If you follow my blog, you'll know that I have a huge amount going on. Personal, difficult, intense. There have a been a lot of changes. And that means that there is fall out, from me, from my kids, from many people. Fall out that comes with emotions. Again, if you follow, you'll know that emotions are not really 'my thing'.
I have written -many times- about the importance of feeling them. I know that, if left unchecked they can cause destruction. I wrote in Forewarned is Forearmed that you cannot avoid them with a positive mindset. I know a fair amount of shit about repressing emotions. I say a huge amount about repressing emotions. I often refer to the negativity loop and not getting stuck in it. I consider myself to be 'in the know'. Perhaps that sense of knowing is a construct of ego because I have (once again) been cut down to size and shushed by the universe.
I have been reflecting on how it happened. And the answer is FO interesting. As it turns out, I had shifted onto autopilot and thought I was dealing. Alas, my subconscious mind, the bigger and smarter of the two minds had hoodwinked the conscious and by extension made a complete tool of us as a whole! FML! Let me explain.
In Thinking Fast and Slow (an incredible book by Daniel Kahneman) our thinking is divided -very clearly and far more eloquently than I will do now- into two clear parts. System 1 (Autosaviour) and system two (The Thinker). Autosaviour is the first port of call for the mind. It runs stealthily in the background assessing its experiences and deciding whether or not there is a need to engage The Thinker. Is anything new? Do we need adrenalin? Do we need to analyse? Do we need to need apply actual effort? Or can we do this using existing neural pathways and habits? What is the easiest way to do this? Autosaviour is lazy.
Right, so what the hell does this have to do with me? Let me give you some perspective, this is my life of late:
1. I have done so much inner child, past life, introspection, and acceptance work. It had sent a huge amount of emotion to the surface to be cleared.
2. The death of my spiritual practice – I have done so little spiritual work. I see it. I say things like ‘’I need to go in.’’ “Why am I so disconnected?’’
3. I know that I have to stay active: Keep the endorphins up, box, box, box, walk, walk, walk. I’m active, I’m ok.
4. Be effective, be productive, be successful: Work, work, work. Work with the kid’s on schoolwork. I see the balls, now I just have to keep them in the air.
5. I notice reactions: ‘Hmmmmm, that was a very short, very angry response.’ Well, I have a lot going on. I’m ok, I’ll try control it.
So -it would seem- that I am fully aware of everything that is going on. It seems so healthy. Omg! I’m amazing. Nope, that is a negative….🙄
What was actually happening was quite different. It played out like a monochrome Charlie Chaplin movie:
Annnd Action: 🎬 After all of the work I have been doing, and my current life events (see point 1) The Autosaviour registers all of the surfacing emotions. PANIC STATIONS!!! Body goes into fight or flight. The WTF alarm sounds and neurons are running around screaming because we DO NOT deal with feels. Autosaviour, trying not to panic reads the symptoms off of an index card, sadness, pain, acceptance, rage, forgiveness. Ahhh yes! She shouts at the rest of the brain. “Calm the F%k down! I found it, an old trauma response. We burnt this pathway as a child. It’s old and deep. It was used for many years, it’s called STEALTHY AVOIDANCE.’’
As she blows out the dust and begins channeling my responses through it, everything seems to calm down. I am sent into a loop that my defensive inner child and my need to be in control had cleverly constructed to trick me into thinking I was dealing, to bring me comfort. How? By providing distraction. Things to busy myself with (see points 3,4 and 5). Also, I start avoiding anything that would force me to face what was brewing (see point 2).
So, to summarise; I am running on cortisol as Autosaviour works tirelessly to make sure I’m too busy to deal. Busy with exercise and productivity and trying to control my responses. It all seems so healthy, (how clever! 🤔). She also puts a halt on my spiritual practice knowing that I will go in and start facing, that would engage The Thinker. Autosaviour likes the path of least resistance, so we don’t engage The Thinker unless it is absolutely necessary. On some level I saw it happening. But seeing it is not enough, I had to stop to feel it. To feel it I needed to engage The Thinker. But I’m coping. The feelings are put on the back burner. To brew and brew and brew. A perfect storm. ⛈
Finally, the universe -in all her wisdom- said enough is enough and she sent a messenger. Even more pressure, more exhaustion, a short fuse, some hard realisations and just in case I still wasn’t listening... sickness. ‘’Stop Stacey, just Stop’’. I admit defeat. FUUUUUUUUUUCCCKKKKK. It is hard.
Here I am processing some hectic emotions, while fighting for breath through one nostril and dressing and stripping as the fever rises and falls. The boys are acting out, there are big decisions to make and the stress – well it’s waiting with bated breath on the other side of my sick leave.
When I finally picked up a pen and journaled, I realised what a mess I actually was. Upon going in I cried (and suffocated because I’m so sick). My guide didn’t necessarily moan at me, but what she had to say was not easy to hear.
Bill Gates said that you should employ a lazy person to get hard jobs done faster. Autosaviour will do the same, although there will be times where you need it, it isn’t always the right thing. The way I see it, Autosaviour will preserve you, but The Thinker will heal you. Slow down and engage The Thinker.
I’m not perfect, but I’m on the mend. Restoring my connection to the cosmos I know that I need to rest and slow down. Everything will come as it should. Once I make room.
NB!!! Thinking Fast and Slow really is a phenomenal read. The way I have applied it here is limited but also very personal and perfect FOR ME! Do yourself a favour, go and read it!!!!
Edited by: The Hand of Gee, Fab Amy and Dammmm Sam!