Hooks Need Receptors

When you think of a hook, you might imagine something sharp and barbed that can sink into your flesh at any point, but this isn’t really how it works. A hook can only bury itself into your system if you have a corresponding receptor. The hook is the thing we can feel, and those of us who are able can even see it. Since we can perceive the hook in some way, it’s what we focus on, while the more important part of this mechanism remains largely invisible and outside our awareness.

If you have no receptor for the hook, it either can’t attach at all or will attach very weakly and is easily cleared, or might even fall away on its own. It just can’t find a home in you. Receptors are mostly belief structures and wound patterns that are a close enough match for the hook.

Imagine this: you move in a sea of such hooks, every day of your life, yet only a small number of hooks will actually find a home in you — a matching receptor. We can see this most clearly by looking at other people and noticing how they get hooked and triggered by things that have no similar impact on us.

So, what kind of receptors do you have? This week, pay close attention to your interactions with others and make a note of:

  • Things you are sensitive about
  • Insecurities
  • Your identity or role in relation to the other person
  • Competition
  • Things you need to believe about yourself, the other person, or the relationship (if you’ve taken the Mastery course, revisit lesson 18 for detailed info on this)
  • Loyalty
  • Obligation
  • Emotional debt
  • Guilt (this can be for something you’ve done, haven’t done, something you feel or don’t feel, or because you’re better at something or have more or are stronger or you need them less than they need you…guilt can be generated from pretty much anything, and often we don’t correctly label it as guilt)
  • Shame
  • Feelings about the way another person sees you (feelings are not the same as objective concern — for instance, you need to be aware of how your boss sees you, which isn’t the same as having feelings about how your boss sees you)
  • Feelings about how another person feels about you
  • Responsibility for another person in any way (aside from your young children)
  • Involvement in the views and opinions of others
  • Involvement in the worldview of others
  • A belief structure about how you should feel or behave
  • Any feeling that you need to save, fix or educate another
  • Any feeling that you need to be saved, fixed or changed by another
  • Feeling the other person owes you
  • Feelings about being a fraud, a fake, not good enough
  • Pressure around being perfect, being on time, being prepared
  • Needing the other person to give you attention, recognition or care
  • Feelings that you don’t deserve this person’s love, friendship, esteem or attention — unworthiness, inferiority
  • Feeling the other person doesn’t deserve your love, friendship, esteem or attention — contempt, superiority
  • Resentment
  • Revenge
  • Needing to prove someone wrong
  • Needing someone to believe or feel the way you do
  • Blame
  • Needing to change another person’s emotional state
  • Needing to state your opinion
  • Needing to be Good, Bad, Perfect, In Charge, Right
  • Taking the blame or accepting responsibility for someone else’s behavior or feelings
  • Blaming someone else for your behavior or feelings
  • Needing someone else to validate, share or even absorb/dilute/transmute your emotions
  • Feeling you should validate, share or even absorb/dilute/transmute another person’s emotions

Obviously, this list isn’t exhaustive. Our wounds and beliefs can take so many forms, but they do usually fall into the broad categories of Dependency or Responsibility. Sometimes hooks and cords are used as a substitute for 1) having and maintaining strong, clear and healthy boundaries and 2) taking full responsibility for yourself and  self-care.

Once you detect any kind of pull, you can follow it deeper to find the core belief, the wound, the programming at the heart of it. Keep asking why? Why do you think, feel or believe it? Follow it all the way to the seed. Once you get to the seed, when why has taken you all the way to the place where there are no whys left to be answered, ask the final question:

Is this true for Me?

Yeah, the initial capital Me. Who you are, in your authority, in your center space.

It might be your egregore’s truth, need, wound, dependency, insecurity. But is it…yours? Your synthetic self, your ego, your persona self, your personal egregore has lots of needs and wants and vulnerabilities and stories and limitations. Are these also, and authentically, yours?