LOVE TIP – Monday 28th May, 2012

Greetings dear Friends

I was thinking about what I wrote in the last post about the idea that when we get reactive to anyone/anything it is because of what is inside us and whoever we are reacting to in the outside world is just metaphorically speaking reaching inside us and pulling our trigger on the gun inside us…….

Another metaphor I find useful is to imagine that we have a number of Land Mines inside us that are hidden and when we interact with and ‘bump’ up against Those ‘Darlings’  in our relationships out in the world – it could be husbands or wives, partners – both in our personal and professional lives, children, parents, parents-in-law, work mates/colleagues, teachers, ex-partners or even ‘worse’ our partner’s ex-partner and/or their children, the neighbour we are arguing with about the damm fence or ____________ [insert any type of arguments/disputes]…………and many other diverse categories of people……Like for instance a woman who couldn’t watch TV as she was triggered by all the women on it – even the ones who were even ‘mildly’ attractive – as they ‘made her feel’ ugly and fat…..

So, in essence – ANYONE who triggers us along A CONTINUUM of on one end with a relatively low charge or activation – they bug/annoy/bother/frustrate/displease/irritate us – right to the other end where the charge is high where they infuriate/incense/rile/wind us up/drive us crazy or mad… reactive that it wouldn’t take much to run them over if they were in the way, or to run as far away in the other direction from them that you can ……

There is a wide range of responses people make when they get triggered and your own response will largely depend on what was modeled and taught to you as you were growing up that will have created repetitive, automatic ways of reacting that will be your default strategies… other words you won’t sit and think about and deliberate upon how you will act – it happens in much the same way as your breathing does – automatically and without you consciously choosing.

I appreciate the land mine metaphor and find it makes actions, that seem unintelligible and bizarre in both myself and in others, understandable……… so please humour me as I “milk it” a bit. Quoting Wikipedia:

“A land mine is an explosive device, concealed under or on the ground and designed to destroy or disable enemy targets as they pass over or near the device. Such devices are typically detonated automatically by way of pressure from the target stepping or driving on it…….The device may cause damage either by a direct blast or by fragments that are thrown by the blast.”

Our triggers [= land-mines] are concealed inside us and are designed to defend us from anything that is perceived as a threat [actual or perceived]. These land mines will detonate [= go off] automatically when someone out there in the world acts in a way [= says something(s) / does something(s)] that directly or indirectly creates pressure to cause the land mine to go off and explode.

The land mines are inside us and were ‘put there’ when we were growing up at the times we had experiences that felt negative to us and we as the child were unable to deal with and resolve them – we may have felt shocked or what happened felt unfair or abusive, threatening, attacking, neglectful, dismissive, insulting, disrespectful, rejecting, discounting, putting down, overwhelming….. any one of [or any combination of] these or similar feelings……

“Land mines were designed for two main uses: to create defensive tactical barriers, channeling attacking forces into predetermined fire zones or slowing an invasion force’s progress to allow reinforcements to arrive; and to act as passive weapons……when active defense of the area is not desirable or possible.”

Our personal land mines create defensive tactical barriers’ that well and truly stop people from coming anywhere near us and from getting in……and in turn unfortunately often provokes a reaction from ‘the other’ to act in ways that are our worst ‘nightmare’……..At these times we are not using and acting from our conscious brain and frontal lobes and… defense of the area is not desirable or possible….”

Now imagine what would happen if the bomb disposal unit were alerted to a land mine and they came and stood on the side of the road or the field and judged and criticized the land mine and yelled at them about how stupid they are, how inappropriate it is for them to be there, how out-dated they are, how they are not needed, how the war is over………or in any other disparaging, attacking ways – you get the picture!!

Well this is what we do each time we judge and criticize either ‘the other’ or ourselves for defending in all the ways that we each do. It’s automatic and default – we are ALL programmed to act the ways we do. It is NOT about us that people behave the ways they do – it is ABOUT THEM and keeping themselves SAFE and defending against actual or perceived threat!!

A reminder that this process happens whether is it is an actual threat or a perceived threat. A ‘perceived threat’ sets off your alarm/defense system in the same way as an actual threat……..This will be about anything that activates us and we aren’t able to feel compassionate and respectful and validating of ‘the other’. 

Land mines…..“can remain dangerous many years after a conflict has ended……….Land mines continue to kill nearly 20,000 people every year, even decades after the end of the conflicts for which they were placed.”

Same for our personal land mines. In our unconscious we feel still in ‘the horror’ of the history years after a conflict has ended.…….which then influences and determines our day to day actions….Of course our personal land mines don’t explode to the degree that people lose their lives and limbs when they step on them…..and yet it can feel like that! People often end up feeling very dead emotionally when they are living their lives out of out-dated toxic beliefs about themselves and people in relation to them.  

Let’s take a BIG Example – being threatened by an ex-partner or by your partner’s parents who judge you and have a perception of you that puts you ‘in a bad light’ which unfairly tarnishes your reputation. They may even be openly saying criticizing words about you. They have an opinion about you (or circumstances involving you) that is simply their belief/opinion/story about things……

You react to this. People can [and do] act righteously and be furious and outraged and are triggered in response and can continue to be so for many years. If you did do what they are saying then it is your job to be accountable and repair your part in it. If you didn’t and you are still reactive around them or even just thinking about it or them it is about you and they have stepped on a land mine that is inside you!

They have given you a GIFT of uncovering unresolved negative material inside you!! It needs your focused undivided LOVE-ing attention. It’s time to call in the bomb squad to dismantle it or explode it in a safe manner………And not do what we normally do which is make it about ‘the other’ being ___________!!! – insert your negative describing word! This wastes our available energy to deal with and resolve the problem or issue. 

Question for you: what are some of your most intense triggers / land mines♥ Who are some of the people who tread on/detonate them♥ What do you need to discharge/ defuse/ neutralize the charge♥ What do you do to aggravate/ make worse / inflame the trigger♥

I wish you successful uncoverings and discoverings and gentleness and caring while you do so. Tread lightly whether the land mines are in you or ‘the other’ remembering……...The device may cause damage either by a direct blast or by fragments that are thrown by the blast.” 

With ♥LOVE and Blessings and Respect, Susie♥