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)

Triggers – Flashes of Emotion or Opportunities for Insight?

Human interactions can sometimes be so difficult.  We sometimes beat ourselves up after certain interactions thinking, “Why didn’t I say this or say that or why did I say anything at all!”  You need to understand something about us humans.  Environmental psychology and, well, the stuff we just come in here with leaves us with trigger points.  These are those little internal flash points we people do or say that one thing or many things in just that special way that pushes our buttons.  It is so easy to look back in hindsight when calm and un-triggered and see clearly what someone said or did wasn’t about us at all.

But wow those triggers, huh?!  If you realize that the thing that gets your goat is a trigger and you learn to own your triggers, the impact starts to lessen a bit.  Sometimes it is good enough to get to the point where you recognize you have been triggered and then in those moments following, just breathe forgiving yourself for being triggered.  It is okay to be triggered, its okay to find you’ve got goats for someone to get.  What’s not okay is living in denial and blaming everyone else for your triggers.  Here is a very harsh reality, triggers are not the fault of the person pushing your buttons.  There, I said it.  It’s the truth and I know all too well how much it hurts.  There is a part of us that becomes so angry that we’ve been triggered at all and we just want to blame someone, something…anything for the terrible toxic energy that seems to be the instant result.  But, that only damages our relationships and makes it harder for us to establish new ones.

So, what do we do with these triggers?  How do we make them go away?  More harsh news, I don’t know that everyone can make them go away.  Sometimes I think the best we can hope for is understanding and maybe even some compassion.  If someone makes a joke at your expense trying to aggrandize themselves while terribly minimizing you or your efforts and you have a trigger point around this, terrible things can begin to happen in your mind in a split second.  If you do not learn to recognize this anger, or this toxic emotion being generated by you seemingly as a result of someone else’s words or actions, this trigger point can really be damaging for you.  But, if over time you can learn to see the trend of the types of things that trigger you and you begin to understand this is about fear that you hold and that the interaction truly only serves to give you a chance to understand the trigger point is there, you will have made great strides towards recovery.

There are wounds we all carry and you can spend a life time trying to figure out why something is there and maybe some of us should – maybe through therapy.  But, sometimes we just have to understand, accept ourselves, wounds – trigger points – and all and just learn to take a breath, disengage and get peaceful again.  Whether someone meant to trigger you or not isn’t really the point at all.  The point is you recognizing you have a trigger point.  Living with them isn’t so hard if you can understand that they exist and you don’t have to beat yourself or others up because you became triggered.  You really don’t.

This is a whole new way of living with love and understanding towards yourself first and then others in a more healthy way.  Revenge is a message.  Anger is a message.  Sadness is a message.  What is that message?  Simply put, it is that there is a wound.  No matter how it got there, there is a wound and wounds need care and healing time not thrashing, bashing, avenging and threatening yourself or  others.  In a calm and cooler mind, you can acknowledge that you’ve been triggered, get some space for yourself to recover from the moment and then just be with the trigger.  Looking deeply and fearlessly within, you can do this.  It doesn’t mean you did something wrong or that something is wrong with you.  We all have our triggers and their levels of severity vary.  But, the realization of our own body’s messaging system through emotion and energy can truly be your saving grace.  We don’t need to internalize our anger.  We just need to understand that its there for whatever reason and give it space in non-action (other than awareness) for the intensity of a moment to shift.  That is damn hard!  But there are positive actions you can take.  If there are people who continually trigger you, do your best to spend less time with them – get some counseling to help you deal with your own emotions about what these people do that triggers you or even go the no contact route if need be.  Every person deserves the right to set boundaries to protect themselves  but we must always remember to also protect ourselves from our own negative thoughts.

There are so many tools available that can help us learn to be with emotion rather than running from, stuffing, projecting or transferring our emotion onto others psychologically.  Some of this stuff happens so quickly we don’t even know its happening consciously.  But we can learn to become consciously aware by listening to our emotion, knowing emotion isn’t always fact but it is a message.  Clearly and rationally and also, very safely exploring is paramount.

