Letting go of outdated coping mechanisms can be challenging. Sometimes we have done them for so long it seems like who we are. It can feel weird, and unsettling to choose to behave differently.
For instance, I have been a people pleaser for a long time, trying to win love and approval because I felt so alone, so sad and scared at times when I was young. My Dad worked away from home for weeks on end, and my Mum wasn’t very happy or child-focused. Her Mum wasn’t a cuddly Mum either so it was normal for her to tell me to just go away, go play, and leave her alone. This taught me to be able to hide, not take up too much space, be somewhat invisible and repress my needs for contact, affection, and togetherness.
The positive of this was I became more connected and attuned with nature, wandering the farm on my own. I became focused on studying and later work/career as a way to occupy myself and distract myself from my loneliness and sadness. I too was a lot like my Mum telling my needs to go away, leave me alone. And as I got older I treated my friend’s kids as a bit of a nuisance too. I’d be polite and friendly, but get bored quickly and wish they would go play so I could spend time with my friend. What occurs to us when little stays with us until we heal it.
I wanted to have kids but never did. They’d take up so much time and energy. I had so many fears of them getting hurt, of not being able to protect them, and of not wanting to hurt them myself. I had so much family baggage and entanglements with my ancestors that the fear was overpowering.
I’ve had to work through layer after layer of conditioning and entanglements to release them and be more open to caring for my inner child, meeting my needs, accepting what occurred in my childhood and understanding why my parents behaved the way they did, and that it actually wasn’t about me.
Their moods, their sadness and confusing behaviour weren’t about me. It was a consequence of an unhappy marriage that wasn’t working out and was heading towards separation. My parents, like a lot of us adults, were caught up in their own pain and life challenges and didn’t notice my needs.
This is very common and kids are very adaptable. They find ways to get by, to cope, to avoid or distract themselves from their painful emotions. They change the way they behave trying to win or earn love, attention, and approval.
I was the queen of that! Do a PhD, try and save the world, and help improve the sustainability of the planet. Added bonus I’m so busy working and studying I can ignore how sad I am or how lonely I feel because I’m doing important work. I’m being useful and good, earning my place in society, and hopefully getting seen, loved and accepted.
This pattern of overwork and study, helping others and helping the planet and society have continued through all I do, but I try to be more balanced with it now and to do it because I love it and enjoy it, not because I have to or am trying to win love, attention, acceptance or thinking that others need me to save, rescue or fix them. That’s classic codependence and not healthy.
So now I focus more on what I want to do and what I need. I meet my own needs and take care of the younger selves within me who were hurting. I look at life with more adult eyes, instead of wounded child eyes, and I realise my life is good. I have what I need, a home, a good job, a loving partner and family, friends, hobbies and more. My life is actually really good. It was just all the old hurt, old story that made it feel less than, not okay, lacking.
As I settle into this ‘enoughness’ I start to question “What do I want to do? How much of it do I want to do? What do I value most and where will I put my time and energy?” It’s a recalibration of the old coping mechanisms into a newer, freer, more flexible way of being, able to say no, to rest, to be quiet, still and receptive, reconnecting with body and heart, not just mind and feelings.
It’s a big journey coming back home to feel safe and okay in your body, letting go of the old story and accepting what has been and is, and choosing how you want to live your life.
Our pasts may have been painful and filled with challenges. We don’t have to like that, but fighting against it, and complaining about it just keeps us stuck. When we do the work to heal we can break free of the patterns and open to the new. It is worth the effort.
Many blessings to all,
P.S. There is a range of free resources on my website that may be of assistance to you with your healing journey.
Here’s a video launching a free online self-study course for Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE). The online course is suitable for anyone WITHOUT any major medical or mental health issues. It will help you learn how to use TRE to release stress and tension and to relax your body using its natural tremoring mechanism.
The online course is NOT suitable for:
Anyone with psychological/psychiatric conditions that require strict regulation
Anyone with fragile psychological defences
Anyone who has a history of complex trauma (near-death experiences, abuse, violence, major accidents, natural disasters, surgeries, severe losses, etc)
Anyone with physical conditions that require strict regulation
Anyone with physical or medical limitations.
