Fight or Flight, Which Will It Be?

Baptism of Fire

As I look at my life, relationship with my mom, her’s with my dad, his with his family, all sorts of things, including a certain situation I am working through where I see collaboration as being much more a spiritual, emotional etc.. full force deep connection in order for the professional to thrive, the other person not seeing it that way or fearing that deep few, but deep connections situation, this article caught my eye and so I thought I would share it with you.  There are times when after you have done all you can to make something work, flight is the only option.

Fight or Flight in Relationship Conflict

The fight or flight response is a natural response to danger. Our bodies are created to fight or flee when danger is upon us, such as being attacked by a mountain lion. When faced with this kind of danger, the stress hormones pour into our body, causing some blood to leave our brains and organs and go into our arms and legs. This is vital to us if we are actually being attacked by a mountain lion or a mugger. The problem is that this same response occurs when we become afraid in other situations, such as conflict with a partner.

When in conflict with a partner, we need to have the full capacity of our minds to deal rationally and lovingly with the situation. Yet the moment we become afraid, some of the blood leaves our brain, we cannot think as well, and we automatically go into fight or flight. That is when partners tend to fight or withdraw, neither of which leads to conflict resolution.

Obviously, fighting or fleeing is not the best way of dealing with conflict. Yet when fears are triggered – fears of losing the other through rejection or abandonment, or of losing yourself and being controlled by your partner – the stress response is automatically activated and you find yourself fighting or shutting down. Now matter how much you tell yourself that next time you will respond differently, the moment fear is activated you automatically attack, defend, yell, blame, or shut down through compliance or withdrawal.

What can you do about this?

There are two solutions to this dilemma.

The moment there is tense energy between you and your partner, it is best for both of you to walk away from the conflict for at least 15 minutes. During this time, you can calm down and do some inner work. As the stress response leaves your body, you can think better. This allows you to open to learning about your end of the conflict. Once you are clear about what you are doing that is causing the problem and what you need to do differently, you can reconnect with your partner and talk it out. Sometimes there is not even anything to talk out because the conflict was about the fight or flight rather than about a specific issue. More often than not, it is the stress response itself that is the issue. When you take the time to calm down, you might be able to apologize for your anger, blame, defensiveness or withdrawal, and the conflict is over.

The second solution is a longer-term solution. This is about doing enough inner work, such as the Inner Bonding process that we teach, so that your fears of rejection, abandonment, and engulfment gradually diminish. The more you learn to value yourself rather than expect your partner to define your worth and lovability, the less fear you have of rejection. The more you learn to take loving care of your own feelings and needs, the less dependent you are upon your partner. When your fear of rejection diminishes, so does your fear of engulfment. People give themselves up and allow themselves to be controlled and consumed by their partner as a way of avoiding rejection. When rejection is no longer so frightening, you will find that your fear of being controlled diminishes.

The less fear you have, the less you will be triggered into the stress response of fight or flight. The more secure you feel within due to learning to value yourself and learning to take loving care of yourself, the less fear you will feel in the face of conflict. This is when you stop being so reactive and are able to remain open and caring in the face of conflict.

There is no point in continuing a conflict when one or both of you are coming from fear. Continuing a conflict when the fight or flight response is activated will only erode your relationship. Until you can stay open-hearted in a conflict, it is best to continue to follow through on the first solution – taking a time-out until you feel open-hearted.Fight or

When A Marriage Must Dissolve

lightening

When a marriage is totally dead, can not be revived is toxic to one or both, is creating ill health etc… and must be dissolved, it is never a happy moment, that moment of realization that this is what must take place, but once you do realize it, then what?  As a child of divorce, not an amicable one, with mom still expressing her bitter thoughts and inability to forgive to this day and making me very uncomfortable and feeling caught in the middle, I am going to discuss this topic.

