I recently went unhinged. My brain became activated and I did not take a step back and choose the greatest course of action; which obviously would be one based out of love and in alignment with my highest self. Instead, I was reactive and triggered, and tried to protect myself from the perceived threat. This led to saying hurtful things, closing myself off from what I ultimately want, and causing another person to do the same. Toxic AF.
I share this because this is real. This is the truth of our deep rooted fears, insecurities, and most animal like parts of the brain. This is what happens when we are unconscious and we fall off track. In the past when things like this may have happened, I imagine I would have continued to make the situation worse and continue to cause more pain to myself and others. It's madness.
Of course, I didn't do this on purpose. If someone had asked me how I wanted the situation to go, I would not have mapped it out this way. Yet, as a mindfulness based therapist, meditation practitioner, personal development connesseuir, and coach to many - this is the behavior I displayed. Damnit! The self-judgement hang over started to creep in and I shame spiraled making the whole situation feel even worse. To give myself a little credit, I was able to bounced back quickly, and tried to level set, getting grounded in my body and doing breath work, but it was too late for resolve. At this point the other participant was too activated themself. It was game over.
Why does this happen to us? How can we avoid this? Am I destined to experience something like this again? I called one of my therapist friends and talked through this situation with her, and I was reminded of three simple truths:
Self Compassion is our friend. Offering yourself love and understanding, despite the disappointment in your own behavior is necessary in these moments. When your attachment system is activated, the question becomes "how can I provide safety and love to myself?", "what am I so deeply craving externally that I may be able to receive from internal resources?". Of course this is easier said than done, but loving yourself post activation is key to being able to move forward with grace.
We are human. This means that we will be triggered over and over and over again. The journey is all about trying to stay present with the discomfort, responding in a way that is aligned, and of course bouncing back to your highest self as swiftly as possible. As we continue to evolve, our bounce back rate will improve and we will catch the unconscious trigger responses quicker and quicker.
Regulate your body. Relax, take a hot bath, breathe, and slow it down. When we are activated, our body rushes into a fight or flight response. It is our job to take control of the system and ensure that we are doing whatever it takes to nourish ourselves. Sometimes it feels like action needs to be taken immediately, but emotions are simply delivering a message; not necessarily declaring that action needs to be taken. Settle into your body and allow your nervous system to get regulated.
I share this story because I am someone that teaches about spiritual and psychological development and dedicates my life to self mastery. I work on exploring the mind and emotions and the way they impact our behaviors. I share this story to reassure you that we ALL fall off the wagon. We all have an inner child that is screaming to be seen, heard, and soothed. This behavior becomes problematic when we're not willing to take ownership. This type of response becomes toxic when we try to play the victim and refuse to take responsibility for the role that we played in relational ruptures.
Brene Brown has a beautiful quote that says, "If you're not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback." When we are able to own our humanness, be vulnerable in expressing our insecurities and temporary emotional fragility, and ultimately dedicate ourselves to the continuous work of self discovery and self improvement, we can no longer worry about the opinion of others who are not willing to do this work.
I am doing this work every single day. I witness my clients doing this work. I see my friends and family dedicated to this mission. It is so important that you surround yourself with people who are committed to "being in the arena with you". Life is messy, it can be unpredictable and challenging, and our ego is constantly a force to be reckoned with; yet, this life is the most beautiful, grand, adventure of all!
I am on the journey with you. I bow to this work. I am dedicated to supporting you on the path and being transparent, authentic, and true every step of the way.
Have a beautiful week!