Saturday, March 11, 2017
Surviving Emotional Landmines
How do we separate ourselves from a reaction that seems to blindly stem from the core of our soul and keep us from treading the dark waters of emotional doom? I think about this often, especially as I see social media verbal attacks wreaking havoc in the lives of those I am acquainted. I think before we can get to the point of being able to separate ourselves from a moment of uncomfortable reaction, we have to understand our typical psychological behavior.
For starters, we frequently judge what we see and experience based on a very complex set of psychological filters. None of us is precisely the same in this regard as our experiences from every second of every minute of our lives has varied. Then, there is this little acknowledged concept that our hopes and fears help establish our beliefs and, well, we unconsciously give credence to our beliefs as truth through reacting to situations before we have a moment to clearly think. We do this quite innocently but we do it none-the-less. So, in our daily interactions we all have these seeds that are psychological landmines of sorts waiting unseen until someone comes close enough in word or action to set things off. We can then react somewhat unconsciously to whatever situation arises. Because we “feel” the need to react, we must be justified. We can weave a tale and tell it many times and get others to agree with us after the fact. But, if we get so caught up in the superficiality of the event, we will often miss the true opportunity these situations can bring us.
Back to the seeds for just a moment. These blessed little seeds that become our daily triggers are not the awful things we consider them to be. Each time one of these little seeds becomes irritated to the point were about to blow, we have a beautiful opportunity to explore the core, the source of whatever it is that is getting a rise out of us. Why does this matter? Well, if you didn’t know these little psychological seeds, traumas or fears were hidden within you, you may never get the opportunity to identify any of the hidden beliefs and fears you hold. Once you identify the inner most fears and beliefs not based in reality that don’t really serve you any more, you can step back and view them in the clear and pristine light of day and decide whether or not you wish to let them control you and your behavior any longer. If we can separate ourselves from the reaction of a moment and try as best as we can to understand the truth of the heart and soul of us, we may find all these little irritating and well-triggering situations no longer have to wreak havoc in our lives. We can also learn to respond better to a situation instead of continuously helplessly reacting. Another truly beautiful benefit is that we can understand others who go on the offense a little better and thoughtfully guard ourselves as we go further.
I have to admit that I’ve run across many of these little irritating seeds in my life. My reactions used to drive me mad with adrenaline pumping fear and anger. But, when I learned to identify what they were or that they even existed, I found that my reactions were changing and my interactions became much more stable. I began to feel much more comfortable in my own skin. I also learned that those I faced were in the same boat I was in! I have to say, this is a wonderful part of growing older. You understand so much more, you can allow yourself greater patience and you can forgive yourself and others a bit more readily. You just need to develop the ability to separate yourself from a moment of triggered exchange. When you can feel that urge and then immediately separate from it to view it more honestly and openly with the goal of understanding, things change and you will grow. Even if in a moment, you just understand an uncomfortable change is truly about another's hidden landmines, you have grown. Is this easy? No way! Is it worth it? Absolutely!
Some food for thought, the next time you feel triggered by fear or anger, take no other action than a slow and deep contemplative in breath. Breathe out then, very slowly and feel what it feels like to be in your body. Silence will not hurt you in these moments but breathing to help you stabilize yourself at your center, will help you better respond to a potentially uncomfortable emotional situation. With a clear head, you can interact to resolve, choose to speak or not and even decide to stay and state your case or choose the matter isn’t really worth your time and walk away to recover. Sometimes these choices come in the span of a heart beat. Consider making great use of these lightning fast moments to realize that gut level reaction is actually a message to you and that all the chemicals that are triggered within you are truly meant to give you the energy to face whatever it is you’ve been triggered by. In these very brief moments you can alter the direction of relationships, friendships and even the path of your own journey. You can even begin to grow in ways you never thought possible. I wish you a blessed grand awakening with every breath and step you take! It matters. You matter.
© 2017 Jaie Hart (photo/words)