4 - Freak Out (Patience)

This speaks to our tendency, when we are triggered or exhausted, to react in violent, irrational and immature ways.  Again, we have all been there and reflected upon our outbursts with horror.  This reminds me of the scene in Parenthood where the Kenue Reeves' character says, “You have to take a test to get your driver's license, but any butt reaming asshole can be a father”.  Well, I have been that butt reaming asshole and he is the one who will get the blame when my children approach me in their 30's and complain that I am responsible for all of their neuroses. 
 
 
The call here is to learn to hold your seat when you are triggered – to access the stable, resourced self that is not dragged away by transient thoughts. When we are triggered, and we recognize it before it's too late, we can engage in a four step process to re-establish our seat or our ground: 1) Remove yourself from situation – stop speaking and interacting with anyone when you are in this state,  2) Be aware of all the stimuli influencing your state – check in with your body sensations, your breathing, your thoughts, your emotions, and the external environment, 3) Apply self-empathy – give yourself understanding for what you are experiencing – it's normal to have the feelings you are having, 4) reengage with empathy for your child and listen for feelings and needs being expressed, and express feelings and needs of your own.   The most damaging tendency even after working with ourselves is to hang onto certain thoughts that arise and that convince us of the truth of a situation.  The most challenging and the most important task is to completely let go of any and all thoughts that are trying to pull us into a blaming or resentful attitude. Meet them with reproach and assure them that they have no place in this situation.
 

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