By Matt Licata
Something happens and you get triggered. Someone says something or ignores you, or doesn’t show up in the way you want and need. You quickly become convinced that no one will ever see you as you are. Others are not on your side and the world is unsafe. And there is only one explanation at the root of it all: you are unworthy of such contact and something is fundamentally wrong with you.
In these moments, you are totally hooked. Your emotional world is on fire and you’re falling apart. You are shaming, blaming, and raging in all directions. The old voices remind you of how wretched you truly are. The energy is hot and surging through your heart. There is a panicky nauseous feeling in your stomach. Your throat is starting to constrict. You are about to collapse. Here we go again.
But wait. Breathe deeply from your lower belly. Touch the earth. Look up into the sky. Return to your body and the aliveness of the here and now. See if it really is as urgent as it seems, that you need to disembody and find relief. The narrative of a little one, who was never seen as she was, is spinning and swirling around you. Slow way down and provide her with the attunement she has been longing for, for so long.
These are never ordinary moments, when the harbingers of integration appear. While you may never have much control over what thoughts, feelings, or emotions arrive in a moment of activation, you have a choice as to how you will respond. This choice is the threshold of a new world.
Depending on your early strategies for meeting overwhelm and dysregulation, you flow into motion. While these responses are grooved into your neural net, they are open, translucent, and awaiting reconfiguration. Like all form, they are not nearly as solid as they appear.
While the process of reorganization is often mysterious and occurring outside the conceptual altogether, it is fiery, relentless, and uncompromising love that is the reorganizer.
No matter what is happening in your current experience, you can start right now, exactly where you are. You can lay down a new pathway. Slowly, over time, you can replace the aggression with kindness. You can replace the abandonment with holding. You can replace the rejection with curiosity and compassion.
While the old narratives and emotional strategies emerged as the best ways you knew to care for yourself and to somehow make sense of a misattuned holding environment, you are the artist of a new world. Your canvas is the entirety of your embodied vulnerability, the tenderness of your heart, and the brilliance of your creative psyche. You can rewrite the story, rewire your nervous system, and find new meaning. No, this is not easy, and will take everything you have… and more. But it is already written inside you.
While it may seem hopeless at times, you have capacities that you did not have as a little one when the original pathways were formed. Call on the seen and unseen worlds to assist you. Open to the holding and the wisdom of the mountains, the oceans, the stars, and the colors inside you.
You are surrounded now by the heartbeat of the earth. Feel the new pathway emerging. And allow it to come online now, lighting up your body, your nervous system, and seeding your heart with the energies of love.
A Healing Space… reflections on love, intimacy, and the aliveness of immediate experience