Tuesday, December 20, 2016
A new template
Something happens and you get triggered. Someone says something, ignores you, or doesn’t show up in the way you want and need. You quickly become convinced that no one will ever see you as you are. Others are not on your side and the world is against you. And on top of it, there is only one explanation at the root of it all: you are unworthy of such contact because something is fundamentally wrong with you.
In these moments, you are totally hooked. Your emotional world is on fire and you’re falling apart. You are shaming, blaming, and raging in all directions. The old voices remind you of how wretched you truly are. The energy is hot and surging through your heart. There is a panicky nauseous feeling in your stomach. Your throat is starting to constrict. You are about to collapse. Here we go again.
But wait. Breathe deeply from your lower belly. Touch the earth. Feel your heart beating. Return to your body and the aliveness of the here and now. See if it really is as urgent as it seems, that you need to disembody and find relief. Listen carefully to the call to care for yourself in a radically new way.
Slow down and bring your senses back online. This is no ordinary moment. The harbingers of integration have appeared. While you may never have much control over what thoughts, feelings, or emotions arrive in a moment of activation, you have a choice as to how you will respond. This choice is the threshold of a new world.
Depending on your early strategies for meeting overwhelm and dysregulation, you flow into motion. While these responses are wired in to your neural net, they are open, plastic, and translucent, awaiting reconfiguration. No matter what is happening in your life, in the inner world of your feelings, or in outer life circumstances, you can start right now. You can lay down a new pathway. Slowly, over time, you can replace the aggression with kindness, and the abandonment with holding. You can replace the rejection with curiosity and the shame with compassion. You can develop a new relationship with your feelings, your emotions, and with the beliefs which have become the lenses through which you have come to see your life.
While the old narratives and emotional strategies emerged as the best ways you knew to care for yourself and to make sense of a misattuned holding environment, you are the artist of a new world. Your canvas is the entirety of your sensitivity and vulnerability, the tenderness of your heart, and the brilliance of your creative psyche. You can rewrite the story, rewire your nervous system, and find new meaning. No, this is not easy, and will take everything you have… and more. But it is already written inside you.
While it may seem hopeless at times, you have capacities that you did not have as a little one when the original pathways were formed. Call on the seen and unseen worlds to help. Open to the holding and the wisdom of the mountains, the oceans, the stars, and the water around you. You are surrounded now by the heartbeat of the earth. Feel the new pathway emerging. Allow the new template to come online now. The template of love.