Emotionally Abused to Emotional Ninja
I am sorry to hear that many people are struggling at present - I wonder if it is the time of the year? I am glad to hear however that so many people have enjoyed Christian Carter's ebook "Catch Him and Keep Him" which I gave a plug in my last article.
I know I really got a lot out of Christian's work. I used to act really 'low status' by frequently doing the big relationship talk he mentions; trying to convince Steve why he should treat me better. Back then his interest strayed all the time but when I learned how to stay more grounded - rather than me trying to 'convince', I gained a lot more power.
The Real emotional Ninja trick I reckon is being able to stay present and non reactive (and out of defense) even when your feelings are very strong and conflicted.
This is truly warrior energy (and very powerful and hard to do) but if you are in a volatile relationship you may get a chance to practice this sooner than you know.
When we are provoked by someone being hurtful it is natural to want to either hurt them back or withdraw and say you don't care.
It is much harder and much more courageous however to stand your ground keeping your heart open and honestly say what you feel.
"I feel very hurt by what you are saying and I feel very angry about it too - but I really do love you still and hope that we can resolve this in a better way."
This may knock your partner off balance and you need to be ready for that, and ready also to just see what unfolds while you stay grounded and remain present.
So this is the challenge I am offering here - for you to stay grounded and with your heart open - even when you are emotionally undefended and feeling fear.
This is terrifying (and can hurt like hell) but oh my the results it can have!
Anger makes us feel powerful but usually just causes other people to put their defenses up - so it ends up dividing us from others and achieving very little.
Love and fear on the other hand make us feel weak - but if we can face this and hold our ground anyway and not flinch or become defensive, it will instantly strip all pretense away.
Like when Steve and I used to fight he would say mean things about me and I would feel hurt and say mean things back. Then he wouldn't talk to me and I would pretend I didn't care until he could finally provoke me again.
Then one day I got the strength to do what I am saying here...
He was yelling something horrible at me and I stood there and said
"I feel really hurt and angry that you can say that and I really want to hurt you back right now but the truth is that I really do love you and I really hope you still love me too."
Steve froze and stared at me. I know he saw that I had become stronger than him and he really didn't know what to do. First he went berserk with rage - but he wasn't hurtful to me now - instead it was all this rage just pouring out of him and then it was not long until the fear and the shame under his anger came out too. That had never happened before and once it passed we were very close again.
Or another situation I was in recently where I had invited a man we know over to talk about a project I was excited about and which would involve some help from him. There were a few people at our place on the night he came over but this man seemed to go out of his way to avoid me and this actually went on for a number of hours.
In the old days I would have got nervous or hurt and I may have tried to push the conversation.
Instead I thought "Oh well, this perhaps is not the right person I should be working with". Although I felt disappointed, I also stayed grounded and present and did not allow my defenses to go up.
After another hour it just happened - all of the fear left him and I could see suddenly that he decided he felt safe with me. I also saw in that moment that previously he had actually been nervous rather than playing games.
So then the conversation we needed to have happened and in a very deep and very real way. We each expressed our beliefs and fears and we each also expressed that we both believed in each other. That was big and meant a lot to me.
The concept I am discussing here is more physical than wordy and so I hope you might really try and imagine this energy I am talking about here ...
Anger makes us feel feel powerful but you are only truly strong when you can stand in your own self doubt and fear and leave you heart open and stay present. Not begging or pleading or convincing. Not defending or denying or deflecting. Not rationalising or faking or persuading. Just simply and truthfully stating what you feel but also staying very grounded and calm while you do that. To really get what I am saying imagine that you are standing but your energy is going into the ground more like you are sitting and is not pushing towards the person you are talking to. If you cannot understand what I mean by this simply sit down and let your weight sink downward toward the floor rather than you leaning forward while you are talking. In this position you can more easily say what you feel without needing to force or change anything.
Grounded and present. Expressing your own truth and being open to hear the other persons truth as well.
Resisting all urges to be hurtful or dismissive.
I am not saying this is easy. Really it is as tough as it gets - but like all things that require strength and courage it is something worth working towards.
I have got there a few times ... and I know you can get there too (-:
I hope that your weekend brings you peace clarity and truth!