…just like everyone else. and it’s a learning experience. The question is: how quickly can i integrate the lesson?
Today, my friend wanted to recreate the sense of anxiety she was feeling during a certain story so that I could understand how she felt so I could fully honor how stressed she was and why her responses were as they were. She was wanting to confide in a friend and have that kindred sense of “i feel where you are coming from”
I got all, “of all of the moments of that situation, we’re going to re-create and focus on the moment that had all the stress chemicals coming through your body? Can we please focus on the ‘handled it’ part?” We know that the body doesn’t perceive the difference between a real or perceived threat. Why do we re-create the moment of terror? Is that really the energetic field we want to share – because the anxiety of the story was palpable. as her voice rose and “here’s the situation, but wait, there’s more and it’s even worse” — my body is super sensitive to these things. I don’t want that chemical bath. and I get that you want me to understand your point of view. But I’m really bored with the past. There are very few moments I’m interesting in re-creating when the present moment is so replete with things to be fascinated about. I have a hard time going back to watch recordings of *really interesting interviews* because what is new in my life is right.here.right.now.
So, we talked about tools, and knowledge, and we know these things, and why reinjure ourselves with the trauma instead of processing it and allowing the charge to dissipate (instead of reinforcing the charge with every telling)… and how we don’t use tools because we “understand them” but understanding a hammer does not hang a picture on the wall. Emotional and mental hygiene require practices like brushing our teeth. Without those practices, it.just.keeps.building.up. no matter how well you understand the value of it not being so. Knowledge is not the goal (gasp!) – experience is where the juice is, and experience that is created by the deliberate and skilled introduction of nurturing actions that cannot help but evolve the situation. Else we just keep it active. . do we want it to be active? Usually not (although we do want to explain ourselves). the *application* of introducing healing practices works to dispel the energy. without actual application of the healing practice, you can “know” all you want but the trigger remains perfectly intact. They key is in doing the homework.
Then, rather than come into my house and spend a few minutes engaged in mental hygiene before interacting with my family, I went ahead and re-created the phone call much like she had re-created the moment of anxiety. I talked about the physical reaction while giving my husband a similar ‘palpable sense’ of the problem to justify my reacting the way I did. As in, exactly the same action and intention (justifying myself). Thankfully, much like I pointed it out to her, my husband pointed it out to me. And it is through the sharing of our experience in the moment that we can draw each other back into the moment. And as we are back in the moment we can feel into what we need to do to release the charge. What practice, what tool. Sometimes it’s just the noticing – that is enough for today. Sometimes real catharsis can happen, even if the offending incident was minor. But it’s in relationship with each other that we can see these things in ourselves (and truly, when we see it in another, put on your seatbelt because often our own pattern of it is about to get the spotlight). Being in that space, and being receptive to a new POV even when we’re “very justified in what we are feeling/doing” (spoiler alert: we’re always justified in whatever we do. It’s still a choice.) lets us open up to new ways of being. Not repeating old patterns, or freaky moments, or whatever nostalgia seems so dear.
I have a “disappointment panda” way of being – the person who sortof matter-of-factly tells people the somewhat obvious truths they don’t want to hear. I wonder if I am really a scourge until someone boldly and kindly holds a mirror up and is my disappointment panda, and I am so grateful for the reflection. For one thing, it reminds me that we are all works-in-progress and as much as I have gotten to ‘peace between my ears’ here is another opportunity to *develop* peace *through my choices* which right now are being co-opted by the justifying, defensive part of myself that wants to validate my way of being in a crazy world. I mean, that’s a perfectly normal and justified way to live on this earth, but it’s not the one I spend so much time talking about wanting to create: the fluid, flowing presence to the moment-by-moment unfoldment of Life Itself expressing through everything that is.
It also shows me how dependent I am on those around me to be part of the flow of life and energy and information, and to be mindful of the energy we live in and share. I really do have energetic and thereby hormonal releases when my nervous system is excited. I think being able to maintain my own energy field during moments like that is a really important step for me – so that i can access it without experiencing it. or something like that. we’ll see.
Now I’m going to go meditate. I probably should’ve done it before I created the weird energetic field this post holds, you know, to be mindful of what I’m sharing and what we’re creating. mental hygiene *after the fact* is better than not at all, but probably best in the moment and thoroughly, so as to not bring the carryover into our new moments.