It’s really easy to react to something or someone from a triggered state. When we’re upset, all sorts of neurons start firing in our brain telling us to run, defend, freeze, or fight. There have been many times I’ve caught myself adamantly defending my position to someone, only to wonder mid-sentence:
“Why am I doing this? Why do I care what they think? Why am I trying to convince them of what I already know to be true?”
I’d gotten caught up in the cycle of “I need you to understand and agree with me so I feel safe, validated, connected.”
What I really needed – deep down inside – was my own acknowledgement of my own experience as valid and worthy of being honored.
Once I started to flip the switch on this embedded fear response (“If you don’t agree with me, I’m not safe, because I won’t belong, and I’ll be abandoned.”), I could witness myself more consciously. Instead of arguing my position, I had the mental and emotional stability to state it calmly without the need to convince or receive permission to have my own, individual experience.
There’s a trick to this, I’ve discovered, that makes stepping back and observing the situation (and myself) so much easier.
When we experience trauma or fear, our body’s natural instinct is to contract. To shut down. To protect.
Once we go into protection mode (fight, flight, freeze, or fawn), our reptilian brain kicks in. We do our best to stay safe. For me, that often translates to the desire to want to run and hide, get away from the situation, and become really small or invisible. In other words: Avoid conflict at all costs (!!!). Stay quiet. Pretend it’s not happening. It’ll all just stop and go away.
It made me the queen of self-denial. I didn’t want to face difficult conversations or decisions in my life because it felt way too overwhelming and scary as f*ck.
In other words: I was stuck in a cycle of feeling powerless. Helpless to do or change anything. Unable to put voice to my own needs, feelings, and desires. It did not bode well for my most intimate relationships. I simply let everything “slide off my shoulders” (but really it just stayed on them like heavy weights pushing me down” or ran away from clearly stating my boundaries.
In part, I realized, this is because my “boundary” was to disappear. Run. Hide. I stayed in a contracted, traumatized state and considered it normal. It was all I’d ever known.
Until I began working more consciously with my energetic and emotional body (now my line of expertise – and the golden ticket to freedom if you ask me). I could feel my energy body contracting in any moment of conflict. So, I started to expand my energy body in the midst of an uncomfortable situation.
Voila! The habitual tendency to contract no longer worked. I couldn’t contract in fear and run away while expanding my energy body. It’s impossible.
Instead, I was required to face the situation or conflict. No avoidance. No denial. I could see more clearly because – as I expanded, so did my heart. My reptilian instinctual brain wasn’t in control; my heart-brain was. Not only could I see myself (my needs, feelings, and desires), it also enabled me to see the other person more clearly (their needs, feelings, and desires).
Healing conversations took place that simply aren’t possible in a contracted, fearful state. Because I did not need to make any part of myself invisible, I remained in total union with myself and my experience no matter what the other person said or did. I was deeply anchored into my truth without a single need to convince or receive external validation. I found safety internally without the need to protect or defend.
I recommend practicing this connection with your energy body before trying to expand it in the midst of conflict. You can begin to sense the current energetic boundaries of your body. Then, consciously expand them to the edges of the room you’re in. Notice how it feels. Be present in your heart.
If you want to become more intimate your own energetic and emotional body, I’m here as a guide and wayshower on your path to inner union. As a soul embodiment coach and activator, I guide you to fully see yourself, embody your power, and speak your truth so you release the chains of invisibility and experience ecstatic soul freedom. Click here to learn more.