Author Topic: Mindfulness and codependence thread  (Read 56050 times)

lighter

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Mindfulness and codependence thread
« on: October 08, 2019, 07:03:47 PM »
I was having a hard time deciding which thread to update, and realized these two topics need to be merged, so I'm starting a new thread.

This past weekend I wasn't able to remain level, and it was disturbing for me, bc my old negative judgments about myself kicked in, making it impossible to dig myself out.  Part of that was one dd's struggle that rubbed up against my own struggle.  It was unexpected, and her pain just knocked me sideways. 

After seeing T yesterday, I'm back to getting outside her pain, so I can be more responsive to her, and myself.  DD doesn't share many details, so I'm alarmed easily by some things I see, and don't have answers for.  I explained this today, but over the weekend we were both rocking and rolling in bad head spaces. I recognize dd's stoicism as one of my negative coping strategies.  It scares me for her.
   

I see I can't always be proactice around stress, and limiting it.  It just happens, often when I'm not expecting it where the girls are concerned.  I can do what I can with regard to MY stress.  Opening mail when I'm ready.  Not answering calls likely to upset me until I'm prepared. I can't always see the girls' stress coming before it overwhelms me, and then I lose ability to properly handle my own stress.  The frustration and disappointment I feel don't help ANYTHING.  Ever. 


To that end, I haven't figured out how to loosen the grip of survival mode when i I can't catch it early.  This weekend was a close up chance to really SEE the struggle as it happens, and notice how things go.

  Catching it before I drop into negative belief patterns might be a big part.  I can't tell yet.  Maybe I'm complicating it, and it's simpler than that. 

Breath. 
Focused attention.
Zero judgment.

Just that simple.  KISS.  Keep it simple silly. 

I'll practice, and continue building pathways, and rituals around what needs to be done.  There's no other choice but moving forward now.

T amazing, and helps remind, explain concepts in several says,  draw connections that build on each other,  and strengthen new strategies and understanding of all the above.  There will always be another COW (crisis of the week) for me, and the girls, and friends, etc.   Each COW has the same remedy.  I just have to master the reme.... NO.

I don't have to master anything.  That's one of the traps.  Believing I have to do things a certain way, and I just don't.  I can let go of that.

T told a story about a monk, I think.  The monk said he'd been practicing mindfulness for 30 years.
 WHen he mastered it, he'd move on to something else. I'm paraphrasing, but it's a thing. 


Every time I leave T's office I experience conflicting emotions around what's possible, and what's likely

What is possible feels very hopeful to me.

WHat is likely does NOT  feel hopeful to me. 

It's possible to figure out how to overcome our hijacked biology.

It's unlikely humans can overcome seeking/avoidance patterns in order to build something new, IME.

AAAaaaaand I'm back grappling with acceptance. 
 

Lighter


lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 10:54:08 PM »
My evening is easy, enjoyable, and what I would have referred to as 'flipping the switch" 2 or 3 years ago.

I did a check to see what else is going on... both dd's are having great evenings too.  One continued making good choices around food... grocery shopping after her workout, rethinking her choices, putting everything in her basket back, and doing something not involving food.  I just see that as a super fantastik sea change around choice for her.   I don't have to worry, bc she's perfectly capable of doing it herself. 

Other dd's energy and mood has improved since we talked this morning.  Both our energies and moods were low.  My parasympathetic nervous system was AWOL.  I was weepy, and vulnerable, and shared concerns about some things she's doing that remind me of things I've done, and I just really wanted her to understand some of it.  More to do with codependency, and traits.   I think it was time to share, and I'm glad I did it, even though I struggle with being vulnerable, and dropping my stoicism.   I did it.   I'm glad.  Ouch, but it's a good thing.   DD is fine, laughing and playing internet games with her friends, instead of sleeping in a dark room, barely eating. 

 


So, kids feeling OK =  I'm feeling OK.