For anyone in the above categories, it is best to consult with a TRE provider, like me, to make sure TRE is suitable for you and to teach you how to use it safely. Once you have learned TRE and are confident in your use of it you will be able to use TRE at home on your own to help heal, balance and calm your body. If you would like to learn TRE with Jodi-Anne you can book an appointment.
The video I’m sharing here is the official Australian launch. Richmond who created the course gives an explanation of TRE then there is a group tremoring session (starting at approx 26 min into the video). Here you can see me and the others present tremoring. Each body moves in a different way as it shakes out what no longer serves it and integrates the shifts and changes.
This video contains an overview of what is involved in healing and finding peace within. It discusses the different levels of attention needed for deep healing to occur. Traditional counselling, psychology and psychiatry have largely focused on our thinking patterns and emotional reactions, but there is a lot more that needs to be done to heal and calm the body so you can enjoy life.
Jodi-Anne summarises these issues and explains why each level of attention is required, including reprogramming our subconscious beliefs, calming our body and nervous system and doing inner child recovery work to help complete trauma and let it finally be a thing of the past, rather than feeling like it could occur again at any moment.
Jodi-Anne is putting together everything she has learned into an online, self-study course for people to use to help themselves to heal and find peace. She expects the course to be available mid-2021. For now, there are lots of free videos and resources on her ‘Life Insights‘ and ‘Healing from child abuse‘ webpages. She is also available for individual appointments in person or online via zoom or phone.
When life has been challenging and you’ve experienced multiple disappointments it can be hard to believe that it can get better. Your past experience is that it doesn’t and you can lose hope and faith in a more positive future. In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ways to move out of disappointment and feeling stuck, so that you can enjoy life more.
In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘How do you let go of disappointment and expect the best?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights‘ page of her website.
When unexpected events occur it shakes your foundations, your normal way of being. If you feel uncertain, unsafe or scared then your nervous system will react with either fight, flight or freeze responses.
People who get angry at what is occurring, who rage that more should be done are having a ‘fight’ reaction. The adrenaline and cortisol pumping through their veins fuels an aggressive reaction.
There may not be an enemy that can be fought. In this case, you can’t fight the Corona Virus in the traditional sense. It doesn’t have have a physical body for you to face up to, seething and threaten it and go several rounds in the boxing ring.
This is what those in a fight response are ultimately wanting to do because the act of fighting uses up the adrenaline and cortisol enabling them to calm back down, for their nervous system to regulate.
Without the fight, the cortisol and adrenaline stay in their blood and gets stored in the body as tension, tightening of muscles, clenching of the jaw, etc.
It takes emotional awareness to notice what is occurring and to take action to self-soothe, rather than lash out at others with the upset that you have. Be aware many people may behave in ways they normally wouldn’t as they are in ‘survival’ mode, feeling unsafe and a need to protect themself and their family. To some, it may literally feel life-threatening, so their behaviours may be extreme.
Those who react with a ‘flight’ response will want to run away to escape the danger. They will find it hard to be still and being locked in their home may feel stifling and like being in prison.
The cortisol and adrenaline in their system are priming their muscles to run, run, run, so it’s almost impossible for them to meditate, relax, deep breathe, be still and enjoy the chance to rest and strengthen up. The flight reaction of their nervous system is telling them it is not safe to relax and enjoy the time at home.
Even though they may consciously want to relax, they can’t. The reason for this is that the ‘survival’ mechanism is a different part of the brain, the hindbrain, that takes over when we’re in a fight, flight or freeze response. The neocortex or rational thinking part of the brain gets suppressed.
Evolution wise this made sense. When a lion is about to attack you it doesn’t help you to be able to talk to it or to think slowly through all your options, the pros and cons of each, to decide what to do. You need to react instinctively and quickly in the face of danger, and that is what the limbic system does. That’s why it is so hard to think clearly and express yourself if you’re in a heightened nervous system reaction with high levels of a fight, flight or freeze response occurring.
