Defending Your Self

Ever find yourself feeling as if you’re fully engulfed in the inherited heavy emotion of fight-or-flight and defend yourself either verbally and/or physically, just as if you were actually being attacked by a wild animal?(Which is where this feeling originated with our ancestors.)

There is that part of us that seeks to protect our idea of “self” from attacks from other human beings. This part of us is highly sensitive, easily offended, feels entitled, superior, and jealous, among other motivations for defending your self at any opportunity, either real, or imagined.

Nobody wants to experience pain, either physical or emotional, so we find ourselves on-guard to defend ourselves, especially if we’ve been hurt in the past. In this case anything that looks frighteningly familiar to anything associated with any pain we’ve experienced in the past, we go into aqn emergent emotional response, which heightens our senses and readies us for battle. Or if the opponent appears to foreboding, we are looking for the closest exit and start preparing for a rapid departure.

This is a natural response to particular circumstances, such as

Dealing with conflict

In an attempt to protect yourself from the pain of any conflict, to defend, prevent or disable an conflict which could escalate into a more difficult situation, that might lead to injury or even loss of life.

If you’re unable to admit that you overreact in certain circumstances (which we are all prone to do), you can easily identify this self defense mechanism being engaged in by others.

A common response in self defense of potential conflicts is to play the blame card, blame the other person or someone else to remove the focus from you. Certainly, you could be falsely accused, or you could be in a heightened state of defensiveness due to unresolved issues from your past. And who knows what lies in the dark recesses of our heart and mind? There can be a wide variety of pent up emotion, fear, guilt or shame fueling your defensiveness.

It’s interesting to sit back and watch two people defending their selves. It is not unlike hand-to-hand combat only using accusatory words instead of fisticuffs.

Protection from pain

Nobody wants to be hurt (or hurt again) so we’re on the lookout for potential painful situations. circumstances or interactions with other people. The downside to this, is that surely if you are looking for demons you will find them, whether they are real or imagined.

And it’s not all in your head, as you experience psychological and physiological real pain from just the idea of there being a threat of a pending painful experience. These feelings can also create actual illnesses and diseases as well as the deterioration of the physical body, possibly ushering you to an early grave.

Even if you cannot imagine yourself as an angry person, when you are accosted by an angry person, it is a natural reaction to respond in kind, which escalates the anger into a potential battle of Armageddonistic proportions.

If you are too defensive, onlookers will be compelled to believe you are possibly guilty or hiding some demons of your own.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”
Hamlet (William Shakespeare)

It is not uncommon to use an alternative feeling as a bandage to cover the wounded feeling. For instance, if someone leaves us, we just find it easier to re-frame the whole affair be demonizing the departing partner, or convincing ourselves (and our peers) that he/she was actually undesirable and below your standards, wishing him or her, “good riddance.” This does sometimes offer an adequate degree of decreased pain.

Comfortably numb

Our defensiveness does not have a healing effect on those who surround us, in fact it has just the opposite effect. It prevents us from cultivating potentially amazing relationships with others and if you are prone to overreaction, others are likely to keep their distance out of their own self preservation, and often we are unable to see this in our own reflection.

If left unattended, we can fall into a nearly comatose state of emotional numbness with regard to relationships. We lose all sense of love, compassion, empathy not to mention a lack of happiness or joy around other people. You could become a lifeless zombie just going through the motions of living a life.

Leonard Nimoy’s Spock

You find these zombies liberated from their feelings lurking in the Internet or social media via any device available. This is the only place where they can find solace, or ability to strike out at other imposing threats while hiding behind their firewall.

Others retreat into simply being completely logical, denying all sem=nse of emotion as nonsensical illusion, like a Vulcanic Mr. Spock from Star Trek.

Loss of self

Eventually, you are left lonely and alone. If you’ve prepared yourself for this, you won’t care and feel as though you are better off because everyone else is evil or stupid and you’re better off without having relationships with other people at all.

In this state there is little chance of discovering your true self, as you can only do this by viewing your reflection in the eyes of others. Before you have little chance of finding and empowering the real you to emerge and celebrate all the good things this life has in store for you, you might like to explore the possibilities.

You are a very special person with so much life calling you to all the love and joy you could possibly imagine, but it may take taking a look at doing some inner deep work.

You have the right to live your life any way you want, to any degree of success or privacy you want without any judgment whatsoever.

After all, aren’t we all just doing the best we can with what we have?

 

 

Life is a Battlefield

Life is like a war zone. Everyone is fighting for their lives, for their survival, for their preservation of their self. It’s a constant war of me-versus-you. In some cases we create teams or troops, then it’s us-versus-them. Even so, it is not uncommon for a barrage of me-versus-you appearing within the troops of the us-versus-them. We are surrounded by the war we wage for our self.

Are we all so narcissistic to think that we are so superior to any other person, that any incongruence that we interpret or sense justifies suiting up and weaponizing anything available to us in the immediacy of that moment when our self feel threatened, disregarded or disrespected.

We strike out, strike back in a full on devil may care battle to defend our self, to annihilate the enemy taking no prisoners.

