Category: Living Wisdom Insights

Why do I still do dumb stuff?!

As we come into this would we figure out how to cope with difficult situations and emotions by both copying the people around us and by inventing new ways. Unfortunately, we don’t always find the best way by default. This is about primarily about becoming aware of your default survival strategies. It’s impossible to fight an invisible enemy. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates

What Are Survival Kits?
*What we do with shame (Not grace!)
*The way we hide
*Our defaults
*Redundant coping skills
*Our old body guard that became our prison guard
*Our addictions

Q. What do I do, that I know I shouldn’t, but in the moment my emotions get the better of me?


Q. Where did I learn this behaviour?


Q. What feelings are involved?  (Search deeper than just anger, frustration, annoyed.)


The False Promise
Survival Kits protect us from our UBF’s but hurt us and others in the process. You will live in reaction for your whole life if you don’t take the time to investigate what is behind your survival kits.

“You have to feel it to heal it.”

“Nothing changes until it becomes what it is.”    -Fritz Pearls

“If we don’t transform our pain we will most assuredly transmit it.”    -Richard Rohr

“What is the seal of freedom attained? No longer to be ashamed of oneself.” –Nietzche

Healing Process

1. Become aware of the survival kit or false comfort.

My Survival Kit:________________________________


2. Stop using it long enough to feel what it’s hiding.

UBF/Hurt/Feeling: __________________________


3. Find a grown up way of dealing with or finding comfort for the above feeling.

New Strategy: _________________________.

New Thoughts/Truths/Comforts/Assurances:




Eg: I yell, to hide from feeling unheard, instead I can learn to use consequences, negotiation skills, get therapy, find a way to accept being unheard (ie – “I can’t always be heard as I can’t control other peoples ears!” “Feeling unheard doesn’t mean I am unloved.”)

Check out for an online automatic process to follow for this. It’s awesome!

UBF’s (Unbearable Feelings)

One of David Riddell’s central concepts is the UBF or Unbearable Feeling. In short it refers to a deep old bruise of the heart. A bruise that we will do anything to avoid being bumped. These are our buttons. Basically, most (or all!) of our craziness is caused by us avoiding our bruises instead of facing up to it and healing it. Or quite simply, realizing that it will actually be ok if we bump it, because now as adults we have the reassurances to coach us through it. That’s a very short paragraph summarizing a VERY BIG phenomenon.


‘Judgement’ is a loaded term. Assessment of people’s actions is essential and does not necessarily imply the moral criticism of the judgemental.

© Copyright D. Riddell, 2012
Book Reference: Relational Insights (R 101)