My advice to both parties to begin with, put your friggin big boy and big girl pants on.  Yes, it sucks when stuff ends, when after putting time and energy into something it dies and has to be walked away from, but newsfalsh you are not the first and you are not going to be the last that is dealing with that situation, so cut the pity party.  What do you do?  GET A GOOD LAWYER, NOT ONE OF VENGEANCE, one who will be objective, fair and make sure you are, and your soon to be ex is.  Get very clear, very centered, very fast, very grown up very fast, very practical very fast, and figure how to move on with dignity, nobility and self respect.  Meditate, pray, put together a plan for moving forward and then stick to it.  Also, get a good lawyer, even a good pro bono lawyer, and with the Internet, you can research and find a licensed with good reviews pro bono lawyer, even with angies list you can find a lawyer with good reviews in your areas.  If you have kids, for goodness sakes, children, stay in adult mode, don’t care how old your kids are, leave them out of your war, it’s your war, not theirs, don’t make it theirs, don’t make it so they have to choose sides, if you do, you are truly losers in every sense in the situation and so are they.  This is my two cents of advice as a child of divorce, not a friendly one.  I also wanted to research and so I am sharing this article.

https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/the-best-divorce-advice-ive-ever-received.html/?a=viewall

Articulating Feelings, Why So Hard?

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The Journey That is Life.

Some can articulate what they are thinking and feeling quite easily, openly, no problem, particularly through the arts, through blogging, even in conversation.  Others, like there a wall and they might joke around a lot and all that, but any real exchange of feelings etc…, any deep connecting, forget it and so any substantial collaboration or significant friendship of deep spiritual nature, not happening, not because you may not want that or think it wouldn’t be great.  Why the difficulty for some with heart to heart open communication, connection etc..?  I wondered and did some research and I came across an article.  There are ten core reasons.

Not everyone finds expressing their feelings easy or having it come naturally. While the stereotype is that men have the hardest time expressing their emotions, everyone at one time or another in their life may find it difficult to say how they feel.

Learning why you have trouble expressing your feelings can go a long way into changing that behavior. Saying how you feel is something you can learn how to do, just as readily as you can learn how to fix a faucet or mend a button on a shirt. Here are ten common reasons why people find it difficult to express their emotions to someone else.

1. Conflict Phobia

You are afraid of angry feelings or conflicts with people. You may believe that people with good relationships should not engage in verbal “fights” or intense arguments. In addition, you may believe that disclosing your thoughts and feelings to those you care about would result in their rejection of you. This is sometimes referred to as the “ostrich phenomenon” — burying your head in the sand instead of addressing relationship problems.

2. Emotional Perfectionism

You believe that you should not have feelings such as anger, jealousy, depression, or anxiety. You think you should always be rational and in control of your emotions. You are afraid of being exposed as weak and vulnerable. You believe that people will belittle or reject you if they know how you really feel.

3. Fear of Disapproval and Rejection

You are so terrified by rejection and ending up alone that you would rather swallow your feelings and put up with some abuse than take the chance of making anyone mad at you. You feel an excessive need to please people and to meet what you perceive to be their expectations. You are afraid that people would not like you if you expressed your thoughts and feelings.

4. Passive-Aggressive Behavior

You pout and hold your hurt or angry feelings inside instead of disclosing what you feel. You give others the silent treatment, which is inappropriate, and a common strategy to elicit feelings of guilt (on their part).

5. Hopelessness

You are convinced that your relationship cannot improve no matter what you do. You may feel that you have already tried everything and nothing works. You may believe that your spouse (or partner) is just too stubborn and insensitive to be able to change. These positions represent a self-fulfilling prophecy–once you give up, an established position of hopelessness supports your predicted outcome.

6. Low Self-Esteem

You believe that you are not entitled to express your feelings or to ask others for what you want. You think you should always please other people and meet their expectations.

7. Spontaneity

You believe that you have the right to say what you think and feel when you are upset. (Generally, feelings are best expressed during a calm and structured or semi-structured exchange.) Structuring your communication does not result in a perception that you are “faking” or attempting to inappropriately manipulate others.

8. Mind Reading

You believe that others should know how you feel and what you need (although you have not disclosed what you need). The position that individuals close to you can “divine” what you need provides an excuse to engage in non-disclosure, and thereafter, to feel resentful because people do not appear to care about your needs.

9. Martyrdom

You are afraid to admit that you are angry, hurt, or resentful because you do not want to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing that her or his behavior is unacceptable. Taking pride in controlling your emotions and experiencing hurt or resentment does not support clear and functional communication.

