total Lack of Sense of Self is simply impossible.
So, The Black Hole is not an actual hole; it’s a metaphor for that void that exists in the psyche of a person who is prevented from developing a Healthy (Natural) Sense of Self and isn’t therefore able to experience being alive on this earth as a real, independently existing person. Imagine this void as the “place” (in consciousness) where there should be this strong foundational, and ongoing experience of existing independently, of being a real person. What there should be is a solid, abiding, touchstone or ‘spine’ of ‘I-ness’ that makes it clear without say that the person is entitled to be just by already being alive.
This void is, like any natural void, programmed by Nature to generate a continuous pull to fill itself by something. For the person with a Lack-of-Sense-of-Self, that “something” consists of anything that can evoke the primary caretaker’s approval (or a virtual version of that parent’s approval, later in life, one’s Internalized Parental Voice (IPV).
In practical life, this results in the child’s subconsciously motivated, but deliberately executed behaving in ways that evoke approval, but it goes a lot further than that. The child actively seeks out ways (Vehicles) that can be used to earn the caretaker’s approval (or the virtual version of it). In short, the child desperately seeks and becomes dependent on something to make him “Feel-good-about-self” and that has become his ultimate need and goal in life. This happens when a child’s basic need for a Sense-of-Self isn’t being met due to the low quality of the caretaker’s Mirroring of the child.
The way the child has learned (subconsciously) to behave, in order to evoke those needed reactions from parents (or others that have that function), and manipulate his/her behavior or feelings, doesn’t disappear with age. Unless active steps are being undertaken to heal this condition, this pattern continues throughout life.
Having a Sense-of-Self is a psychological necessity. That means that, when its development is prevented by self-absorbed caretakers, the pull by Nature to meet that need somehow is experienced as strongly as if it were a force of Nature. It sucks in any good outcome the person might have with his/her activity or behavior, turning it into something that qualifies for approval. This can be approval from self (through one’s IPV), or from others (the parents or other authority figures) and distorts/co-opts much of the child’s behavior and ways of being.
The challenge in trying to heal is that the Substitute-Sense-of-Self-Oriented System keeps the person locked into this pattern with this force-of-nature strength.
Resolutions and affirmations to “change” are powerless in the face of that Black Hole’s vacuum, the emptiness of “no-self”.
Healing comes only from filling yourself up with a stronger Sense-of-Self, which does fill or eliminate the Black Hole. Then you can be free from compulsive and addictive behaviors which were used to feed into the Substitute-Sense-of-Self as an unhealthy and ephemeral way to fill the Black Hole.
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