I think I figured out some stuff that helps me too. It's not just that the girls are feeling better, IMO.
  I talked to a friend about some of the paperwork stuff, and this is someone who's known me since I was in  my early twenties, worked out with me, worked with me, lived with me, and gone through terrible times, hers and mine, and come through the other side.  I bounced stuff off of her, and we both figured some stuff out.   I needed her to understand some of the paperwork stuff, bc she just did not before that conversation. 

I see how difficult it is to get out of a spiral, even if I know what to do.  That's a piece of information I didn't see coming.  2 steps forward, one step back, but still moving forward.   

I enjoyed this big surge of creative energy...I  lit up the back porch, cleaned the table, changed batteries in candles, made a big beautiful salad with chopped egg, ham, carrots and hummus...  topped with a beet balsamic dressing I think I got at Aldis.. .good stuff. 

When I decided to run a bath, and light the essential oil lantern (peppermint tonight), I found I was also enjoying the feel of handling the Epson Salts, and scattering them in the water. That's not typical.   I can focus on the little things.  This is what it feels like to be in the zone for me, and I enjoyed making my white sheets pristine today.   

I thought about starting a sewing project to remove cool hoods from Goodwill items, embellish and sew onto tops and coats I already love, but wish had hoods.  That's new.  I've wanted to do it,  but this time I felt like doing it.   

I ran into dd on her way to shower, she had her self care products with her. I let her have the bathroom first, so I could take my time in the tub, then did another load of laundry and finished making my bed.  I look forward to sleeping on clean sheets with open windows, and cooler temperatures blowing in.  It rained all day, and the moss is so happy.

Nite.   


Twoapenny

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 03:33:19 AM »
Lighter, I am going through very similar at the moment so I understood very well what you were writing about.  The attempt to 'catch' the reaction before it takes hold is something I am working very hard on and I find it much more difficult to catch when it involves son, in the same way you mention you needing the kids to be okay for you to be okay as well.  I do wonder if parents can ever be really alright if their children aren't?  I was saying to someone yesterday that I don't feel I can even begin to settle myself unless I know son is safe and happy.  I do understand what you mean.  And can't offer any words of wisdom!  I'm still struggling with it myself :)  I think with me (I don't know if it's the same with you) that it's a combination of adulthood trauma (paperwork, phone calls, legal battles, stalking incidents, harassment etc) that also triggers childhood trauma (not being heard, not being safe, not feeling valued) and current fear for child (are they safe?  are they happy?  are they making the same mistakes I did? should I let them?  or try to stop them?  am I a good enough parent for them?  and so on).  I was saying yesterday that when it's one of those aspects I can usually catch it coming and deal with it.  But when something triggers all three at the same time (which I think college/local authority battles are doing at the moment) then it's too strong and it just takes over quickly, and takes a long time to climb back down from.

As you say, I think perhaps all we can do is keep trying, keep practising, keep trying to create new links and routes and hope that, eventually, those pathways will be stronger and keep us in a more even place.  What I find difficult is that I don't feel there is sufficient opportunity to heal, because the wound keeps being ripped open with new or repeated incidents - smaller than the earlier ones but very real and present, none the less.  I think it's very hard to create the new pathways and new ways of being when you keep having to live your life every day and are kind of exposed every day to a possible trigger.  I remember saying years ago that if I could go off to some sort of retreat and spend a year healing - nothing else, just quiet, therapy, exercise, reading, healthy meals - I reckon I could achieve more than I have in twenty years of having to try and do it whilst dealing with everything else as it comes up.  But we can only keep trying, right?

Your description of your scented bath and then climbing into clean sheets sounded heavenly :)  I hope you enjoyed it xx

Hopalong

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 10:08:28 AM »
Lovely thread topic (and posts) but I don't think my little ADD brain can separate these two topics very easily. I'll just chime in if I think I can say something that makes sense...

When it comes to sad children I can't.

Cheering y'all on,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 03:28:52 PM »
No worries, Hops.

Today I was working under a hemlock tree, and I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye. It startled me over and over... three times.