We’ve all got our triggers and flashpoints and we may not ever be able to stop them.  But we can learn different behavior that better supports us while we learn to accept ourselves wounds and all.  No matter what you’ve been through, you are worth the effort of understanding, awareness, breathing and peace.  But in the end, it’s all about what you want to do and how you choose to live your life.  If you wish to live it blindly being triggered, that’s okay.  If you want to live it with more peace, serenity and support, you may have to learn better coping strategies for those times you become triggered.  We sometimes think this stuff is the end of the world in a heated moment but it doesn’t have to be.

It just doesn’t have to be horrible or result in terrible things said or done in a moment of emotion.  We can learn if we want to, we can become more aware if we want to.  I guess we just have to get to the point that we can’t live with our own toxic emotion.  These are great opportunities to learn from.  We just have to be willing to do the learning.  Just some food for thought today.  Blessings of great awareness, love, healing and understanding to you all.

 

© 2017, Jaie Hart (photo/words)

Understanding Invisible Wounds

There are times in our lives we suffer a blow of some kind.  Something unexpected, something huge, something big and something totally invisible to the outside world.  No one understands the pain because they can’t clearly see it.  Because they cannot see it, they expect you to perform normally, behave as if everything is fine and that all is well in your world. They cannot understand what you are going through.

Sometimes we have to speak up, we have to tell people very private things we’d prefer no one know so that the invisible becomes visible and we can gain some compassion and understanding for the invisible burden that we carry.  In a way, we all carry an invisible burden of some sort.  I too carry one and although I’m not entirely comfortable sharing it in this blog, it is one I will carry for sometime.  It causes fatigue unimaginable, it causes pain and discomfort but you wouldn’t see it from the outside.  But it is here on the inside.

I write this not so much for myself as I feel courageous, I have conviction and a fierce voice able to be used to protect myself as need be.  But, not everyone has that.  Watch for the signs and listen to people.  They may be politely telling you something very private when they tell you they cannot do something, they cannot celebrate, go out and have fun with you, help you move, help you do this or that because they’ve got their own private battle going on that may be temporary or permanent.  Don’t force people to be as you think they should be.  That’s not fair, it’s not right and it is completely selfish of you to do so.

I know all too well about invisible broken legs having many family members suffer something similar.  My heart goes out to their struggles and to all who struggle with the invisible pain they carry.  My message to them too – be gentle with yourselves even if no one else will, even when everyone expects too much from you, and even when everyone expects you to act like a normal human being.  Sometimes we are not normal or cannot function normally for various reasons and that is okay. What is not okay is other’s judgment of things they do not understand so make them understand and you can do that without full disclosure if that is your preference.

You’ve been given a voice.  Use it to protect and preserve you because you matter so much.  Do what you can do for you every day.  Be unafraid.  Be as strong as you can be and then rest if you must, retreat if you must and be quiet if you want to.  Those who stand by you are your people.  Hold them close and love them.  Those who won’t stand by and support you, love them and let them go (sometimes this just means hold no more expectations of support so you are no longer hurt by them unnecessarily).

Life is hard sometimes.  But we can get through our invisible wounds or not.  The main point is that you deserve support, understanding and compassion for what you go through.  If you cannot get it from those around you, please give it to yourself.  Take what you need to be okay in terms of time for yourself for healing, solitude if need be and rest when you need to.  This life is like your ship.  You are the captain, not anyone else.  May your God or Goddess keep you, bless you and fill you with all the healing strength you can hold.

