None of us are immune to emotional reactions and pain. We live in a world with people at all levels of consciousness offering us continuous and endless opportunities for growth. In the end, we are all walking each other home whether we know it or not.
When I am met with that opportunity in the form of a gesture, comment or an action, here are the stages I go through.
- Total Numbness
In the moment, I am too shocked, stunned or dumbfounded to understand exactly the meaning or the depth of what was said, done or implied. I listen to the other person, try to understand what is happening and just do what I need to do to keep the peace.
When the moment has passed, I become quiet, disinterested or not sure of what just happened. I talk to no one.
Then I notice the numbness all over my body and mind. I don’t feel much, I lose my sleep, appetite and feel out of sorts on what to do. I carry on with work or other responsibilities with the questioning going on in the background.
I think through the whole scenario, what was said or done, try to make sense of what I feel and why, second guessing myself. I don’t feel myself. My ground is shaken. This is trauma with a little t.
As time passes, the meaning and enormity of what was said or done begins to take shape, the dots begin to connect and the floodgates of awareness open. I begin to feel, I find the words, I begin to see the whole thing. It’s like a tornado and there is no stopping it. Usually during this time, I am either doing yoga, meditating, walking or lay awake in bed. Tears flow and I am talking to myself loudly like what I would say to this person. I write it all down, or I record it on my phone. I feel intense anger, actually I am totally livid. I am alone, I talk to no one unless I absolutely need to as a sounding board. But mostly, in the moment, I like to be alone and figure it out myself.
Physically, I feel my heart is on fire, tears flow unstoppably, I feel the anger in my core and I feel it deeply. As days pass, the anger softens but it takes some time to feel and process it.
- Inner Questioning
What about me is showing up in the other person’s behavior towards me. Somewhere I must have made them think it was okay for them to say or to do what they did. What is it? This is what I come up with: my own lack of clear boundaries, empathy for everyone but myself, a lack of confidence in myself or a subconscious doubt or dependency of some sort.
I dig deep and then some till I get the answers.
I reestablish my boundaries and put myself first.
Everyone is a teacher if we are open to growing and evolving. This is where I recognize this and the focus shifts on myself.
- Gaining Clarity and Taking a Stand
I become clear on who I am and what I stand for. I feel the tenderness and warmth towards myself and feel stronger than before. I reestablish my boundaries. The anger is still here, less intense than before, and I know why I feel what I feel.
This is about me. It’s not my job to teach others but it is my job to take a stand for myself with others. It is my job to teach others how to treat me. I am back to feeling like myself. This is where I create a post to share like I am doing now.
I feel the need to set the record straight with that person as I have to deal with them. I will not let it go until they are made aware.
I live my truth quietly unless IT is under attack or distortion, then I have no problem becoming vocal again and again.
I communicate when the urgency to do so is no longer there. It’s important to take time here as you want to speak from a place of strength and when you have healed. When you communicate while you are still traumatized, you run the risk of being victimized again.
Communication is not attacking them but to make them aware of the pain they have caused by their words and actions.
This is an important step especially with people who you have to be in contact with on an ongoing basis.
I believe no one hurts us intentionally; everyone is being who they are. This is an opportunity for all of us to grow and I am happy to give them that opportunity.
What they do with what I share is not my business. But what I have experienced is that most appreciate me talking to them.
This is where I feel free again. I feel myself, free of others control or judgment of me and I sleep peacefully.
This is where I realize I am a force of Nature. It is pointless to undermine or outsmart me. I will make sure you know it. I will do it again and again.
It’s never about the other person, it’s always about you. It’s not my job to teach others unless I am hired to do so; but it is my job to take a stand for myself and teach others on how to treat me.
This process of regaining my sense of self and becoming emotionally mature can take from a day to weeks. This is not a linear process; I dance back and forth with the steps above. The length of time is less relevant; what’s important is that you are moving from one stage to the next. It’s getting stuck in one stage for a long period of time that can be alarming and that’s where you may seek help.
This is not a small deal; it is quite painful and exhausting. So many of us go through this multiple times daily without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We are taught to suck it up, second guess, keep the peace at all cost; we become afraid to be ridiculed or judged and we suffer.
When we don’t take a stand for who we are, we lose ourselves. Anxiety and other ailments follow. We suffer and forever remain at the mercy of other’s approval or appreciation. We don’t need to.
Divest out of what others think of you. Don’t fear judgment of others. Don’t fear GOD, love GOD. Love the GOD in yourself and take a stand for yourself, for the Love of GOD.
Allow the old version of you to be demolished so you can be reborn again and again. This is how you come home to yourself and gain mastery over your emotions.