10. Need to Solve Problems

When you have a conflict with an individual (i.e., your needs are not being met), avoiding the associated issues is not a functional solution. Disclosing your feelings and being willing to listen without judgment to the other is constructive.

Reference:

Burns, D.D. (1989). The feeling good handbook. New York: William Morrow.

Why Sing Out Your Stress?

soaring eagle

This is a follow up to the previous article.  We all have stress, rejection so on and so forth at some point.  One reason I love to sing and write is it helps me to navigate the stress of fibromyalgia.  When I came across this article, it resonated and I wanted to share with you.

Top 5 Reasons to Sing Out Your Stress

When people find out that I’m a music therapist, the comments I hear most often are “I wish I could sing!” or “Oh, I love to sing, but I’m not good enough to do it in front of anyone”. Some of these people tell me that, as children, a parent, teacher or someone else told them that they should just mouth the words because they didn’t have a good enough voice.

Singing is our birthright! Singing is a natural and pure expression of how glad we feel to be alive, and the way we show our love of music. Here are my top five reasons to sing out your stress:

1. To connect with your body: We sing with our whole bodies. Because singing is so connected to closely with breath, singing helps us “be in our bodies” and let go of the thinking (or worrying) we do much of the day. Singing can be a joyful activity and can release endorphins (those feel-good chemicals that the body creates).

2. To connect with yourself: Meditative toning, singing along to a favourite song or simply humming to yourself are all ways to tap into your inner landscape and see what’s going on in there.

3. To connect with others: Singing with other people – in meditation, prayer, at a sing-along, at a concert, or even over the telephone or Internet – helps us experience in a very deep way that we are all truly connected.

4. To express your feelings: Many times a singer, songwriter or composer has expressed our feelings in a way we could never have – if there’s a song that expresses what you want or need to say, try singing along (keep in mind that this is just for you and it’s not about “sounding good”).

5. To boost your good feelings: Whatever you focus on, you’ll invite more of into your life. You can choose uplifting, joyful and celebratory songs to sing.

So sing out! Be proud of your own unique voice. Experiment with what works for you – keep a journal of what you notice in your mind and body when you sing specific songs. Then you can choose the right song for the right moment and make use of the power of singing in your own life.

Tools For Dealing with Criticism, Rejection

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Everyone has dealt with feelings of rejection, criticism in some form or another and often it is hard to process, and if one has had rejection in childhood, then it is like being prickled with thorns.  I came across this article and I hope it helps and gives insight.

10 Tools for Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

Ouch! Whether it’s feedback we’ve asked for, an unsolicited remark called out from the audience or a simple “no” result of an audition or submission process, criticism and rejection are a huge part of our lives as creative artists.

Sometimes we’re so fearful of being criticized or rejected that we keep our creativity bottled up and don’t let it out.

Other times we constantly adapt what we create, focusing only on the “market” and what they seem to be liking or disliking this week. Then we end up feeling like we’re not truly expressing our creative impulses.

10 Tools for Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

1. Be Open. You may be hoping for a specific reaction or response to your work, or a specific result of an audition, gallery submission, performance or contest entry. If you’ve done your best and you’re rejected or criticized, you might feel that you’ve “failed”, and it’s probably hard to see anything positive about the situation. Try to be open to the possibility that this “failure” is actually leading you to something else, usually better than what you thought you wanted. As I read once in Cheryl Richardson’s newsletter, “Any rejection is God’s protection”.

2. Be Consistent. Keep going, doing the little things every day that keep you creative and that keep you connected to other artists and to your customers. The dramatic moments and big wins and losses will come and go. Have a steady routine you can keep coming back to, and this will help to place any criticism or rejection into perspective. Today is a new day, another day you get to be an artist.

3. Be Focused. Keep your end goal in mind, and always be mindful of why you’re doing what you’re doing. That will help you focus on the big picture and not get tripped up by each bump in the road along the way.

4. Be Resilient. Remember that your sense of self-worth comes from inside of you. When you’re able to be confident in yourself regardless of the feedback you get from external sources, you’re able to bounce back much more easily from any negative feedback that you may get.

