I’m not too sure how to start this article out, so I suppose I should just cut to the chase and wing it.
Sometimes we have trouble moving through things. It simply is how things are. This is why people end up with PTSD. This is why people don’t change sometimes. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that this is nothing to be ashamed of. Being stuck or scared doesn’t mean you’re out of the ordinary. It simply means you’re having trouble with something — and that’s okay.
The first step in moving through something is to understand that eventually the pain will subside. Sooner or later you’ll be able to look back and think “Hey. I did that. I made it through that.” It might take a while — sometimes up to years and years. But eventually things get better.
The hard part isn’t recognizing this. The hard part is recognizing this when you’re about to go against your own demons. In other words, it’s easier to think things through in an ideal situation, but situations aren’t always ideal. That being said, sometimes we need to practice thinking things through beforehand. In fact, I recommend you do that anyways because otherwise you won’t have a protocol.
A good example of this is seen in martial arts. Someone might have lightning fast reflexes and be on the other side of their opponent in the blink of an eye. We see boxers slip under punches and through a hook to the other person’s abdomen without comprehending what’s happened. The reason this is possible isn’t because they consciously think about their moves. Anybody who watches someone like Mike Tyson in the ring knows what I’m talking about — their body moves before their mind does. This is done through hours and hours and hours of practice. They don’t practice until they get it right, they practice until they can’t get it wrong. The same applies to people with traumatic experiences. Often times they won’t be able to consciously think about what to do when they feel stressed, and that’s when they rely on the protocols that they’ve come up with beforehand. If they have anger issues, they know to separate. If they get anxious in a crowd, they understand that they need to breathe and separate. People rely on protocols in place of conscious thinking.
The same logic applies to everybody. Sure, you might not have PTSD or a mental disorder, but I can almost guarantee that there’s something that makes you uncomfortable. This idea of coming up with a protocol can act as a solution if you actively process it beforehand. So with that in mind, take the time today to meditate on your protocol and come up with a plan of action.
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One thought on “Through the Battlefield.”
Yes, facing my demons, my triggers, without having a strategy to fall back on makes me go right to fight or flee. Neither are productive. In some cases, can be down right dangerous. How do I start building the groundwork for the replacement behaviors? Then do I do guided imagery to practice it?
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