Healing the Disconnect
Last weekend I get a text out of the blue from a friend who says “I have a problem”
Which is exactly the type of text you want to get first thing in the morning right?
She says “It’s funny how I have to force myself to back off on stuff…. like I have to force myself to relax”
Now I know what her thing is. She is the type who always feels like she needs to be doing something. She has two kids under the age of 8, commutes one hour back and forth between NY and NJ every day, is the VP of a financial agency, reads a book a week and write a report on said book to post on social media… I know because she tags me in every single one… learned four languages in a year, reads the Economist, New Yorker and Time magazine from cover to cover every issue, does the laundry, the dishes and cleans the pool. And thats just the half of it.
So I ask “What do you think you are trying to do by “filling” the space? What is the end goal?”
Well, it’s all for a good reason I think. I really feel like there’s so much I want to learn and understand about people and the world and these are elements of how I go about that.
I don’t think there’s some deep seated insecurity that I’m trying to cover up. If I’m being honest. There’s the whole need for control because my Dad got shot 30 years ago and all, and that’s part of it for sure.
Of course this is rationalizing her behaviors.
But what do you get out of it? Underneath that?
She pauses…thinks for a moment and says
Maybe part of learning how to put gas back in the tank is learning how to be available for myself.
Now I’m excited because this is the light bulb of AWARENESS, which is the first step in healing the disconnect. After all if you don’t know there is a problem, there is nothing to work on.
So she says “I do think I’ve lost (in a good way) that harder edge to me that was more driven by the need for control, to prove myself, to always be ready, etc. I’ve learned to let more of that go.”
The thing is this....she may have consciously worked on letting go that harder edge, the need for control, to prove herself, to always be ready, etc but her subconscious mind hasn’t. It’s showing her through her incessant actions that it still is very much a part of her.
Underneath all of that action there are three things that immediately stand out.
She is a human doing. Not a human being.
She is using action to avoid herself.
She is doing things that trigger her wound.
What do I mean by that?
A human doing is the type of person who fill all of her time with constant action, constant achievement, constantly trying to control for outcomes. Always doing. Never leaving space.
Underneath all of this doing is the subconscious belief that doing equates to being worthy…of love, acceptance and connection. After all, who would you be if you weren’t defined by the things you achieve?
But in so much doing we avoid ourselves and what brings us into wholeness and purpose. We are basically avoiding doing the work.
Some of us use drug or alcohol, some use sex or shopping and others use action and achievement, But it all boils down to the same thing. You are human doing, not a human being.
One of my professors, quantum physicists, Amit Goswami said “It’s not always about doing and it’s not always about being. Sometimes its about do be do be doing.”
Which I love bc I’m a big dork.
We get sucked in patterned ways of thinking, feeling and behaving bc its familiar to us, because we've always done it and because in the familiar is comfort.
Heres how it works:
We have a thought, that is the nervous system sending a signal, it’s an electrical impulse. When our bodies pick up the thought they release biochemicals in line with that thought which we experience as emotions.. Then our brains pick up the biochemicals and reinforces the initial thought. And now we are stuck in a repeated pattern of thinking and feeling and we become attached this way of being.
To put this in context…You think 60,000 - 70,000 thoughts in one day. 90% of those thoughts are the same thoughts you thought yesterday…the same thoughts lead to the same choices, the same choices leads to the same behaviors and the same behavior leads to the same outcome. And voila… we keep attracting the same kind of people, keep doing the same things and keep being the same person. Thats why the grumpy old guy on the corner is always the grumpy old guy on the corner. He is attached to this way of being.
But thats not us. Thats us filtered through our defense mechanisms. We experience things as kids that imprint on our nervous system. When these experiences are chronic we become hardwired to always think, feel and behave inline with those early experiences.
As adults, It’s not reality that shapes us but the lens from our childhoods through which our brains shape our reality.
So now we seek out experiences, internal and external, that reaffirm what we’ve always thought, felt and did. In essence, we are seeking out those things that trigger out wounds.
How do you know what your patterns are? Look around you. Do you always attract the same kind of relationship? Do you always get into the same arguments? Are you always doing the same things?
These patterns are directly pointing to the exact things we need to work on to heal the disconnect, to cancel clear and delete the conditioned self and become who you were meant to be before all the bullshit.
But the patterns aren’t only psychologically based. Our biographies are wired into our nuero-biology- the fleshy roots of our mental existence. Our experiences become chronic holding patterns in the tissue of the body. And thats when we see disease, chronic pain, and even specific body types called character armor.
In short, character armor describes the coping strategies and their chronic holding patterns locked in the posture and tissue of the body. What happens in we experience certain difficulties during developmental times in our lives. When these experience are intense enough and or chronic enough they affect our nervous system which then affects the musculature of the body which creates our body armor.
So by looking at a person’s posture you can read her narrative.
So my friend from early, she is like me, what is called the rigid achiever. Wounded at the heart by lack of approval, the rigid achiever tends to focus their energy on achievement. They are highly functional but often afraid of relationships, commitment and feelings of intimacy. They will use achievement as a way to receive love. You’ll notice a rigid achiever because she will very upright posture with a high chest.
This is the same body posture of bracing for a hit and trying to appear larger than you are. It’s a defense mechanism.
So we continue in the pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving. We seek out those things that press those wounds. These are our lessons. Thats why we keep getting into the same types of relationships, keeping making the same mistakes, keep thinking and feeling in the same ways. It’s by universal design. It’s the universes way of saying “hey stupid” pay attention to this.
I had to get to a place of complete spiritual, emotional, psychological and financial crisis before I would listen. My defenses were built up so much that it literally took everything imploding on me at once to break through. I’m a little thick like that.
As a kid my parents were abusive and neglectful so love was mixed with fear and seemed pretty unappealing as an adult. I had been conditioned to relate these two opposing emotions.
Thats the childhood imprinting bit.
As an adult I wasn’t open to being loved because being loved meant being hurt. So what did I do? I always got into relationships where I knew I wouldn’t have to count on partners. I intentionally but subconsciously dated guys who were immature, who couldn’t support themselves never mind me and who I never had to worry about controlling me. It was perfect. I was the boss.
And that was me attracting experiences that pressed on my wounds.
So the patterns I attracted only reinforced what I already believed.
For me love was a one sided arrangement where I pretended I had control, but thats not how love actually works. And long term it wasn’t a fulfilling way to live.
And then what happened is what the universe does to you when you are to thick to take the subtle hints. She broke me. I had to shatter utterly and completely.
Spiritually I questioned all my previous beliefs. Emotionally and psychologically I had to deal with some difficult childhood experiences that I hadn’t worked on. I was questioning my long term relationship and my business was in financial crisis. I was broken, I wanted to run away, like I usually do, but I didn’t have the energy nor the means to go anywhere. I just had to sit in the uncomfortableness and deal with it.
This is the wisdom of no escape. If you can escape you will. If you do escape you will repeat the same patterns. If you repeat the same patterns you stay stuck. But we are meant to evolve. Everything is always evolving. So the universe designs it in such a way that will force you into growth. You may kick and scream the entire time like I did…it wasn’t pretty, but you will be forced to reckon.
Eventually the universe will make you sit, stay, and heal.