“Stop your crying or I’ll give you something to really cry about”.
Ever heard that one?
There’s an emotional place we can go to when we hit overwhelm. I call it the FROZEN place. We can emotionally escape into this place when the world or relationships just feel way too unsafe. When we resort to emotionally hiding in this place we check out of our reality, disconnect and take our wounded, fragile heart into a FROZEN state. Emotional shut down. Nobody can reach us, nor hurt our heart anymore in this place, and we like it that way, thank you very much!
Every time we do this it’s like working a muscle in our inner world. The more we do it, the stronger the reflex. Those who learn to hide in this state as children often struggle, like I have, in adult life to remain emotionally available when they hit overwhelm.
As children we are all hard-wired for survival. Emotional repression (going to the FROZEN place) and disconnection is a tool that helps us survive, not live though. Just survive.
“Stop your laughing or you’ll get a slap, you’re getting way too excited, now settle down”
Maybe you heard that one too?
Many children are taught not to be too happy, too sad, too proud of themselves, not to stand out and shine, or to have an opposing opinion to their caregivers. So shutting down, and FREEZING feelings is their only option, for they were unsafe to express how they truly felt. Without a designated caregiver on the planet a child will die. Therefore, any inclination towards emotional abandonment will ensure a child conforms for survival, negating any natural instinctual self-expression.
Caregivers that lack love, compassion, kindness and empathy raise children that don’t believe they deserve this treatment from others. These children grow into adults that are not equipped to give it to themselves either. They enter into emotionally or physically abusive, or neglectful relationships for these are the only relationship dance steps they have been taught. To give their emotional power away, conform and not to shine nor succeed in any way.
So if you, like me can relate to feeling emotionally FROZEN working the emotional muscle of self-compassion will help your heart commence to thaw. I am always most at risk of disconnecting when “good stuff” happens in my life. You know the “too good to be true stuff” that many of us have been taught as children, will never happen for us in our lifetime. Maybe you can relate?
It takes time and patience to unlearn the reflex of emotional disconnection. Years of trauma and neglect take its toll on our emotive reflexes. However, whatever is learnt can be unlearnt gently, one day at a time.
I have in my past, been FROZEN on the floor, fetal, mute and silent like a wounded animal. Many adults become crippled like I once was, with chronic post traumatic stress from past violent, traumatic and abusive memories. At times I would remain down on the floor, for hours, and hours. I have been placed in ambulances after being found under cars shaking like a Vietnam Veteran reliving a horror of war.
Those days are long gone now, thank God, but I will never forget that FROZEN place that helped me survive my childhood.
What has allowed my wounded heart to thaw out is love, kindness, compassion, empathy and time spent in Mother Nature daily as a preventative vaccine. The hardest person to receive these powerful emotions from has been myself. My Emotional Fitness is still a work in progress, but I am doing so much better these days.
As the Dalai Lama remind us …
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries … without them humanity cannot survive.”
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.