Finding bliss and fulfilling our lives is our birthright and I often promote these goals. However, while we are on the journey toward these peak moments the road can become treacherous and test our ability to keep our flames of goodness flickering. One of the pitfalls is when our emotional reactions become triggered.
While doing the hard work of bringing consciousness to our behavioral patterns, we encounter emotional residue and there comes a point where we are aware of a choice. A choice of falling back into our emotional reaction and the knowledge that it is not going to help us move forward or forging a new path. At this juncture what can we do to help ourselves change course?
First off, congratulate yourself on the fact that you have caught the bull by the horns. Being able to see that you are on a path toward self-destruction means that you have gained more than enough awareness of a poor pattern that simply defeats all your efforts. Regardless, if you fall prey to the emotional reaction at this point means you are still practicing where to turn the wheel toward the road of fulfillment. So please don’t beat yourself up. You will simply aggravate your frustration. In fact, forgive yourself immediately.
We need to remember that these patterns actually worked at some point in our lives. I call these patterns “survival tools” and they were created in order to cope in a situation where it probably worked well. And most importantly, these patterns were likely developed in an effort to gain being loved in some way, form or matter. Keeping this in mind is going to help you understand how the pattern became “automatic”.
Should you be stopped at the point of how to react and you can feel the energy of the emotional reaction tilting toward the old behavior, take a breath, and then another. Until your emotions wane a bit and you get your judgment back. At this point, it’s important you feel and not think. FEEL NOT THINK. Let the body reground, gain conscious sensation of your feet and legs. Then ask yourself, is there something you want? Is there something you are trying to control externally? If so, ask yourself, can you accept not getting it….yet? Not controlling it ….yet? Can you give yourself some space to reassess how to go forward?
If you are able to stop the emotional reaction impulses and a new idea of what to do emerges then go with it. Experiment! Think of this as fertile ground for creating a new life. Don’t promise yourself that this is the right path but allow yourself the space to try something new just to see what happens next.
Also, it is important at this juncture to take inventory of whether you are actually moving toward unity or disconnection. Either one is valid, it is important to take stock of this notion so you are able to accept responsibility for the choice. Sometimes we need to move away from a situation that doesn’t serve us. That may involve people who aren’t supportive. Or perhaps you are someone who thinks they need to do something independently but would actually benefit from getting some support. Ask yourself, “What am I pushing up against here?”
Sometimes we simply don’t know what to do next. How to be, and what to feel, when we begin to break patterns. It may seem messy and disorienting. That is okay! Until we understand what other potential is present we may be blind to it for a while. This is a place where what it means to love yourself and believe in the goodness you behold is optimal. This is the place where your longing and desire for what you are trying to achieve needs to be remembered and embodied through visualization or any means by which you can feel the joy of what it is you are reaching toward. Focusing on how you feel when you envision these ideals instead of berating your inability to have it yet is a big change in itself.
Next is a promise. Making a promise to yourself that what you are trying to achieve will come from the place that wants to do better for yourself can create shifts. Promising that you will take care not to ignore emotional pain that may manifest due to trying new directions and that you will allow yourself to change course whenever you feel necessary can up the potential and build a foundation of strength and patience.
Lastly, I recommend that should emotional reactions reemerge in the space between trying to find the new path, keep breathing, release any pain that needs to be expressed and if possible get emotional support with a writing journal, friend or therapist to help move these energies through your body so you can maintain health. Vibrant health means good food choices, proper rest or meditation and making time for recreation. All of these will support your body and mind and make it more likely that you will turn the right direction when you encounter your next fork in the road. By Cynthia Kagoshima CCEP