Those people that have a ‘freeze’ reaction are instinctively hiding and holding still, hoping that the lion won’t see them. They hold their breath, breathe shallowly and slow down their internal bodily reactions, coming to a place of panicked stillness in the hope that they won’t be seen.
They may dissociate from their body, literally escape it by focusing elsewhere in their mind, off in daydreams or splitting off part fo their consciousness.
They literally jump out of their body, like energetically floating above it. This is the out of body experience people can have during a near-death experience. They see their body from the perspective of being outside of it. They’ve been so scared, so terrified of death, they’ve jumped out of their skin.
This too is part of the ‘survival’ mechanism. If the lion was about to eat you, you don’t want to be fully conscious in your body and feel it, so you jump out. The body also gets pumped full of opioids which numb you, so you don’t feel yourself being eaten or killed.
That’s why some people will seem numb, not fully present, not with you when you try to talk to them. They’re not. They’ve escaped. This can be dangerous as someone who is dissociated from their body can be accident-prone. They’re not paying close attention to what they do. It takes them longer to notice that they’re touching the hot kettle and it’s hurting them.
They may be forgetful. If you are dealing with someone who has dissociated, numbed out, know it’s not that they don’t care. They have switched off out of panic, out of terror, feeling like death is imminent. We need to help such a person to reconnect with their body, to bring them back to the present moment gently, compassionately.
Don’t expect too much of them or ask them to do anything complex. They simply can’t. Until they calm back down they can’t concentrate and be responsible for others. This is where compassion and understanding can help prevent any judgements, arguments and accusations. When you know what is occurring you can adjust your expectations to help the person to recentre, to come back into their body.
Looking them in the eyes, holding their hands or feet, talking to them softly, this will gently invite them back into connection with their body. Standing on the grass with bare feet will help them to ground. Touching things, smelling things, tasting things – reengaging the senses will help bring them back. There’s a lot you can do to assist such a person.
Essential oils can be very calming and again help you to connect back to the present moment. The olfactory bulb is connected directly to the limbic system, the emotional part of the brain, so smells quickly alter how we are feeling emotionally. Within seconds a comforting smell can result in a little or a lot of relaxation.
Gentle movement can help a person who is coming out of a freeze response. Whether that be yoga, tai chi, qi gong. You don’t want to do heavy aerobic exercise as that ramps the body up. You want to do gentle, calming exercise so the person feels safer.
One process that can help with all of these reactions – fight, flight and freeze – is Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). It is a series of gentle exercises designed to start the body’s automatic stress, tension and trauma release process.
The body has a built-in mechanism to ‘shake off’ tension, stress and trauma. The shaking uses up the adrenaline and cortisol from the fight, flight, freeze reactions and it enables the body to calm back down, to drop out of a parasympathetic freeze reaction or a sympathetic fight or flight state, to the calm parasympathetic state where we can connect and relate to others.
It’s a natural process available to all of us. If you would like to know more about TRE you can visit my TRE webpage, the TRE Australia website or the global TRE website.
I can teach individuals TRE as part of an online appointment or an in-person appointment. You can then use it to help your body calm and relax whenever you need to. It’s a great self-care tool that not only helps you to come out of a heightened nervous system state but also helps you to open up and expand.
When your nervous system calms, it no longer sends your brain signals that you’re in danger, so the mind relaxes too, and the defensive mechanisms that you’ve used to protect yourself start to soften. They start to loosen up so it’s easier for you to choose to think and behave differently than you’ve always done. You’re no longer fighting against yourself so much.
When we’re in a defended state we may consciously want to change or start a hobby or change our life, but internally our body resists it, subconsciously thinking and reacting as if the change is a threat and should be avoided, hence the resistance and difficulty taking action.
When your nervous system is relaxed and calm, and your body is feeling safer, you don’t have so much resistance. your body actually wants to connect with others and enjoy life.
It is my hope that this blog helps you to understand the various reactions that those around you may be having during this challenging moment in time with the Corona Virus. It’s not that people are cold, callous, uncaring of others. They’re just reacting in survival, feeling a need to compete with others in order to survive. They want the toilet paper, food, etc to ensure they and their loved ones are okay. This is part of our primal, instinctive reactions when we’re in a fight, flight, freeze reaction.