5. Be Positive. Focus your attention on the positive and you’ll attract more of it. This is the premise of the “law of attraction”, and I’ve certainly seen it work in my own life. Hear the positive feedback you receive and replay it over in your mind whenever you need to.

6. Be Clear. Approach constructive feedback with an accurate perspective, not muddled with thoughts from your own inner critic. Take it as a helpful tool for your own growth and remember that ultimately the only opinion that matters is your own – because you need to be happy with what you’re producing.

7. Be Grateful. Be gracious to your critics, accept all of the feedback you receive, sit quietly and let it sink in. Be grateful to be actively creating – to have gotten past the fear and other roadblocks. Be grateful for the opportunity to have your work seen and heard. Some never get the chance.

8. Be Responsive. Decide consciously what to do with feedback before responding, instead of reacting with the first thought or words that come to mind.

9. Be Selective. Once you’ve decided what to do the feedback you’ve received, be selective and willing to let go of the hurtful feedback. This usually doesn’t have anything to do with you anyway; it’s a reflection of that person’s own happiness, state of mind and comfort with themselves.

10. Be Loving. Be loving of your critic and ESPECIALLY of yourself. Plan some self-care treats for the day of the audition or submission. Regardless of the outcome, you deserve it!

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

 

Respond or React, What Do I Do?

Christ Consciousness

I find myself in  a situation where I had to react, felt I had to react and perhaps push a bit to try to know what was happening, prior to that with the Holy Spirit giving me a vision of what was needed I felt the need to react, to do all I could to follow the Holy Spirit and share that vision and save the institution, one that represents my culture, heritage through the faith heritage.  

In that I got too caught up, stressed myself and I forgot to stay centered in my Christ Consciousness and core faith journey.  Not that I don’t care what happens to the church, I do.  I want to see it saved and thriving, to be a thriving example of a traditionalist Roman Catholic church, and yes I know this Pope hates traditionalists and Conservatives, but I hope this parish I had hoped I could help flourish does get to that point.  I also realize that I have to accept the persons there as they are, but accepting them as they are does not mean I have work with them.  It does not mean I have to be part of that faith institution.  I can wish it well, pray for it, but I have to respond in a way that is healthy for me, and I have to respond in Christ Consciousness, meaning what would Christ tell me to do, in what way would Christ respond or indicate to me to respond?  I can’t change the people I would be trying to collaborate with, that I have to accept.   Standing in Christ consciousness, could I collaborate with certain people, having the sense and vision I have been given for the church, respond to that person, who they are, how they manage things etc.. without getting stressed to where my fibromyalgia constantly flares up?  Can I work with certain individuals without getting reactive, to where I stress myself out because things are not very well planned ahead of time?  That is the million dollar question I need to answer.  

Amen

Writing About Ur Anger To Release It

lightening

Woke up to the news of a bomb in London, death and there seems to be rage, anger everywhere and even in individuals people are so angry.  What do you do with the anger, what do you do when you feel angry? What if you didn’t go off and react?  I came across this article and I think this is great advice, even for the guys!

Five Ways to Write About Your Anger

By: Lael Johnson

Most people have mixed feelings about feeling and expressing anger. Various influences suggest everything from practicing extreme self-control, holding it all in (end result: stoicism) to showing no boundaries about sharing anger at all(end result: anarchy). Finding the middle ground is the place where you can communicate feelings and the facts of a given situation, without hurting or blaming the other party, and vice versa. When this first scenario occurs, you are creating more space for positive communication changes to occur. When communication is less than ideal, continuing to express anger in old ways will reinforce old habits., aggravating an already difficult situation.

I’m recommending the following journal exercises to assist you in finding more positive ways to express your anger, and become a better communicator. When I have shared my feelings, and the other party has been receptive, I’ve been surprised at how calm I became, compared to how uncomfortable, I felt prior to sharing my feelings. I also have had some situations where I either didn’t receive a response or the other party remained silent. What is most important in any situation, is that I reached out and began the process.

