Well most of you have heard of fight or flight,
it’s kind of like white noise at this point
if you’re anything like me.
In this post I’m looking at this human behaviour
from the perspective of
why when you’re under stress,
does your ability to take action
surrender to reaction?
Now I’m only talking about the places
where more healing needs to happen,
for in the places where you have healed, or never needed to,
your ability to take action will not be superseded by reaction.
A case in point in my life recently.
An unexpected crisis arose in my working life.
My problem-solving instinct kicked in,
and I dealt with things one after the other after the other.
Imagining after each problem solved, that this was the end of it.
I would breathe a sigh of relief go to bed and arise the next morning to ….
you guessed it, a new crisis.
(I’m sure this has never happened to you.)
This went on for weeks,
and because I was so reactive to the next crisis being problem solved,
I just kept going like a little energizer bunny.
(If you don’t get the reference, ask some old people.
Oh and by the by, it’s not like we’d had a cataclysmic disaster
and needed to put self care on hold
because self care at that point was trying to not die!)
Before I knew it, January was over and
I had worked 100 hours on this particular project
over and above other business.
Now knowing what I know about addiction and my own patterns of behaviour,
when I’m stressed out, I am usually blatantly aware of my moods,
of my timing, what I eat, how long I sleep, am I happy or sad.
This self-awareness is how I got to sobriety.
Well along with many, many healing ceremonies (Blatant plug.)
This crisis however had a client who was thousands of miles away,
was fighting cancer, and was just not able at that time here to deal with these crises.
(This is how I rationalized ignoring my self-care.
Again I’m sure you’ve never done that)
I had committed to a small project that went completely sideways,
and felt obligated to solve it as many people were involved,
and many people unhappy.
(It’s always important to make others happy
before yourself ….. NOT!)
I went back into addictive mode completely focused on only one need,
and that need was to get each new crisis solved.
I knew my eating habits have gone into the toilet,
I just didn’t have time to cook properly like I usually do.
I was grabbing things on-the-fly which for me is disastrous
as when I don’t feed myself with nourishing food that makes me feel satisfied
I get, well really, really, really cranky …..
I ignored it.
What I also know about myself
is that when I work over and above a certain amount of hours in a day,
again it throws me completely out of whack.
I was so consumed with the problems I was juggling
that I was not sleeping well, which again is a very big red flag for me.
Yet I persevered until I started crying at some point every day,
and after three days of crying jags,
I had my very first panic attack.
In this moment the proverbial straw that broke the camels’ back happened
and my self preservation and self-care kicked in.
Within 24 hours I had new people hired and in place
to handle what I could no longer do.
That was five days ago
and now I am back into my regular routine
and feel sane again.
My actions had surrendered to re-action mode.
This was still my choice,
my lack of boundaries in this situation,
my attachment to problem-solving for someone I cared about,
at the cost of my own self-care.
The take away from all this was that I gained
a new level of self-awareness,
a new level of healing
a new level of being able to say no.
After the above story you may well think
‘A new level of being to say no?
You didn’t say no until you had a panic attack!’
but for me this was a new level of saying no.
In the past I would’ve carried on regardless,
through the tears through the panic attack.
We are all at choice in every moment,
however we all have an inner patterns and behaviours,
and they run just like computer apps.
Some of them are learned behaviours
some of them are adaptive behaviours
but once they are triggered they run.
So once you double-click that particular app.
until you quit that app.
So the question is how to quit the apps. that you run permanently?
The only way that happens is through self-awareness.
How you get to your self-awareness has multiple pathways,
but unless you choose to look at who you are
and what apps. you run,
every single time an app. is double clicked
you will continue to run it, in the exact same way as you did before.
So what do you think?
Is it time for you to write any new apps?