With empathy and compassion, we can help each other to calm, to do the best we can through all of this. Try not to take people’s reactions personally and do what you can to help yourself and others to balance up, stay grounded and enjoy these times as much as we can. Blessings to all. Namaste.
If you found this blog useful you may wish to consider purchasing a copy of Jodi-Anne’s book ‘Advice from a higher Source’ which contains 85 answers to questions about life. The paperback book or ebook can be purchased online at – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JMS2011. (Once you have clicked into view the description of the book, go to the top of the page and choose the flag symbol for your country, this will show you the price in your currency and enable you to purchase it in that currency)
These two channelled books contain insights on the healing journey that we are all on. We are all learning to love and accept ourselves, to let go of past hurts, and live in the NOW. We are all opening up to love, to feeling our emotions fully, and taking the risk to be seen, heard, and loved as our authentic self.
It feels vulnerable to risk showing who you truly are, to let go of your defence mechanisms and image, to say “This is who I really am. These are my strengths, my weaknesses, my fears. I’m not perfect, I’m human and I’m doing my best to be a healthy, happy person”. These books contain some of the tools I’ve used along the way in my healing journey. I hope you find them useful.
‘The healing journey demystified’ is my healing journey, along with advice on how to proceed through the many layers of emotional density, armouring, and protection mechanisms that form when you have suffered a challenging start to life. It also contains a summary of the stages of healing from child abuse and examples of actions you can use to heal.
‘Advice from a higher Source’ contains 85 answers to questions I’ve asked about life. The answers are channelled, downloaded from the Universe/God/Life/Whatever you want to call it. They are loving messages of support to help us through the challenging moments that we face. I’ve asked questions such as ‘How do you heal from the past and enjoy life?’, ‘What is our purpose?’, ‘How do you recognise when a relationship no longer serves you?’, ‘How do you accept the now, and not focus on past or future as the source of happiness?’ ‘Why do we have to go through so much pain?’ and many, many others.
I randomly open it each morning and read the answer I’ve opened to. It amazes me how it is always the one most relevant to how I’m feeling at that time. This book gives us hope and understanding of what is occurring and why. It helps us to see the bigger picture unfolding on Earth, as we all consciously evolve into loving, heart-felt human beings.
Both books and ebooks can be purchased online at – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JMS2011. (To purchase in your country’s currency, once the link opens, go to the top of the page and choose the flag symbol for your country 😊😊😊)
The science of multigenerational trauma, showing how stress is passed on in utero, imprinting the foetus with the trauma and stress the Mother experiences during pregnancy and that which has not been dealt with from the previous generations. (2:50 mins)
This (4:15 mins) video by Madhumita Murga explains how a lack of nurturing when we are young can limit our ability to cope with stress and creates changes to the way our DNA is expressed. These changes are passed on to future generations resulting in them having a sensitivity to stress.
Chronic stress damages the brain in several ways, which are explained in the video. The good news is that the damage can be reversed by releasing the stress and healing the trauma that caused it. Many stress reduction techniques can help including exercise and meditation, while therapies like Psych-K and Family Constellations can assist in healing any trauma and emotional pain underneath it.
Fear takes hold of us when we are put into a state of phsyical danger. It is a natural mechanism designed to help us. It is the fight or flight or freeze response associated with the amygdala in the brain.
When a wild animal or cave man is attacking you, it is a good response. Blood flows away from your organs, digestion, immune system and brain and goes to your muscles, so that you have the best chance of winning the fight or out running your attacker. In this response you are helped to survive.
However, for many people their body’s are locked in fight or flight mode all the time. This is not helpful or healthy. It makes the body stressed and unable to do all that it needs to do with ease and grace.
We need to help calm and soothe our bodies back to a state of peace and relaxation. We need to let go of the tension that accumulates so readily in modern life.Rushing around all the time, trying to meet deadlines, putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure to achieve, to succeed in our jobs, our homes, our families, to have the best of everything.
