Emotional distress is directly related to the trust we have in our own ability to handle our feelings and thoughts during any situation. All of us develop various coping mechanisms to help us deal with times of challenge, discomfort, fear or doubt. These mechanisms are either healthy and empowering or they are un-empowering. Examples of unhealthy coping mechanisms are; shutting down, disconnecting, out of control anger, inappropriate humor, addictive behavior, obsessive behavior and disassociating from ourselves and others.
We reach for something that we believe will successfully block the painful, frightening, uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Our fear of what will happen if we directly face what is before us, or more accurately, what is happening inside of us, is great and overcomes us. We automatically go into “fight or flight” – a physical, emotional and mental condition all humans naturally, instinctively have to protect us from what we perceive as danger. We learn to create ways to cope, to get through from a very early age – unfortunately, many of our coping mechanisms are carried through to adulthood and we continue to use them.
Understanding that fear, anger and hurt cannot endanger us and that we have every ability to deal with life’s experiences, no matter how challenging, is the first step to changing self-destructive, negative coping patterns into healthy, self supporting and empowering responses.
Loss of Connection
To achieve some level of respite from what feels like overwhelming anxieties, self-doubt, fear, guilt, and self-judgment, we disconnect – a coping mechanism to shift out of ourselves, away from where the discomfort lies. Disconnection carries with it feelings of emptiness and aloneness and loss of self. We find we no longer know passion and inspiration, creativity and purpose.
Our natural state is one of peace, of joy and is captivated by the world around us – this is who we were when we were born, it is our essential nature, and although we may disconnect from this awareness, it remains the true core of who we are. It is our birthright.
A strong connection to the ‘center’ of our being is what we want, touching something more, something deeper. The goal is to open the way to self-realization and the celebration of your own unique self. We must fall in love with ourselves. We are the one we are counting on. This type of commitment to self keeps us . Without connecting with our ‘center’, we will feel scattered, confused, overwhelmed, powerless, defensive and extremely sensitive to being ‘triggered’. When connected, we feel whole, clear, effective, self-directed and powerful. This inner connection extends outward to everything we experience, and is literally the place we speak and act from, make choices from and give and receive from. Learning how to find this center place and channel the energy within yourself and into life is powerful and alters every other area of your life.