Types of Imprinting

Every Compatibility Factor has the potential to be imprinted on our children. The real issue is how the imprint is anchored emotionally. If our imprint is anchored in Safety and Excitement we use it to divert attention into safe ways of being appreciated. Our focus is mainly about appearances and looking good, which we call ‘Covers.’ The compromise is not to challenge others perceptions of us. If our imprint is anchored in Security and Intensity we use it get others to agree with us. Our focus is mainly about not letting others define our creative options, which we call ‘Taking Back Our Ground.’ The compromise is that we get caught up in rebelling and forget to be our Self. If our imprint is anchored in Personal Self Importance and Anxiety, we attempt to find points of leverage, which will artificially distinguish ourselves from our partners called ‘Diversions.’ The compromise is that if we confront our Imprinting, we would have to become mush more accountable about accepting who we are. Diversions are the most self sabotaging aspect of imprinting, because we deny the joyful inner motivation that comes with Authentic expression.

Imprinting reflects simply what we determined was needed to do to survive our childhood. It is a coping pattern that has outlived its value when we have become more conscious. The primary impact of Imprinting is how it diverts us from our own Primary Expression. Diversions keep us from focusing on who we are as contributors to the world. The more we do imprinting, the more our energies are tied up attempting to be what others want us to be. We can recognize imprinting by the degree of pain we experience when others resist, ignore or distrust us. Feeling this pain should be an incentive that focuses us on what we could do effectively. We do not want to get lost in the pain, but use it to clarify what we need to do to recover our passion. Passion is what gets lost when we believe our Imprinting is who we are. The more we eliminate imprinting by neutralizing these beliefs, the more effectively we will be able to engage a greater diversity of people. It is recommended to not begin with parents, because they will be the most difficult relationship with whom to gain clarity. Otherwise, we act out the patterns of our parents at the cost of our true nature (without learning how to individuate from them). If we do not confront our imprinting, we limit ourselves to a small segment of the population who will accept our diminished Creative Expression and imprinting. The more we seek familiarity and comfort the less likely will we find a partner who is creatively aligned and can support our Authentic Life Expression.

This requires that we release the tension about being seen in a particular way, so we can reinvest this expression in honoring our authentic Creative Being. Otherwise, the tension in the difference in imprinting can distract us from the creative opportunities to grow with others. Any attempt to convince someone we are somehow different than how we joyfully experience ourselves is likely imprinting. When we are being authentic there is no need to prove ourselves. Imprinting is essentially a performance or role we believe will gain us acceptance. It reinforces a superficial fantasy that we think will garner love and acceptance. It does not even occur to us that these patterns actually keep us from experiencing Radiant Self Unifying Love. When we are fully identified with our parents’ patterns and no longer receive praise, acknowledgement and attention, we feel abandoned and lost. In our families, if we do something unexpected, others try to encourage us to go back to our imprinting, assuming that we are the imprinting. This is how we become locked into our family of origin patterns.

Taking Back Our Ground is a reflection that we lost our footing while growing up. This means we lost the ability to define what we needed and when it was needed by accepting another’s priorities over our own. It reflects a power imbalance that eventually needs to be neutralized or we end up becoming the person our parents imposed upon us. Some would say we become just like our parents, but in reality, it is more descriptive to say we become a person with a superficial toughness and opposition to people telling us what to do. It is interesting to notice that we take on imprinting with all the compromises our parents have made and then use the conflicts within the imprint to fight the imprint from the outside in. For example, if we adopted a poorly expressed Inventor imprint from our father and it contained a lot of self-loathing, resistance and intensity, we would naturally gravitate to expressing our self loathing, resistance and intensity whenever someone triggered us to respond in this imprint. We can further say that an Inventor Imprint who did not take himself or his Creative Expression seriously, would display a lot of jadedness, self-reliance and indifference to the opinions of others. This would mean that whenever an Inventor imprint was triggered, we would use it to shrug off how others do not see or accept us. This is an example of an imprint, which could be valuable in certain situations where repression is dominant. Overall, we tend to believe that imprints are coping mechanisms with some inherent value because they helped us solve some problems in the past. The key issue is that we never had a choice about how we responded.