Modern society measures success based on wealth and posessions. This is not an accurate description of success, for it ignores the lack of joy, close relationships, poor health, fatigue and exhaustion that comes from always being on the go.
A truer measure of success is peace and happiness. Is a person happy with their life, are they operating from their passion, fulfiling their creativity and purpose in life, are they loved, loving and kind with many close friends and healthy relationships with family, work colleagues and those they meet on the street. Do they have time to spend with their kids, who know that they are loved, important, valued and heard. Or are they waving goodbye to the kids in front of the TV as they go off to work.
Which version of life do you relate to most? If the first then it is not surprising that your body may be locked in a fearful state. There is no deep relaxation when someone is constantly on the go, rushing around. The body doesn’t get a chance to relax and recharge. Sleep may be broken and less of it than is needed for good health.
During sleep the body realigns with its natural state. With the mind switched off it can finally connect with Source and let all the residue of the day be cleared out. Some of it appears as dreams. Some of it just releases. But deep sleep is needed for this restorative process to occur.
If a person is locked in to chronic fear, they may struggle to sleep soundly, which then exacerbates the situation, as the body does not get the time to heal itself that it needs. Sleep really is very important. It is worth going to bed an hour earlier so you can sleep more. It is certainly more important than watching TV.
Most of people’s fears today are not about life and death situations. It is usually about stressful situations faced due to pushing themselves too hard in modern living – traffic, job pressures, rushing around, not having time to do everything that is needed. These are the superficial fears, the feeling like the ‘wheels will fall off’ if you actually stopped to rest. These are easily rectified by actually choosing to do less. By realising that you are living at a pace that the human body has not been designed for. So, choose to do less. Cut out unnecessary tasks and do only that which bring you joy and are truly required for you to live a happy and healthy life.
The deeper seated fears are those that come from childhood conditioning – ‘Am I good enough?’, ‘Am I lovable?’, ‘Am I acceptable as a human being?’. These are core fears, doubts about your being, your essence, that have resulted from not receiving enough of your parent’s attention, love and kindness when you were little.
With modern lifestyles this is only getting worse, as more and more families have 2 working parents and the children spend more time in front of the TV and in childcare than they do talking or having fun with Mum and Dad.
Children’s developing brains do not have the capacity to understand that Mum and Dad are working so hard because they think they need to have the big, fancy house and cars and holiday homes, etc. The children simply see that Mum and Dad do not want to spend time with them and they assume it is because of a lack inside themselves.‘If I was more lovable, a better person, if I was more ….. then Mum and Dad would spend more time with me. They don’t value doing so, don’t make time for it, so I must not be valuable or lovable’.
This sets the scene for a fearful life with low self esteem. The child grows looking outside themselves for validation, constantly looking for evidence that their fears are real. ‘See the way that person looked at me, it confirms my fear that the world is a cruel place or danagerous place. See how that person pushed past me, etc’. These people may not have even noticed the first person and their actions aren’t deliberate or targeted, but because of the fearful thinking the person takes it to heart and draws false conclusions about the world and their safety in it.
In time with enough fearful thinking, it becomes habituated and the body goes about reacting as if it is always in danger. The day is lived on high alert, which is not healthy for the person concerned.As it takes hold the body gets overloaded and the result can be panic attacks and high anxiety levels. The body is so full of adrenalin and other fear related chemicals, that it becomes toxic and normal thinking abilities cease. The blood is flowing away from the conscious mind, locked into the primitive or hind brain in fight or flight mode. This is traumatising and exhausting.
Underneath all of this fear is faulty thinking, false assumptions about self and your ability to cope with life. Negative self messages may have been programmed into your subconscious mind when you were little, leaving you feeling weak and helpless.
From 0-7 the developing brain of a child simply absorbs what it hears, like a tape recording. What a child hears is what they believe about themselves and their abilities. It becomes the self-talk they say to themselves later on. It becomes the programming in their subconsicous mind. If a child is told it is weak, clumsy, useless, unwanted, a burden, not good enough, etc, then these become the core beliefs that the person will live with throughout their life, unless they learn how to change them.