Here is your exercise list:

ANGER SCRIBBLE:
When you have a strong reaction to a situation, start to pray and write about it. Remember to include a detailed description of your strong feelings including the facts of the situation. Remember to use as much space on a page as you can when you scribble. After filling a page, choose one scribble, and start drawing a specific shape over your scribble. Continue to scribble over the shape until you are finished. (e.g. You may feel tired or relieved. Your words may slow down or you may run out of time to write.) When you notice any of these reactions, it’s time to stop writing. Wait a few minutes for everything to settle, then move to the next exercise. (Note: You may substitute any ritual here if praying isn’t a good fit for you.)

UNSENT LETTERS:
This exercise is an effective way to communicate feelings and information to yourself or to someone else. You can write unsent letters, when it might otherwise be hurtful to speak directly to the other party(ies) You can also write unsent letters on any topic (positive or negative). Unsent letters also provide a great place to practice your lines. Whether you write a series of unsent letters or one letter, your feelings will become less intense. Then you can prepare to have a calm conversation with the other party. You can write as many unsent letters as you want. When you write your unsent letters, you give yourself permission to feel the intense emotions that surface around a specific event. At some point either during, immediately or after you’ve written your letter, you will gain clarity about your part in the situation. You will also learn to evaluate your responsibility as well as the other party’s responsibility in the same situation. When you are calm again, you will be more prepared to make changes, including asking for a more specific communication change from the other party. You can continue to follow-up your unsent letters with prayers of blessing for the other party. As you continue to bless the other party, room is made for positive changes to happen in yourself and the other party. When you write an unsent letter, it demonstrates your courage and willingness, to make serious changes in a difficult situation.

WRITING A DIALOGUE:
Writing an imagined or real conversation you had with the other party, can help let out some of your anger. It’s useful to put words or images to your feelings. Start your dialogue with two voices, the letter “A” (for your voice) and “B” (for the other person’s voice). Be sure to allow both voices time to speak.

Don’t worry about writing a perfect dialogue. Use as much detail as you can. Your descriptive skills will improve with each unsent letter that you write. For example, if I feel my anger burning like fire, then I would want to say “I’m burning up over this situation.” If I am feeling a sense of resentment (something deep, quiet and very intense, that never quite goes away, then I might say, “I’m really frustrated about _______ now, can we talk about it for a few minutes?” Remember that no intense feeling is worth ignoring. It’s much better to express your feelings a few at a time, than to pay the price of those same feelings causing problems for you in the future.

“I AM FEELING” STATEMENTS:
Writing sentences that begin with “I am feeling .” is a good way to verbalize all of your feelings about a difficult situation. I want to remind you that may express other feelings along with your anger. When you start your journaling, focus on your anger first, then write about your other feelings. I suggest that you write a minimum of ten feeling statements. Put the list away. Move on to the next exercise.

DRAW A PICTURE:
Draw several pictures of your anger. All types of drawing are allowed. Remember what I said about “My anger is burning.” Write a visual image of your anger. I want you to use as many senses in your picture as you can. (Note: you may also use this exercise to visualize other strong feelings)

COMBINE WORDS AND PICTURES:
Now look at your list of “I am” sentences. Match as many of your picture(s) with your “I am feeling.” sentences as you can. (For example: I am feeling angry about.put a picture of a fire next to the written statement. When you are finished, circle one or two combinations that best describe your current feelings. Be sure to write a summary sentence about your two choices.

STARTING CLOSURE:
Let’s stop and review the work you’ve already done. You have written an initial unsent letter about your ang er. You’ve explored some of your feelings in detail. You’ve summarized your feelings using a combination of drawing and writing. Now write one action you could have taken to keep the earlier situation from accelerating. Write another sentence describing one action that the other party could have taken. Write down one positive action you are willing to take to change your anger expression now, remember to include a specific completion time and date. If you pray, start praying for good to come to the other party. I would recommend that you pray for at least a few times a week working up to praying daily for a month or until your strong negative feelings disappear.

Take your time working through these exercises. If you find yourself, unable to move on to the next exercise. Then write a short paragraph why you don’t want to move on. Take a break and start the new exercise the next day. Look forward to celebrating your freedom from past buried feelings.