I thought, I've worked under this tree many times, and this is just odd.

Then I remembered seeing something move out of the corner of my eye last night, startling me several times.   I saw something in the kitchen, that seemed to move, but it didn't.  Just glimpsed something my brain registered as new, or not supposed to be there.  A hemlock branch kept startling me.  Brain said NEW, not supposed to BE there.  I reminded myself of a dog, scared of something familiar... something he put in his own bed, then forgot.

I HAVE MY PERIPHERAL VISION BACK!

 I can't remember backing out of the drive this morning, and usually backing up is memorable bc I have to crank my neck so far to do it, it hurts.  I didn't crank my neck this morning. I have zero memory,  it just didn't register, bc I can see normally again!

 I did the brain integration session around my vision, and anxiety driving in reverse...  was that last year?  I addressed the anxiety, but not the narrowed vision.  I stopped walking around with 3 pairs of glasses on my head, and the anxiety improved markedly, but I was still having to turn my head to see what I used to take for granted.  My brain KNEW there was a probem, that things weren't OK. 

I have peripheral vision again, and the yard looks great! 

Lighter

 

 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 03:34:39 PM by lighter »

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 05:59:14 AM »
Yesterday had 6 hours of driving in it, and would have been enjoyable if not for the traffic. 

I worried a bit about a face to face with someone I've been conflicted about... over new and old offenses that finally caught up with me.  I tend to pretend I'm unbothered,  and ignore until I can't ignore any longer.

There were final straws.   I put boundaries in place.  I FELT like I was retaliating, but they were just boundaries, and you know what? 

I
felt
better.

Better for having the boundaries in place. 

Better for not having continued negative feelings.

Better for enjoying the visit.

Better for getting in and out, no drama.   Not getting dragged into conversations I resent... usually me being grilled, and stupidly answering all the questions. 

This time I wasn't grilled, and I was fine with the a typical silences.

I didn't have to endure gossip, or being told stupid things about myself that aren't true.  Why do people repeat gossip about me TO ME?  THis person used to.  Not anymore.  That's just a boundary, and it's a good thing.

Really great day.

I have a lunch with a friend who's graduated a 2 year meditation program recently. He's been scarce and I look forward to seeing him. 'Should be a great visit.

Lighter


lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 06:48:29 PM »
I entered my T's office in a very level mood this afternoon.   '

I think the EMDR really helped get me into a better head space, so we dug into something unexpected.... I thought we'd be working on something from my childhood.   Not today.  Instead I chose the paperwork, and financial stuff that's been vexing me for years.  T said it would likely lead back to childhood stuff.   So be it.  I needed to start there today.   

SOmetimes it drives me to my knees.... like a sword driven into my shoulder,  through my body..... and that makes things difficult to embrace, or finish, IME.

So, she let me escalate into the "story" for a while, then stopped me when I'd lost sight of the room.  We moved away from the story, and into deep breathing...
 in and out....
I breathed space into the tightness, and pulled apart mentally what felt like very dense cotton in the affected areas... replacing them with pink cotton full of air and light.  Always brining light  and spaciousness into the pain/tension, etc.   

Then it was time to go to my happy place... my old tomato garden.  It was all mine.  I tilled it.  Planted.  Weeded.  Tended the vines, watered and fed that lovely jungle of plants.  It was marvelous, bc I was fit, and super happy on my own,  post first divorce.  Nothing like a crappy 2 years of marriage to make you remember how lovely it is to be alive and single.  I filled baskets with lovely fruit for the people I loved, and I twirled happily in the sunshine. The taste of sun warmed tomatoes...  the smell.... the sound of the birds... my toes wiggling in the grass.... the breeze, the butterflys, and crickets.

So, once I was "there",  bc the mind can't tell if we're there for real or not, we did the EMDR but this time we added blinks.  EMDR waving of her hand in front of my face... my eyes following her hand while picturing myself IN my garden then she'd say "Blink fast, once".  Not easy to do, and my tongue wanted so badly to wag along with and help out. 

