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Activating Agents part 3. Thursday September 26, 2013

It started with a simple question...' So, whatever happened with you and Mary (name changed) all those years ago?'.

I was on holiday with my new girlfriend of now almost a year. The previous evening we were laughing until our sides split about something silly. Then this simple question the following day opened up a soliloquy from me. I talked and talked. With every word the memories came flooding back, not just of the disasters of that previous relationship but the disasters of every relationship and all the other disasters along with it. The more I talked the more upset I became. Eventually I cried. I felt horrible. It stayed with me all day, all night and well into the following day. I felt it in my body, the wretchedness, the unhappiness. I watched it, didn't battle with it, just let it pass and gradually it dissipated. Trying to play golf helped shift it.

A simple question (activating agent) triggered a chain of events that resulted in very definite changes in my physiology, my emotions and my thoughts. Yet, just a day earlier, a different activating agent triggered a totally different response.

'I' am neither the one nor the other. 'I' can try to develop awareness of how different conversations, people, places, memories, music, foods, drinks, trinkets, tv programmes, affect me. I can learn that I have choices. To learn that I need to understand pattern matching. And that's another story.

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Anonymous Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 9:07am

I can totally with this. I am struggling with this aspect in the current great relationship and am slowly "getting over" it. The traumas are still there, but the way I can or cannot tolerate the traumas has changed.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 9:23am

You've left us with a cliffhanger, Bill. Pattern matching?

Bill Andrews Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 9:37am

Don't worry. It'll come.

Julia Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 9:50am

A message I get from this Bill, is that you must have felt very secure and safe telling your girlfriend all this and that she sounds lovely for giving you that safety net and the space to pour your heart out. It's great you can laugh until your sides split and cry with her. I can understand the feeling horrible bit and very happy to read that those sorts of feelings do pass.

Anonymous Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 10:40am

I thank you for today's blog, Bill; it touches me deeply and I realise that you and me and all of us are much more complex than some would have us believe. We are all, as you say " 'I' am neither the one nor the other " We are Both and we are All.

A simple trigger can set us in any direction - pinging us about like balls in a table tennis game - seemingly directionless and seemingly at the whim of that simple trigger.

We can learn to contain and to control; we can learn "appropriate behaviour". And you know , sometimes we just have to let it out and Just Be "I" in all our glorious tears and laughter, fury and despair and all the other emotions.

Because we are People and like all people, we are trying our best to be Good.

And sometimes like all people, we are a mess.

We eventually get over it and become (briefly) the Balanced person we like to hope we could be all of the time!

Julia Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 11:47am

I like your post especially the last sentence
" We eventually get over it and become (briefly) the Balanced person we like to hope we could be all of the time!" It made me laugh but it also struck a serious note with me, the way I'm feeling right now. These words could form the basis of a Moodscope blog but that's for another time!

Cathy Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 12:43pm

Thanks for sharing that really struck a chord with me.

It amazes me how much a simple trigger (quite often external trigger) can make me feel very happy or very sad. I've heard that we all have control over our emotions but I've found that it isn't quite that simple. If someone is very close to me what that do or don't do or do or don't say, can have a profound impact on my feelings.

So I have accepted that yes we have control over our emotions and our reactions to a certain extent but there definitely are times when we lose it and this is not by choice, but it is okay!!

I find tremendous comfort in knowing that we are all the same and there are times when we are balanced and feel strong in ourselves and other times when we are not and we break down. It's having the courage to get back up and believe that the bad times will pass that makes all the difference.

I was told last night that we should all treat ourselves like a 10 year old. Talk to yourself as though you were talking to the 10 year old you. This advice really touched me as I felt that love for my ten year old self and the difference in the level of encouragement and compassion that I willingly show myself is huge ;-)

Anonymous Sun, Sep 29th 2013 @ 2:23pm

There are activating agents, got it. Sometimes we can choose avoid them, got it. I like Julia comment. I mean why not 'supporting agents' as well?

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