….Like I’ve woken to drizzly raining and grey overcast sky this morning after the mosttttttttt amazingly beautiful (I’m seeking to doubly underline how amazing it felt!) clear-blue-sky Seattle Spring day yesterday…the sharpness of the mountain peaks covered with snow against the blue sky line off in the distance was breath-taking and spectacular – on most days over the last three weeks one could not even see that there are mountains there it has been so overcast so the contrast is so startling. It literally takes my breath away seeing the mountains and seeing their beauty…
So What Has Happened? …….you might be thinking that makes living a life of ♥Joy an elusive undertaking? Well, I woke this morning feeling disconnected from my beautiful partner Shelton following a squabble/bicker/row/falling out/spat/tiff/dispute…..aren’t synonyms great for describing aspects of what’s inside you when you’re trying to explain something?……
It was over ‘a minor matter’ late last night….YES, one of those – just ‘a minor matter’!…. We were sitting snuggling on the couch watching a favourite TV program that we watch together each week and he switched channels to the baseball game when the adverts were on and I didn’t want to watch it and I asked him not to and to check if there were any movies on we could watch instead. I don’t like watching baseball and Shelton knows this. I don’t like adverts either but in fact last night I would rather have watched the adverts rather than the antics of the various players acting out their repetitive roles on the baseball field!
Shelton’s team is the Seattle Mariners and league baseball here play 6 days of the week for hundreds of games straight. In fact there are 162 games in all in a season!! So that means it seems they are always playing and there’s always a game on TV and when you are watching TV with Shelton that usually means he is channel surfing while watching a show checking on the score and the plays.
Now please don’t get me wrong here – if he is watching TV on his own it doesn’t bother me if he watches baseball from ‘dawn to dusk’ …..
AND – I have many times sat and watched pieces of a game as it is important to him that I take an interest in what interests him –
AND – I once even went with him and sat through a whole game in almost freezing temperatures at the massive ‘state of the art’ Safeco baseball field in downtown Seattle AND I even can recognize some of the players – go Ichiro!, go Hernandez! – though I am not sure that is what you say to a baseball player!!
AND – I ask him from time to time how his team is going and other baseball related questions…….
I am in AWE of the capacity of how such a small and insignificant trigger can be such a big minefield so that two people who are ordinarily loving and supportive of each other AND who know and understand AND who teach and constantly are researching and updating their TOOLS and skills and processes to use in reactive situations like these can – and DO – FORGET ALL they know and end up acting from their ‘toddler brain’ as Steven Stosny would describe it! …..
Just acting like hurt and sulking children as after a few bickering and spatting words we both withdraw into the sanctuary of “turtledom”. He goes off to bed and sleep straight away and I go to spend a late night on my computer both of us avoiding even being “ships passing in the night”….and in the morning no good morning cuddle or hug or even hello or even anything….almost like who are these strangers living in this house? In fact is there someone else living in my house?
Now I am using my frontal lobes and reflecting on it….. for me my history and ‘wound’ as I was growing up is one of being invisible and ignored unless I am taking care of ‘the other’ and their needs…..What I want is unimportant – in fact, it isn’t even in the picture as I am not checked in with,…. and when I do put forward what I would like and need it is not valued, and is met with negativity and rejection……My response/reaction to Shelton’s blatant disregard
of my request [and this is the ‘Story I Make Up’ – my SIMU…my interpretation] is to attack harshly and sharply with my words…..and this is the way I learnt to protect myself when I was growing up…..
My protection is for ‘my dinosaur’ (old reptilian brain response) to raise its ugly head and with big teeth bared to go for the jugular. It was more figurative last night and there was not so much vicious attacking even though that is what I felt inside but rather the silent lock-down and withdrawal after a few minutes….I was probably unconsciously feeling a bit hopeless because I was still nursing a sore spot of having Shelton do a similar behaviour earlier in the day that we did work through….