It got easier as we went,  to remain focused on the garden, and we progressed to two blinks.  Then three.  Then four.  Then back to 2. 

This is supposed to give the brain the chance to go ahead and process the emotions we brought up earlier.  In seconds, just get on with it, bc the brain doesn't need much help.  Just the chance.  As I think of it the left side of my temporal lobe feels full, then relaxes.  Strange. 

At the end of it I couldn't quite find the strong emotions when I went back and thought about the story again.  I tried.  I just couldn't,and that was a good thing. 

The story isn't important.  What's important is the emotions and where they manifest in the body, and bringing compassionate attention to them, bc it's just time, and they're asking to be tended to.   

The pressure was all gone, and there was just a tingle of anticipated pressure when I tried to find the strong emotions.   

So, I got a good rant in about truly crappy training that goes into training our court officers,  police officers, and got stuck on attorneys, and judgments around the money, and being stolen from all these years, with people pointing at me, accusing me of being a theif, a liar and and a cheat.  THE NERVE! 

OK....  see.  There was a little indignation, but it didn't go into my body.   It was more of an intellectual  statement of facts, rather than something that swept me up, and robbed me of my ability to think clearly,and made me cry.

Like a child. That's so sad to me. 

And it is old wounds that come back around, torn open and made present again.  Right THERE, in your face, setting your feet rigth back in the place you were standing, FEELING IT ALL AGAIN that first time, and every time it comes up, fresh, and completely raw.... unprocessed.... asking for our calm attention so it can move on to where it wants to be.   Refiled,  and out of the here and now.  In the past.  Finsihed. 

I am all for more of that.

::nodding::.

Hops, I'll be able to be more responsive regarding the things that really tick me off.... as listed a couple times today, if I'm not spinning when I think about them.  It would be good to live a life with very little spinning,  IMO. 

Lighter

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2019, 10:43:56 AM »
Less resistance means there's space for other things, IME. 

I about ducked while walking the trails this moring with baby girl pug.   Something moved off to the right, and the flinch reminded me I'm still not used to having expanded vision.  I'm always shocked when that happens.  I wonder when I'll get used to it.   

More ease, and less anxiety generally in my life is a relief, bc I trust myself driving again.

Life is better, even though diving into trauma stories brings up some anxiety the day of T sometimes.  Sometimes I'm completely relaxed about it. 

I will say this... I AM STARVING, hungry all the time, Yogi MUST EAT, starvin and Marvin, y'all.

It's a thing; )

Friend with gallstones, who was taking Phosfood, seems to have found relief without having her gallbladder removed.  She'll go in for a scan soon, as it's been about 6 months since the last one, to see if there's any difference.... hoping stones have been dissolved.

She's been eating smaller portions, and dropped 20 lbs, bc of that change, with zero increased activity. 

My sib's FIL just went into the hospital with gallstones, and will schedule surgery for removal of gallbladder very soon, so that's disturbing.  So many gallbladder problems.   

Lighter


Hopalong

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2019, 11:05:44 AM »
So happy that you're finding ways to deal with the anxiety, Lighter.
I majored in it and know how miserable it is. Driving is huge.

Glad too that your friend is doing better with her gallstones. Wonderful outcome.

I think you have expanded vision in more ways than you know.

I'm off to the airport in an hour, still half packed, as usual.

Will check in tomorrow if my suitcase finds me!

Hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2019, 11:17:27 AM »
Processed food is killing a lot of people. Having Steve around, and a pro chef too, I'm way more conscious of how I eat and what I'm cooking. I think it's possible to completely lose one's taste for processed stuff; and it happens more quickly than one would expect. Also, I think it's a thrifty choice too. A pound of carrots can go into 4-5 different meals and is usually under $1. Yes indeed, the "investment" is in the menu, the meal planning & cooking. I've learned to see that investment of time & energy as self-care, caring for others, giving back, and a creative endeavor. Big shift for me from my years with Mike.

