Are you aware of what your Responses are?
Can you name three Responses that are adaptive?
Can you name three Responses that are maladaptive?
Once you are intimately aware of your Wound, you’ll fairly quickly start to identify what Triggers that Wound. But, are you dialed into how you Respond when your Wound is Triggered? These Responses are how you defend yourself, guard yourself, or behave in Response to the Trigger.
When you get triggered, how do you respond?
How do you behave, engage, respond?
Be honest with yourself.
Outsmarting your Responses:
As we can more accurately understand and identify our responses, we’re more apt to be able to manage them. Again, Responses are how we SHOW UP or defend ourselves when our wounds are triggered. The last unit looked at identifying our Responses, now we will take a stab at managing them.
Here are two strategies for you to use to begin managing your Responses:
AWARENESS: It seems simple but when we are more acutely aware of our Responses, we are much more likely to manage them. Just the art of adding in a very deep awareness of our WTR Cycle can allow for you to interject at any point. Try it out. Spend 30 minutes a day being aware of your WTR Cycle. Most of us are driven by our unconscious and subconscious minds 90% of the time. That means that roughly 10% of your interactions, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings are based in the present. With increased awareness, we can change this and change how we Respond in situations.
HARM-REDUCTION: Harm Reduction is a concept that we developed in the late eighties. It was born out a need to assist drug users in reducing the harm they experienced as a result of using drugs. That is to say that if one was an intravenous drug user, through harm reduction that same person might be encouraged to switch to another method of accessing his/her particular drug of choice in order to reduce the harm of using needles that, at the time, were considered very dangerous given the outbreak of HIV and its spread via “dirty” needles.
Now, don’t be freaked out. You are not being compared to an IV drug user. But, managing your Responses and changing them can be VERY difficult. With that in mind, what if we took a Harm Reduction approach. If, when you are triggered, you lash out at others and then create further friction and even discomfort in someone else, could you consider recording your Response (lashing out) into your phone or could you write it out?
Be gentle with yourself as you start to make note of your Responses. You may begin to see that much of your interactions are in Response to a Trigger. Living in this constant Wound-Trigger-Response Cycle can leave you pretty exhausted, emotionally disconnected, and feeling out of sorts. After all, it is a cycle that keeps you fairly stuck in the past and I’d bet you are pretty eager to begin living and engaging in the present.
You can feel better. It is common for us to feel overwhelmed after children arrive and our lives shift so dramatically. This is even more overwhelming when we are dragging around baggage from the past. Let’s clear some of that up so you can begin to build this new version of yourself that is planted firmly in TODAY.