If you don’t see this taking place in your life, you certainly can see it in others. In fact, you may be keenly aware of others posting up to defend their selves and striking out at others, even labeling and pointing out their behavior to others, but unable to see your own participation in the battle. Maybe, it’s out of denial – or an all-out attempt to refuse to see these attributes within – or, you might be using a different set of weapons, hiding behind the shield of the victim.

In most cases, reviewing the base causes initiating the fear of loss and defense of self is based on something that isn’t even real. Some emotionally charged belief in something that cannot be seen, verified or vilified, because it is a feeling. A feeling that created a trigger marking the emergent defense measures being launched, because anything else would mean certain death to what you believe to be true.

Yet, we know that what we believe to be truth changes as we mature or gain access to new information. This has never been more apparent than in these current days of rapidly advancing technology when we actually have been able to witness – with our own eyes – the impossible being an ordinary aspect of everyday life.

Regardless, we see everything in the world all around us as a potential threat as we continue to be keyed-up and on high alert to any prospective assault. And the higher law rewards us by honoring our seeking by giving us the gift of bestowing upon us that which we seek. Universal laws do not change, so this is true: Seek and you will find. (This law sometimes confounds scientific research.)

If you look for demons, you will surely find them. When you discover them, you can initiate the holy war you rage to protect your self, yet again.

If you’re open, and honest, you might find yourself looking inside and asking if all this pain and war is necessary. Why? Because something inside you is yearning for an alternate emotional state, one of peace, serenity, joy and happiness.

When you are in a constant state of combat, there is little space available for experiencing the good things in life with any degree of gratitude or enjoyment. When you are in a high security mindset scanning for potential threats, you find it difficult to find the space for gratitude and allowing yourself to live a better life.
This is true: You are waging a war, when no war exists, that vanishes when you stop fighting it.

It’s your choice. You can choose to love, instead of fight.

It’s not easy, because you’ve spent your whole life being the warrior.

Your love life, your life filled with love and enjoying and cherishing all the good things this life has to offer, is tapping you on the shoulder, even now.

Isn’t now the time to consider putting down your weapons, turning your back on the war, surrounding your self with love and gratitude?

Self Destruct

Why do I have a tendency to self destruct? Am I my own worst enemy? Why am I so self destructive? What is wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?

It’s not just President Trump who has the power to destroy the world with the push of a button, we all have this power to destroy worlds within our own universe and bring the end of the world as we know it.

Sometimes, we burn bridges, pour gas on people whom we feel have wronged us, light the match and walk away. Occasionally we hit the self-destruct button or just nuke the whole shebang.

Why you would do such a thing is beyond me, and years of therapeutic process may (or may not) help to uncover the roots of one’s self destructive behavior.

Am I immune from having a tendency to self destruct? No, I don’t think anyone is immune from some form of self sabotage.

Regrettably, I’ve dropped a few bombs myself. I think we all do it when we’ve felt hurt, betrayed or disrespected. When your feelings are hurt, striking out in self defense seems like the best option at the time, so you hit the button… and in that moment, you feel better about yourself.

You feel better than feeling hurt when you’ve struck back. You might even feel really good… for a while.

You might even feel like your life will be so much better without this-or-that in your life at all, so you rationalize total decimation is not only warranted but acceptable or preferable. You are happy you pushed the button.

In the case of physical abuse, certainly methods of isolating yourself from others in a way that prevents further abuse are worth contemplating.

Do you have to destroy everything?

This is an important question to ask yourself before you push the button. When you’re considering lighting a match, pulling the trigger, pushing the button or dropping a bomb, asking yourself,

What are the far reaching effects of this destruction?

May be worth the momentary pause or distraction before you launch your attack (or counter attack), even if for consideration for the briefest of moments.

Oftentimes, the actions that we take – especially those actions conducted in the heat of the moment – do not serve us well in the long-run. At some time following the taking of such an action, we begin to realize this, start to feel bad (remorse), possibly even guilt, sorrow or depression.

We find ourselves struggling with our decision to lash out, often in ways that are irreparable as the damage was done, ever so effectively. What felt like self-defense at the time often leads to self destruction.

Is there a better way?

Yes. Self preservation is important. It is likely that you are the only person who is going to truly protect you or seek to defend who you are or what you believe. When it comes down to it, you’re all you’ve got.

So for god’s sake don’t do more harm than good.

Wisdom based on history and viewed through the eyes of love would dictate that in most (if not all) cases war is not the best option. Seeking inoffensive ways to protect one’s self are far more prudent and effective over time.

It’s hard to find balance between revenge and tolerance when our feelings are hurt or our ego is running amok.

Nonetheless, it is in these moments that we must find ways to retreat, find a place of solace or sanctuary, allowing us the repose necessary to ask the questions, “Is this destruction necessary?” and “What are the far-reaching implications?”

From a peaceful perspective and/or contemplative state, you may be willing to consider other options as you ask, “Is this truly in my best interest?”

Will this action lead to regret or self-destruction, or am I achieving my highest and best?

Is this my highest and best?

This is the life-affirming bottom line. If you are on a path to achieve your highest and best, is the action you are about to take helping you to stay on the high road, or have you somehow become derailed and are headed down a path leading to self destruct?

If there is any way possible, take the time to pause, re-evaluate and get back on track before you say or do something that you can’t take back.