Updated: Jan 30, 2021
I've been involved in "doing the work" and facilitating others in "doing the work" for several years now. There are many different names for this kind of work; LifeSkills, Womens and Mens Skills, Rewiring The Brain, Renewing The Mind, etc. but it all relates to identifying beliefs and behaviors and coping mechanisms that we hold that come as a result of the dramas and traumas and often generational traits we experienced in our childhood. It is an enlightening and often painful journey pulling back the layers and seeing how our sense of identity and self worth has been shaped through experiences that we were too young and unequipped to correctly process in a healthy way.
There are some pretty common subconscious conclusions that most adults doing the work arrive at as they identify a basic lie that was formed in them early on and they've believed throughout their lives. Often people believe that they are not "good enough"...pretty enough, smart enough, athletic enough, and some how fall short, or that somehow they are broken or damaged, that something is wrong with them. Some people believe that they just don't belong... anywhere.
Part of the work is learning to recognize when we are being "triggered". This is when a situation occurs or someone says something that pokes us in our unhealthy belief and we have a disproportionate emotional response...like a flight, fight or freeze reaction. It doesn't always trigger us on that grand of a scale, we might just be faced with a sense of embarrassment or anxiety or just a general dis-ease.
I've made a lot of progress in learning to recognize when I'm being triggered and why I'm feeling a certain way. I've learned to slow down and step back from reacting while in that agitated state and have become able to find resolution and cycle back into peace instead of staying anxious or upset or embarrassed. It's a huge relief actually. In the big things, like relationships and in my own sense of self-worth it has been a total game changer. Life changer. However, that doesn't mean that the triggers don't still occur. They do. But I can now recognize when they come in even very subtle ways...
In September I was given the gift of being able to fly to Europe in the First Class cabin... a new experience. I was excited by the idea of being able to actually lay down flat and sleep my way to London. I had not anticipated that I would immediately be flooded with a sense of embarrassment and un-belonging as soon as I walked on board. I was overwhelmed by all the things that I didn't know... how to adjust my seat... where to plug in the earphones and how to work the tv. I was totally triggered and the anxious feeling was that I didn't want to be found out that I didn't belong...that I was a peasant in the palace. I know it sounds silly. Even in the moment I could recognize what was happening and laugh at myself a bit because of it. I kept thinking, "So, you're embarrassed. Are you going to die?"
I asked the flight attendant how everything worked.
She didn't point or laugh at me.
They didn't kick me off.