So you have trouble staying centered. In touchy situations you loose your calm. You get scared, feel anxious and become defensive. You sometimes do and say things you later regret.
Welcome to the world of your wounded inner child. You may think you control your life, but when it comes to emotionally charged situations, that’s her territory, and she rules it completely! The fear you feel is her trying to separate herself from a situation she deems to be threatening.
Your view of the situation really does not matter. She has gone back to a time in childhood when she felt helpless and powerless. At that time she created beliefs, especially about herself, “we can be hurt,” “angry people are dangerous,” etc., that she carries into the present. And, as long as she holds those beliefs, she is going to act on them.
The thing to remember is that she has all your power! In one moment she can cause you to react violently, lash out and fly into a rage, or, she can become passive, be dishonest, even con or manipulate in order to “manage” the situation. She’s had a great deal of practice, so she’s probably very good at it! She is not “bad” for doing this, she is simply a scared child trying to survive in a dangerous world.
Something else that she strongly dislikes is that adults rarely put the real issues on the table, so she is constantly forced to deal with shadows. This adds to her anxiety and replays the painfully manipulative adult behavior she had to deal with as a child. One thing about kids, until they become conditioned by us, they say what’s on their minds.
It is also important to remember that you do not come into these situations neutral. Your cup is likely already very full. Whether it is tension in your relationship, work related stress, problems with the kids, issues with your parents, making ends meet, or all the above, you come to the table with a hefty emotional burden. You may feel unsure of yourself, abused, like you don’t fit in or you may be angry at the world, so when a stressful situation arises, your options are already limited.
OK, so a situation happens. What can you do? I am going to give you two solutions, one short term to deal with the immediate situation, the second, longer term to help resolve your issue. (Note: if the confrontation has become physical, these suggestions will not always apply).
IN THE MOMENT
Dealing with the moment has three basic requirements: Staying Present, Being Grounded and Getting The Focus Off Yourself.
The greatest barrier to remaining centered is that you are not in the present. Your wounded inner one is reacting to situations that went badly in the past, therefore she is likely to be defensive and feel victimized.
Although you are not powerless, she probably does not know that. She may also fear that you will not use your power to protect her. Saying to yourself:
“This is not the past, and I am not a victim.”
can help a great deal. The other person may be trying to victimize you, and although that did happen when you were a child and powerless, it cannot happen today unless you allow it.
Breathe into your feet. This helps ground you and opens up your breathing, which is essential in dealing with stressful situations. This may seem inconsequential, but it is vital!
FOCUS ON THEM
The situation is charged and you are probably anxious, but try to get a sense of what is going on for them. People are often just reacting from fear and they rarely want to address it. No resolution can occur without including them, and anything you can learn about what is really going on will help you.
The operating premise here is that except for a few crackpots, few people seek out conflict. They do want to talk, and they would love a constructive way out, so long as it is safe. Generally we are just too afraid to be that vulnerable. We all have a need to feel understood. Recognizing this can help you constructively respond. Remember also, that apart from the specifics, what every situation needs is more love, because at the core of every “situation” is a lack of love.
THE LONG TERM SOLUTION
The reason you got hooked by the situation is that you feel vulnerable. Actually it is your wounded inner one who is afraid. Otherwise, you would simply engage in a problem solving conversation. But she is afraid and also not convinced that you will be there for her. Recognize that her reaction comes out of her history. You probably don’t like what is happening, but that is only a trigger to bring up old unhealed wounds that are ready to be addressed.
So, when you are away from the situation, at a time of quiet, go inside and find her. You may have to do some fence mending, by the way, because she may not be happy that you have not been there for her in the past.
When you have a good connection with her, get her to show you or tell you about the painful childhood events that the present situation is irritating. Those old painful events formed the beliefs that are driving your present reaction. It doesn’t matter that you may already know where it all came from, hear it from her anyway.
I can guarantee you something about her beliefs: She did nothing to create or be responsible for what happened. She was just a child! These were your parents issues, not hers. They created the difficulty, she did not. But she will have taken at least partial responsibility for what happened. The situation was toxic, she was not, but she will have come to see herself as defective, unlovable, etc., and that is why you are having trouble today.
Show her the truth. Take her back into the original situation and show her what was really going on. Use what you have learned about your parents and the family situation to show her the truth. This may be difficult for her, so be there for her and give her a great deal of love and support.
Once you have a firm grasp of what is troubling her and she accepts that it wasn’t her fault, then show her the differences between then and now. One of the biggest differences is that if things get too difficult, you can leave, call a time out or use any number of other resources to protect yourself. She could not. She was trapped! It will help her to know about the resources you bring and that you are willing to use them.
There can be other factors at work here, and they are simply too numerous to address here – past life influences, entities and sometimes even ancient curses. I do not mean to oversimplify what can be a complex situation. I have written about some of these issues in my books. If you get lost, have a hard time getting through it on your own, or the situation is overwhelming, get yourself a good shaman.
copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2016