If a child is told it is hopeless or can’t achieve, then they will struggle to be successful throughout their life. There will be this internal self sabotage due to their programming, which won’t let them be successful. Those negative self beliefs will kick in and stop them achieving their goals. Worse, it will create high levels of stress and anxiety whenever they try to achieve anything, as the tape recording in their subconscious mind will be constantly playing – telling them they are going to fail or are in danger of making a fool of themself if they try, etc.
Some people are aware of this negative self talk, for others it occurs quietly below the surface and they don’t even hear it. But it is occurring regularly throughout the day, adding to the fear and anxiety.
Over coming the fear and anxiety requires turning up the volume of the self talk so you are aware of it, then choosing to change it. Every time you hear a negative self belief, stop it, and say a more positive statement to yourself. Instead of ‘You always do that, you always stuff up’, say ‘In the past i’ve struggled, that’s true, but now i’m choosing to be kinder to myself. I can do this. I just have to practice and build my skills’. Become your own best friend and encourager of yourself.
The subconscious beliefs can be reprogrammed, changed to be positive, supportive beliefs that help you achieve your goals.There are many ways to do this including Psych-K, Lifeline Technique, Hypnosis [and] use of affirmations for long enough and often enough that the statement becomes habitual thought.
While affirmations take a long time to become habituated, the other techniques are much quicker. With Psych-K it only takes a few minutes to replace negative beliefs with more positive ones. However, lots of belief balances are needed as most people have a lifetime of negative self beliefs to reprogram. As you do, the tension in your body can release as the fearful programming is let go of. If you know you are safe, loved, wanted and cared for there is less reason for being on high alert. The body can start to relax as the danger has passed.
This deep level of core belief change is needed for this deep relaxation to occur. That is why just thinking more positively is not enough. Our conscious mind represents only 5% of our brain’s processing capacity. 90-95% of it occurs in the subconscious mind, which makes your body function without you having to think about it. The subconscious mind makes our hearts beat, our lungs breathe, our digestion work, etc. It does all of this without our having to think about it and it is so powerful it over rides our conscious thoughts. We cannot make ourselves stop breathing or not be hungry, our body forces us to breathe and to know that we need to eat. So, just using positive thinking is not enough to over come these deeper bodily reactions and programming. Changing core self beliefs is needed to help the body relax and let go of fear.
Diet and exercise also assist the body to be healthier, as does extra sleep, vitamins and minerals. There are many things that can be done to help the body let go of fear – massage can help a body in heightened fight or flight mode to relax a little and slow down.
For those that have been abused or suffered trauma, body work is very important as the person needs to learn that it can be safe to be touched. This is crucial for their body to relax and soften and allow them to feel safe again. It will take time for this relaxation to occur. Someone who has been traumatised and hasn’t released the underlying emotion may automatically flinch when touched. They automatically pull away for fear of further abuse or trauma. This is very sad, and this patterning will continue unless action is taken to heal it.
The nervous system of someone locked in fight or flight mode is constantly activated. Processes like Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) can help the body to calm by activating the body’s natural release mechanism. The body will shake out the tension and stress, if allowed to, so that it can return to a state of ease and grace.
When a person’s nervous system calms it is easier for them to relate to and connect with others, as their body is open and more receptive. It no longer fears or assumes danger from interacting with others.
TRE and other trauma release processes that focus on healing the autonomic nervous system are an important aspect of healing from fear, so you can have greater peace and relaxation.
Underneath the fear and anxiety is buried emotions from the initial events that led to the conditioning. It may be sadness or anger or shame and embarassment. Whatever it is, these emotions need to be felt and released so the body can go back to its natural state of peace and relaxation.
Know it is possible to overcome exagerated fear responses. It is possible to heal these automatic reactions. It just takes time and effort to calm and soothe your body, to reprogram your subconscious beliefs and use more self supportive thinking and self talk patterns. Time in nature can also soothe us as can body work, diet and exercise. There is much that can be done. Enjoy. Blessed BE. Amen.