So I ask myself what then is Shelton’s history and childhood ‘wound’? It is feeling controlled and not being valued for being who he is and being criticised for not doing the right thing. He has learnt to protect/defend himself by being very single-minded and focused on what is important to him and keeping his attention on himself – which when I am triggered I label as self-absorbed, self-centered and selfish and being dismissive and neglectful and pushy. When I am being loving and kind and not triggered I admire the same traits and see his single-mindedness in a positive light and see him as being focused and self directed. I also see him as solid, strong, self-contained and self-reliant, determined, forceful, assertive and influential……and more……when I’m not in my “toddler” or dinosaur brain.
Our behaviours and our histories do hurt people we love and care about. Our old stored experiences and unhealed pains make us sensitive to nuances of the present that if it wasn’t for that old wiring we would not think twice about it… worse is that our histories and our wiring do make us forget who we are in the present in those moments of reactivity.
Question for you: What behaviours do you do that hurt the people you love and care about? And another great question I heard the other day is:
Question for you: Where are you more committed to being RIGHT than being ♥LOVE?
At those times when people who are important to us brush up against those painful places in us we react in much the same way as if someone accidently brushed against our sore, injured knee or trod on our sore and bruised toe. We act instinctively and physiologically…..Oh!….. so that is what I am doing I remind myself.
He forgot that I had a sore and bruised and injured part of me that is sensitive to being invisible and ignored and unimportant and not valued. And I forgot too or didn’t realize it was still vulnerable and not completely healed. Oh, he trod on that part and Ouch – in fact, big OUCH!… And I’m absorbed in my pain and it is hard….more likely it feels it’s impossible….. at that point to override pain as our bodies are designed physiologically to focus all our energy in protecting that pain. And yes it is another lesson/indicator for me that that particular sore and bruised and injured part of me is still so sensitive and still needs my attention and healing and he has been the ‘helpful’ one who has brought it to my attention.
Thank you Shelton! Now I am grateful and now I can BE ♥LOVE and be loving and go and work this out and invite him for a visit to cross the bridge into my world and for me to go visit into his world using all of our ♥TOOLS that we have and put some loving healing balm on those still sore emotional spots in us.
When my kids were little (oh so long ago) there was a herbal green salve that was a healer of ALL wounds and it was called Green Magic. I am symbolically thinking of putting Green Magic all over those sore sensitive spots in me and in him. It worked wonders back then when the kids were little so I’m hopeful! :O)
So to remind myself once again, and to reinforce my resolve to heal this, let me once again share Shemsi Prinzivalli’s beautiful words from her article The Art of Not Being Offended from last week’s post –
“We are all swimming in the projections and filters of each other’s life experiences and often we are just the stand-ins, the chess pieces of life to which our loved ones have their own built-in reactions…”
“When we know that we are the one who happens to be standing in the right place at the right psychodynamic time for someone to say or do what they are doing, we don’t have to take life personally….”
“In fact, every time we get offended, it is actually an opportunity to extend kindness to one who may be suffering……….All anger, all acting out, all harshness, all criticism, is in truth a form of suffering. When we provide no velcro for it to stick, something changes in the world….”
“Once we are conscious, so-called abuse can only happen if we believe what the other is saying. When we know nothing is personal, we also do not end up feeling abused. We can say, ‘Thank you for sharing,” and carry on. We are not hooked by what another does or says, since we know it is not about us. When we know that our worth is inherent within us and not determined by what another says, does or believes, we can take the world a little less seriously.”
So with my sore sensitive spot covered in Green Magic and being back in the frontal lobes of my brain I choose to provide “no Velcro for it to stick” and replace it with the knowing that my “worth is inherent inside me and not determined by what another says, does or believes” and to extend warmth and kindness and compassion when I am being “the stand-in, the chess pieces of life to which my loved ones have their own built-in reactions…”
And remembering the Dalai Lama’s words “…it is as offensive to take offence as it is to offend” I now go joyfully into the rest of my day…also wondering if I could find a huge QTIP (stands for Quit Taking It Personally) to have around to remind me…!!
Sending wishes for much ♥LOVE and magic to come your way, Susie♥