Fighting for love
We promised we’d open every door in this blog. The Sunday Funday walks, the happy posts, the sad ones about losing a beloved pet and even our fights, yes even our fights. Since that’s all we seem to have done over the last week or so, it seemed like a good time to write about fights.
This is Kasey, I’m writing this one from a place of LOVE. But this morning I was in a place of anger, confusion, abandonment, frustration…you know, all those things you feel when you’re in a fight. You think the other person is all messed up and the cause of your suffering. I felt Righteous. Indignant!
Only the work we’re doing with our coach, Judy, helps me to learn and know that the feelings are real but the story isn’t. What??? What do you mean story? It’s all true isn’t it? That other person is always the reason for me feeling mad or sad or upset in any way. Right? It has to be!!! That’s what the voice in my head is telling me!! I have to believe that voice don’t I? After all it’s me!!! That voice is always there and always telling me the truth!
Ha!! That’s what we all think! From all of my reading and research and self-work, I now know this. The voice in my head is just a voice. It took a long time to get my head 🙂 wrapped around this. After all, that voice has been there my whole life. But in awareness we learn that we are not the voice.
Over the last 3 years Henry and I haven’t had issues with our age difference, our biggest challenges come because we’re perfect matches for each others’ emotional triggers! In my efforts, along with work with Judy, I’ve read a bunch of different books and read a ton of things on other people’s blogs about the “Voice in my Head,” “Emotional Triggers,” and what they are, what they tell us about ourselves. To help with expressing these challenging concepts, I’m relying on the work of the brilliant in this field to express my thoughts.
Intertwined in this post will be quotes from the masters.
“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”
― Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
What??? Yep! Stop and listen to that voice. As he puts it in his book, if that voice was speaking out loud like it was someone sitting on the couch with you watching TV, the things it was saying would be so crazy you’d throw them out! But we listen to it all the time. It’s awareness that helps us stop and pay attention. And not believe what that voice is trying to tell us.
When we combine that voice with emotional triggers we’ve got a recipe for disaster!
“But why do we all have triggers? In short, because we were all children once. When we were growing up, we inevitably experienced pain or suffering that we could not acknowledge and/or deal with sufficiently at the time. So as adults, we typically become triggered by experiences that are reminiscent of these old painful feelings. As a result, we typically turn to a habitual or addictive way of trying to manage the painful feelings.”
(Go to www.mindbodygreen.com and find the article on Emotional Triggers and Why we Need Them.)
In the end I find myself a walking emotional trigger…echoes of my childhood when I (and all children), was a powerful observer but a terrible interpreter. What??? Yep, when we’re kids we experience something painful and create a story around it so it makes sense to us. We are so young and have no one to help us make sense of what we’ve just felt. And we carry all that into our teen years and 20’s and 40’s and always…if we’re not aware. Awareness is the only thing we have to help us see triggers and work through them.
“Being a warrior inside my own life has meant looking at the things that trigger me, anger and frustrate me, wound me, hurt me and depress me. It doesn’t sound like fun, but I’m here to tell you it’s life-changing to choose this journey of healing. Every step brings me closer to my purpose, a true feeling of what I was born to do.”
4. Don’t take anything personally. It’s never about you. Ever. Realize that someone’s feedback or comment about you is coming from their own unique lenses they watch the world through. It’s just another way to look at things. It doesn’t have to be personal.
These two quotes from the blog from the Elephant Journal ring so true for me. You see, not only do I need to be aware of my own triggers and it’s HARD AS HELL TO DO!!! But I have to be aware that other people (mostly Henry) get triggered too. By me. I do something that sparks the emotional trigger in the other person and then they believe the voice in their head telling them that I am responsible for their feelings.
Gosh, it’s a never ending circle!! But in my efforts to grow, to be aware and to LOVE over all, I continue on my quest to learn. And I read the masters and when I’m furious, I usually turn to Byron Katie, whose work around Loving What Is, is so brilliant it’s maddening. Every time I get so angry at Henry I want to leave the relationship, I turn to the 2 quotes below. And I get so mad at how spot on she is, that I laugh and hold my resolve to be aware. To grow. To learn myself. To grow from my triggers and love myself through what feels like unbearable suffering. And love Henry. For his triggers too.
“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.”
― Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
“Our parents, our children, our spouses, and our friends will continue to press every button we have, until we realize what it is that we don’t want to know about ourselves, yet. They will point us to our freedom every time.”
― Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
Our coach Judy, tells us all the time that this sort of growth and awareness is not for the faint of heart. IT IS REALLY HARD WORK!!! It’s super easy to think Henry is the bad guy and that I’m the misunderstood victim. But then after 5 minutes or 5 days my awareness kicks back in and I remember all the work I’ve done and all the quotes I’ve shared with you here. And I embrace the unconditional love I have for myself and for Henry. The kind of love that cherishes the emotional triggers and that pesky voice and is so strong that I am able to look at where I have opportunities to grow and to LOVE.
P.S. This is pretty funny. I’ve been working on this post for 2 weeks and had just finished it and then tonite we had our session with Judy. We talked about fighting the whole time. Lo and behold, she helped us to see that we really love to fight and more than that, to be OK with it!! We both know all the stuff I just wrote about but our childhood wounds set us up to feel really connected during a fight. We’ve carried that forward as adults. She wants us to embrace this part of ourselves because it is where and who we are. And with the self-acceptance and love, ultimately we’ll, well we’re not totally sure, but maybe we’ll be more connected in other ways besides fighting.