What’s really going on when we’re losing it

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From Reactive to Responsive

Sometimes when we are reacting really strongly to a situation it may look like there is a lot of feeling going on but in fact we may not be really feeling at all! We are just reacting. And may find it very difficult to actually experience the feeling we are having. Why is that? It is a survival mechanism. Because whatever is going on with us it can feel too hard to bear, so exploding and raging may seem like the safer option! Not consciously of course. There isn’t much consciousness or awareness around at such moments. Many of us have never really felt safe in our lives. That may sound over dramatic. But I don’t think it is. With ‘safe’ I mean that it is okay to embrace whatever is going on within us. Early on in our lives we quickly learn what is acceptable and what is valued. And we adapt ourselves to that. We all have a need to belong. As we get older we can reflect more on these behaviours and start to examine what is authentic and what is not. Loving witnessing facilitates this in us. And learning to be a loving witness to that part of us who never felt they belonged and who drew the conclusion that were were fundamentally unlovable is, I believe, the most important work we can do. We have more of a choice about our reactivity. It frees us to be authentic and true to ourselves And to be a loving partner, parent or friend. From reactive to responsive.

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