Insight # 8 - Looking at Emotion
Recently I had an experience where there was a miscommunication, where something was said that was perceived in a way that was not my intention. I was simply trying to express a need, communicate about a problem that was really silly and I thought could be addressed. Well, I must have really "F"ed up in my communication for all HELL broke loose, over something, in my perception seemed so silly and trivial, but obvously from the other side it wasn't.
I tried to talk, I tried to communicate to resolve things but there was no space. I had somehow inadvertently opened up a door of pain in this individual which was huge - all over something that I thought would be inconsequential, or hoped would be inconsequential.
This person shut me down. Accused me of things that weren't true in my perception.
But the truth of the matter is: she was hurt.
And so was I.
or I chose to hurt myself by my perceptions of the situation.
Stick with me here.
All of her false accusations brought up a wall of emotion in me, the likes of which I have not experienced since The People in my Hips. Feelings of being hurt by a loved one and not knowing why - all relating back to my childhood abuse. I watched it and I lived in it. I watched my emotions which were totally based in the past, old feelings of HELP ME - I love you - what did I do to deserve this? Why are you hurting me? I didn't do anything wrong! I was only coming from the best intentions... momentary thoughts of Suicide coming from the old emotion... and on and on.
Wow, that is nuts.
Emotion is irrational. When we are in an emotional state, we do not think clearly. When in an emotional state our thoughts are NOT based on the reality of the present moment.
We often live our adult lives in situations which will trigger the familiar childhood feelings, which we then seek to heal through interaction with this present day person. AND IT NEVER WORKS. Or very rarely. So many of us are cursed to a cyclic emotional dance with a loved one or partner.
How do you stop the dance? I don't know. Often, couples will BREAK up, which stops the dance, but gosh darnit, that is the easy way. You will just set the same thing up with another - although it may seem different at first.
The only thing one can do is when emotion arises, is to name it as something from the past, and somehow become present now, here, in the present moment. I have been really good about doing this with little stuff, but when the Grand DADDY TRANCES from my past come back (which has been so rare till now), it is really hard.
If I try to talk, I shift into that "don't hurt me, love me, I need your approval, I have been good, please don't hurt me" mode. A direct thought pattern from my childhood abuse.
But the good news is I can see it. And seeing anything is the first step to letting it go.
I can't fix things. I tried that as a child, and I received more pain. I can only set some basic boundaries and stick to them with defenselessness.
I defended myself for much of my childhood, not very well. I need to let that go.
When emotion arises, question it, explore it, but be careful not to blame a present day person for creating it.
It is just a trigger from your past, that was EXPLODED by your perception of now.
Take the EMOTiON away and what else could this situation mean?
An opportunity for positive change?
A chance to connect in a new way?
A opportunity to let that old baggage go, show up and wrestle with life and find new solutions?
or a way to FEEDBACK LOOP your childhood drama for the rest of our life?
I will keep you posted.