I still have my vices food-wise; but my strategy for changing habits has always leaned more toward increasing the "good stuff" and eventually, the bad stuff will go away. It doesn't look as if one is doing anything and that part of our brains that identifies with things doesn't get all riled up and resistant. It's almost applying some of the principles of "push hands" to habits. Works for me anyway.

CoDependence query:

What is it that makes people repeat a mistake of being engaged with toxic people? Or relationships that eventually become acknowledged as "one way"?

I can't decide if it's just a habit of neural pathways or an "emotional click" into something that feels familiar. And maybe it's something completely different. The very same people can have strong healthy boundaries but still find themselves repeating the errors of judgement in discerning people and relationships. It's that moment when someone "takes the bait" and the hook gets set, like a fish that I'm wondering about.

And then, there is the moment when they realize they've done it yet again - and now find the process of extricating themselves irritating, painful, or devastating.

This isn't any observation of myself or anything I'm going through. Just observing people around me and pondering the concepts.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2019, 08:48:24 PM »
I believe it's neural pathways, and an unconscious seeking behavior to finally resolve old struggles.  It's not just one part of our brain... it's all connected, and there are different ways to process the information coming at us, IME.   

 OH.... the satisfying click when our sickness fits perfectly into the same shaped slot of opposing sickness.... and we're going to solve it, ALLLL OF IT this time.  That was first marriage stuff for me.  Likely for many of us here.

And we aren't aware, IME.  We're choosing to focus on the differences, therefore completely sidetracked from the things that actually draw us together, IME. So easy to deceive ourselves, IME. It feeeels so gooooood when we come up against that old problem.  It feels like we're finally going to be happy... finally going to find the answers... finally going to be good enough... finally going to be loved for who we are, and it's intoxicating.  It's something I learned to run from, hence.... marrying an ASPD the second marriage, who I wasn't attracted to, and having children at 37 years old.   I thought I'd cracked the code, but I was wrong.  SOME part of me, way down deep in my subconscious KNEW.

I do think our intuition can work all this out, and help us sidestep the old struggles.  It just has to stand up to the old hope.... and require we honor the intuition more than we honor the desire to resolve the old struggle, IME. 

This reminds me of the saying...
"Sometimes the you eat the bear.  Sometimes the bear eats you."

The bear eats us IF we don't honor our intuition, IME.

Lighter


lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2019, 09:01:15 PM »
I'm sharing this lovely message from Madisyn Taylor I found on DailyOM this evening: )

Oct 21 at 3:03 PM

   
   


Meaning

BY MADISYN TAYLOR
How we attach meaning to events in our lives has a large influence on the quality of our life.

The meaning we assign to our experiences––whether pleasant or distressing––is a very powerful factor in determining the quality of our lives. What we imagine events to mean will color the way we feel about ourselves, about the people in our lives, and about the world at large. If we want to encourage a positive outlook, well-being, and a sense of self-confidence and even trust in the universe, we can begin by assigning more peaceful, loving meanings to what we experience.

Imagine, for example, that a friend fails to show up to a lunch date. You have choices as to what you will make this experience mean for you. You could allow being "stood up" to reinforce your feelings of unworthiness, you could begin to mentally attack your friend's character, or you could assume that something big must have happened to cause them to miss the date--then, you might open yourself up to enjoying some relaxing time alone.

If you were recently laid off and are having difficulty finding a new job, consider that you might have hidden gifts or passions that were untapped in your regular career that you are now available to explore. The universe might simply be moving you in a more fulfilling direction. If you have recently lost a loved one, gained weight, lost money, or gotten in a fight with your partner, see if you can infuse the experience with meaning that feels loving and empowering and opens a door for you to embrace life and the world a bit more.

When we begin to bring consciousness to what we are making things mean, we may be shocked at the messages we have been feeding ourselves all these years. Try taking the reins and begin assigning a kinder meaning to the events in your life and you will likely find yourself on a much more pleasant ride.
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2019, 11:15:22 AM »
Hmmmm.... just quickly riffing mentally here, I may change my mind about this after I ponder & observe some more...