©2015 Jaie Hart (photo/words)

Pure Consciousness

Many a philosopher or those with a pioneering spirit from many other disciplines might argue about the concept of what precisely consciousness is.  From each of their individual perspectives and disciplines they may all be right, they might be right or they may be all wrong.  To define a bit:

The dictionary meaning of the word consciousness extends through several centuries and associated cognate meanings which have ranged from formal definitions to somewhat more skeptical definitions. One formal definition indicating the range of these cognate meanings is given in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary stating that consciousness is: “(1) a. awareness or perception of an inward psychological or spiritual fact: intuitively perceived knowledge of something in one’s inner self. B. inward awareness of an external object, state, or fact. C: concerned awareness: INTEREST, CONCERN – often used with an attributive noun. (2): the state or activity that is characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, or thought: mind in the broadest possible sense: something in nature that is distinguished from the physical. (3): the totality in psychology of sensations, perceptions, ideas, attitudes and feelings of which an individual or a group is aware at any given time or within a particular time span – compare STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS.”

Spend any time researching the topic of consciousness and pretty soon you’ll find yourself half mad with theories, hypotheses and words like qualia and awareness and many philosophical ideas of what consciousness truly means from so many different angles.  Hundreds of papers have been written on consciousness and still we are no closer to pure understanding but maybe pure is part of something we might need to branch off into and along with “pure” add consciousness and create a new term to explore.

What is pure consciousness?  Well, it is that state where you experience not one single thing else but consciousness.  There are no thoughts, no sensations, no input no matter what the mind throws up, you let it slip away as rain down the side of a mountain.  Pure consciousness is like a mountain and something far beyond it as it has no limits or boundaries or definition at all.  From a state of pure consciousness, none of this matters, has bearing on or impacts pure consciousness in the slightest.

Unless you have experienced this state it is a little hard to explain other than as I have.  The only way I know of to get to a state of pure consciousness is through the practice of meditation and it takes much discipline and practice to get to that state of pure consciousness.  To be honest, I first experienced it during an NDE (Near Death Experience – story for another time).  Knowing what it feels like, I took up meditation again out of curiosity and a desire to explore an experience and it took so many years to see it again, I don’t even want to tell you.  But you can learn to get to it.  The question I ask is, even if you get there and even if you find it and become “enlightened” at the finding of it…“And, so?”

Why would we expend so much effort to project ourselves into a physical existence if all we want to do when we get here is spend all of our time in meditation to make this world disappear?  Didn’t we want to be here in the physical for a reason?  So why not then see it through and learn why it has the parameters it does.  Aren’t you at least a little curious why or how you come to be here? There must be a reason and I think that it must be your reason alone. I don’t wish to know the meaning of life right now.  I’m focused instead on the concept simply stated as I am.  I can’t tell you what it’s for but it relates to a focus on consciousness.  I can point you to a teacher if you are curious (just let me know).  What I teach is part of consciousness but focused more on the day to day stuff but this topic is never ending and all consuming if you let it be that.

We are consciousness.  We are part of the great unknown…The All of Everything…The Great Mind…the Source…God….Goddess – choose your term but focus as you do on the feeling when you contemplate consciousness and say I Am.  I Am is complete all by itself.  It needs nothing else but I resist it.  I resist it and yet I experience it every night in meditation…a vast nothingness of pure void, black, dark, beautiful, peaceful and wonderful.  It’s funny having experienced a concept and then rejecting it on another hand but only in a way and maybe it is just semantics and there is no resistance at all but instead an alternative angle of understanding present that will morph into some other understanding that might entertain my psyche for a bit.  It doesn’t matter, none of this matters. Being everywhere and nowhere and understanding what that means in terms of consciousness – now that is priceless.

This may make no sense from the outside looking in.  But if you cut off the outside entirely, breathe slowly and deeply, let your thoughts slide away like rain down the side of a mountain, you might understand what I mean.  In the stillness and quiet we taste a bit of who and what we are.  What does that matter?  I don’t know that it does other than to help you understand that you are more than meat suit, bones, brain and a bundle of nerves.  You are that too but so much more.  Add emotion and you have the perfect storm of wonder that humanity is.  It’s truly beautiful.  You are truly beautiful.  Our consciousness from whatever angle for whatever purpose we design is amazing regardless of who is right, wrong or somewhere in between.

Source:

Definition: http://www.Wikepedia, Online