People are over controlling when they feel scared and vulnerable underneath. They micro-manage everything in an attempt to stay safe and have everything work out as they want it to. If another person does not behave the way they want, the first person is likely to get very angry as they fear the consequences of that person’s actions will be devastating.
Underneath it all is FEAR, lots of fear, hurt and sadness which has built up over the person’s lifetime. The controlling personality is just a defense mechanism to cover up the fear and protect their vulnerability.
In reality the process of over controlling is exhausting, it is done frantically, manically. It is not a peaceful process and it certainly isn’t kind. A controlling person can be very bossy and judgmental as they push through trying to force the outcome they need to feel safe.
They are not thinking about the other person’s feelings or needs, only their own. While this sounds selfish, it is not really. It is not coming from a place of my needs are more important than yours. It is coming from a space of ‘I need you to do this in order for me to feel safe, I am in danger unless you do this, you must do this, please do this’. It is a painful way to live, so desperate and afraid.
Many controlling people appear tough, cold, judgmental, unemotional, but that is just the mask they wear to cover up their vulnerability and fear. What the person really needs is to drop the mask, feel the feelings, release the hurt and sadness, learn to speak their truth in kind and loving ways.For instance:
‘I know I have been pushy and controlling wanting you to do certain things. I’m sorry that I have been so forceful. I was afraid that if you didn’t do those things, X would happen and that worries me. I’m scared Y will occur and I wanted to avoid that. I understand you don’t feel the same ways as me and you may have felt I was saying “You are not good enough as your are”. Please know that I never meant for you to feel that. You are a beautiful child of God on your own path of healing and wholeness. I was just scared and wanted to avoid what I feared would occur. What I really need is to say all of this to you and stop pretending to be strong. Can we work out a plan together to tackle this situation, then I can relax knowing that it will be okay.
When I start to get scared or frustrated can you please just give me a hug, help me to feel okay, safe, reassured that all is okay. I would love it if we could do that. I know it is not your job to look after me, I will look after me, I am just sharing how I feel. I will do my best to let go and trust you to do what is agreed to. I may slip up and be pushy occasionally – this has been a lifetime habit. If I do slip up just let me know and give me a hug. Please don’t get mad at me. I mean no harm, I’m just scared and need to be comforted and reassured. Thank you for loving me, listening to me, and caring for me. I love you and value you and want to treat you better and I will do so. Thank you’
If a person who has been over controlling like this can speak their truth, the armour can start to melt, they can let go of the rigidity, soften the emotions and feel their heart beat.They will need to learn self supportive talking techniques to reassure themselves whenever they start feeling vulnerable. They will need to learn positive thinking / thought stopping skills, so they can stop a negative thought in its tracks and change it to a more positive one. ‘Yes, I used to believe it would be a disaster if …. occurred. I know now that I would cope, even if it did occur. In all the years of worrying about …… it has never or rarely happened and even when it has, it hasn’t been that bad. I’ve coped. I’ve survived. I’ve learned and I’m okay!’
Worry is pointless, it really is, let it go. Let go of wasting your days in fear. Let it go. Focus on your breathing and calm your body this way. Deepen your breathing as much as you can. Long breaths into the belly help your body to calm and to regulate itself. Fear chemicals will get dissolved and you can return to a state of balance and peace.
Know that those people who appear most rigid, have the most emotion locked inside them. They have not processed and released it. They have bottled it up inside and they are like a pressure cooker waiting to explode. They are under great internal pressure that they need to learn to regulate, to let the steam out little by little, in manageable ways until the pressure has dissipated.
The body actually has a natural mechanism to do this. It will ‘tremor’ to release the tension, stress and trauma that has accumulated in the body. You can activate the tremoring mechanism to safely discharge the blocked energy and calm your nervous system out of fight and flight back to peace. If you would like to learn more about the tremoring process see the Trauma and Tension Release Exercises (TRE) page of my website.
Processing the emotions underneath controlling behaviour will take time and courage to face the truth of your feelings and drop your personality mask. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable, to meet and reveal your true self, your inner child and all the hurts that have been hidden. Doing so leads to freedom, to inner peace, better relationships and more enjoyment of life. It is worth doing. Blessed BE. Amen.