I’ve been hearing and seeing the phrase, hurt people hurt people, a number of times over the past week or so. It’s gotten me thinking about how I respond when I’m hurting. What are my “go-to” habits to both protect myself and to respond?
There’s been an on-going situation that I am peripherally involved in – mostly as a listener. This past weekend, I was no longer on the periphery and had to confront myself with the questions about habits that protect and habits that I use to respond. Because of the circumstance, I had the opportunity to sit with this and really look at my own patterns and what came up for me. (Even revisiting this is a challenge; I simultaneously want to rant and shut down the computer.)
But, the question that kept coming up for me was how do I stay open? While there were thoughts about lashing back, about saying nasty things, about walking away forever… I could see how this had played out before in my life. What hadn’t I tried?
Stay with it. Don’t get hooked into spiraling the storyline out of control. What are you feeling? Stay in this moment.
That’s where I tried to stay. I can’t always do it. (In fact, sometimes it’s not possible, for whatever reason.) But, I had three hours and getting sucked into nastiness would only make me feel worse. So, I explored what was going on. And it was uncomfortable. It was not happy. There were moments I had to look away from it, but I kept trying to gently come back.
To me, this is practice. How do I keep myself open? To be honest, I spend a lot of time shutting down. I ignore, avoid, lash back. I spend hours on Facebook rather than sit with the discomfort of overwhelm (whole other post in that). How do I stay open and give myself enough space to make that a choice – I’m choosing to numb out right now and I recognize that that’s what I’m doing.
This is part of my ongoing flirtation and dance with my 2013 intention/word: trust. Can I trust myself to hold all of this? Can I trust myself to not go crazy? Can I trust the ground I stand on?
Can I trust this process?