No. 1 - WHAT HAPPENS WHEN .........?
No. 1 - WHAT HAPPENS WHEN .........?
Have you ever had a good experience happen to you when you were very young? Then immediately after a very bad experience directly related to it, that altered that good experience? Add to that many repeats of the same thing for several years, so that it permanently alters that good experience in a way that brings it directly to being a bad experience. Then what?
As an adult, you have this “good experience” again and again. It’s the kind of experience that naturally occurs to everyone at many points in their life, small events, large events, and everything in between. It’s a common experience that people have.
What happens to that good experience for an adult under such circumstances? It takes you to this place of re-living the bad experience immediately, every single time, without fail. Then what?
What does someone do with an experience that naturally occurs in life, one that is supposed to bring feelings of fulfillment, of acknowledgement, of being cared for? Instead it takes you back to place of pain, old pain, and the complete opposite of what the experience ought to be. It’s like having everything reversed, turned upside down, and inside out.
An example of this, not applicable to my own life, but one that has been for many I’ve known, is the inability to play the way a child does, such as something as simple as doing crafts. I’ve known several people in my life who are unable to do this, precisely for the reason of having a good experience immutably blended with a very bad experience repeatedly. The person has become “conditioned” to associate a good experience as being a bad, painful, damaging experience, or whatever words you would like to insert here.
How does one change this? Is that even possible, and to what extent? If it is, what is the path to changing this? These are questions that have arisen again for me in the last several months, since I’ve been confronted head first with such an experience. It has brought me to a place of having to look directly in the mirror at myself to see what’s really going on within me. I’ve been caught off guard, since I haven’t had to look at this particular thing for a long time and it didn’t occur to me that it would arise in the context that it did.
There are no magic answers, or solutions. It is absolutely necessary to develop self-knowledge and self-awareness. Without those, there is no way to know what is going on within oneself, and no way to see in the moment what is occurring. Seeing is the first step. Once one becomes aware/sees, then it is a matter of pausing, and choosing another approach, instead of being held captive to a repetitive, knee jerk, reaction response.
Maybe that new approach isn’t the one that works. If that’s the case, you pick another, and keep trying until the puzzle piece fits without either ramming it into place, or going on auto pilot repeat pattern because it’s easier and familiar. It’s difficult to step outside one’s comfort zone. In fact, it can be, depending on the person and/or situation, excruciatingly painful to say the least.
It’s about NEVER GIVING UP. It’s about confronting one’s personal barriers. It’s about pushing beyond one’s self-imposed limits. It’s about breaking down one’s programming. It’s about FACING DOWN FEAR.
So, what have I chosen to do? I’ve been doing what I describe as “desensitizing” myself. I do that by repeatedly exposing myself to that particular experience, in a limited and balanced manner. Each time I do so, I push myself a little bit further past my established comfort zone. I’ve been doing this for several months now.
Has there been a noticeable improvement and change for me? YES, absolutely YES. I know this for certain because I crashed headlong into this experience, AGAIN, within the past week. This time, it was so intense. I had pushed past my limits more again and then added a little extra to see if I could go beyond that even.
Well, I did do that and then crashed immediately afterwards. All that means though is that I need a bit of time to rest and recover. I’ve been down this road many times and I’ve permanently broken enough of my programming this way. Never giving up is key. I’ve already changed my whole life because of “never giving up”. This one particular experience will be no different.
All photos taken by Nine with a Pentax digital 35mm camera and 90mm Tamron Macro lens.