The simplest types of Imprints are called Covers, because we attempt to match an outer appearance, but do not usually believe we can survive scrutiny, so we simply deal with everything superficially. Covers can also be imprints of our parent’s Imprints. When a parent believes we need to be a certain way to survive, they can get very driven to make sure we know how to respond to certain problems and resort to patterns of behavior that make us seem more flexible and capable (than we may be in that moment). Our Mental Body is the Expression that provides a sense of Safety for us. This creates a choice between doing our Authentic Mental Body Expression (to feel safe) or falling into a Cover Imprint to create the illusion of Safety. Sometimes we get so caught up in creating these illusions for ourselves, we end up buying into the illusions of others. Covers promote greater Objectification, where appearances are more important than the substance of a circumstance.

What this tells us is that the patterns of imprinting can be seen as good or bad, but that the underlying compromise to our way of being is what mainly does the damage. Imprinting creates pockets of compromise, where we are emotionally turbulent, coalescing into attachments of Excitement, Intensity and Anxiety that cannot be easily resolved. This is why some individuals use more than 25% of their total expression dealing with issues of imprinting. This is a lot of investment when the only payoff is rejection, denial and a general discounting of who we are. The real cost is the lack of energetic integrity, where we are constantly being thrown off-balance by the issues of others. Many of us who have begun the healing process report that releasing these patterns helps them regain a set of priorities that gives them more options to set a course about where they want to go. When we are imprinted, our larger context is diminished and we flit from thing to thing without committing to anything.

In response to not being seen in our natural Creative Expression, survival fears impel us to imitate our parents’ patterns and we learn to fake an identity for their approval. The important thing to know is that at the base of every imprint is a pattern we feel compelled to do or act out in a particular way. The more we become identified with this pattern or role, the more we need to prove our value by acting it out whenever others question our value. This is why imprinting, at its core, is purely reactive and has no inherent value other than to make us realize that we do not need to compromise ourselves. We are the ones who create the illusion that what we are doing has a socially redeeming value. Simply stated, our pattern was established at an early age that confirms we can connect in a certain way, but we do not realize this may not be supporting us now (at all). The first step to healing this process is to notice what compels us to react, so we can clarify the effect of the conditioning and choose to not engage it. The more conscious we are about the process, the less compelling Imprinting becomes and eventually we release it. This is accelerated when we see the downsides of the Imprint and come to the conclusion that it is in the way of our Growth. When one of the seven creative energies is expressed as imprinting, we are acting, not being authentic, and we are not being seen for what we are doing, no matter how hard we try.

In summary, there are three types of Imprinting: Covers, Taking Back Our Ground, and Diversions. Covers are imprints on the Instinctive level, where our Intent is compromised. They drive us to hide out and keep us from causing reactions with others. They are reconciling by nature because they attempt to maintain our safety. One of the main giveaways is that when we are caught in this type of imprint we want others to like us and we keep seeking Excitement as a way to confirm that we have value to them.  Ironically, this type of imprint minimizes our Pleasure. Taking Back Our Ground is where the imprint is mostly intellectual and compromises our Content. One main indicator of this is our argumentative nature because we have decided we are not going to go quietly into the night. Instead, we are going to be noticed and taken into account. We want others to be Intense to meet us in our Intensity on a particular topic. This imprint minimizes our Power because we are not able to see the big picture and include others to build a larger synergy. The last type is a Diversion. This type of imprint is where we lose ourselves in others’ ways of being and never get around to being ourselves. The key indicator here is we are always distracting ourselves so we never end up getting what we want. Some people would say we are afraid of asking for what we really need. This type of imprint minimizes Passion because we are always defining ourselves in terms of what others want us to be rather than what we want to be.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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