INTUITION, yes. That is a big contributor to the meaning we assign events, especially interpersonal ones. It can over rule conditioning. But we do have to consciously engage it; too often in the moment - we're just running on auto-pilot and that's when conditioning takes over.

If we SEEK, and we set up a close replica of the original situation that could be left unresolved to our satisfaction... then, how can we possibly expect different results? It's akin to the old cliche about the definition of insanity; it's really just up to US, to do something DIFFERENT; try another way; something NEW. We need to grant ourselves permission to take that risk, fly by the seat of our pants, and really DO something different.

Maybe people can't even see that; until they have actually identified what they are seeking; accept that it failed to provide the expected results; and it's merely a concept in their mind - a thing, apart from the self. Which means it can be edited; changed; with work and conscious attention.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2019, 02:43:13 PM »
Hmmmm.... just quickly riffing mentally here, I may change my mind about this after I ponder & observe some more...

INTUITION, yes. That is a big contributor to the meaning we assign events, especially interpersonal ones. It can over rule conditioning. But we do have to consciously engage it; too often in the moment - we're just running on auto-pilot and that's when conditioning takes over.  In my experience, intuition pops up, and speaks the truth BEFORE conditioning, or reactions pops up.  I've put boundaries in place, bc of my intuition, but failed to enforce those boundaries, bc..... bc...... I allowed the conditioning to come up, all painted and in very pretty form, presenting as something it wasn't, and my failure to honor my intuition was the true failure.  It wasn't the conditioning,  as far as I can tell.  I walked away, and felt relief.

I was targeted, and tricked by an ASPD N, bc of my failure to honor myself more than the pretty stories the PD was weaving.  I knew better, and my failure was enforcing the boundaries.


If we SEEK, and we set up a close replica of the original situation that could be left unresolved to our satisfaction... then, how can we possibly expect different results? It's akin to the old cliche about the definition of insanity; it's really just up to US, to do something DIFFERENT; try another way; something NEW. We need to grant ourselves permission to take that risk, fly by the seat of our pants, and really DO something different.  I think we seek to set up the initial problem ONLY IF we fail to give attention to the difficult emotions around that story/problem.
  IF we bring up the emotions with the ability to bring logic and problem solving skills to it, then we don't have to repeat to resolve.  We simply give our brains the chance to process the emotions, so they can be filed away in the FINISHED AND DONE file, once and for all.  Until we can do that,
 there's always the chance we'll repeat the struggle in an attempt to relieve the stress that keeps popping up in our brains, the exact stress in the exact same places in our brains where the initial stress happened.  In that case, it FEELS like we're in that spot, the day it happened, in the same place it happened.  The brain can't tell the difference.  The brain shifts into fight or flight automatically, and we keep getting the same results till we come up under the sympathetic nervous system, engage the parasympathetic nervous system, and engage higher thinking.


Maybe people can't even see that; until they have actually identified what they are seeking; accept that it failed to provide the expected results; and it's merely a concept in their mind The story is just a concept... the emotions are very real, and in need of our attention.
 That's why they keep coming back up, over and over.  As long as we're experiencing them in the limbic system, with all the judgment, and fear around the initial wound, we can't bring our higher thinking online to finish processing and filing the hard emotions where they need to go.
- a thing, apart from the self. Which means it can be edited; changed; with work and conscious attention.  Not edited.  Processed, and filed appropriately.  Once we do that, the emotions stop clammering for attention.  We have relief around that emotion, and the stories are no longer charged for us. 

I think we're talking about the same thing here.  Not really sure; )
Lighter

 


sKePTiKal

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Re: Mindfulness and codependence thread
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2019, 09:14:27 AM »
Yep; I think we're both saying the same thing. Different vocabularies and ways of "knowing" something; understanding. It's a good thing in this type of thread to have more than one way of describing something. Different words.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.