Have you ever had a disconnect between your brain and your body? Your brain tells you that everything is okay, but your body says otherwise? I was recently driving to a place where I’ve been dealing with someone who’s been pretty hostile towards me. I was really confused by how hard my heart was pounding as I was approaching the location. Yet my brain said, “Everything is fine! This person is a jerk and everyone knows it! You’re doing a great job, don’t worry about it!”
It seems obvious in hindsight that my body was telling me something was wrong. It’s funny how our brain can really try to convince us that everything is okay when it isn’t. As my teacher Cindy Lehman has taught me, the body has its own wisdom, finely developed over thousands of years of dealing with threats in our environment.
Facing this hostile person, I decided one way to avoid the hostility would be for me to do everything perfectly, and therefore I would be above reproach. There are two problems with this thinking: perfection isn’t possible, and hostile people will be hostile with or without a reason.
So what was the solution?
I fantasized about telling The Hostile One off, how I wasn’t going to put up with that crap, blah blah blah. THAT would show him!
Or would it?
Unfortunately, that would keep me stuck in the Karpman Drama Triangle – a really interesting concept of how conflict is perpetuated – and would just shift me from victim to persecutor. Bullying the bully doesn’t resolve the conflict, people just switch roles until we’re at the same place we were before.
No, instead I have to step out of that triangle and be an adult. And adults don’t put play the victim/persecutor/rescuer game, they confront bullies and say, “I’m not tolerating that behavior, and if it continues, then I will remove myself from this situation.”
My BODY knew that something wasn’t right, it just took some time for my BRAIN to realize that my body was trying to tell me something.
Listen to your body. It doesn’t lie.