Thursday, August 18, 2011
You're Getting Warmer...or Not
My seven-year-old daughter LOVES that game. Ya know the one where one of you think of something or hides something and, as you try and figure out what it is, the other player helps you along by advising you whether or not you're getting close (hotter) or further away (colder).
Beck's approach is a good one for those of us whose minds are so muddled by the shock and trauma of discovering that our lives aren't what we thought they were that we can barely decide what to make for dinner. If we can find someway and somewhere to get still, most of us can identify a physical response to various questions – a sort of internal "you're getting warmer..." reaction.
It will likely take practice. Once dealt the blow of betrayal, your internal radar can often malfunction. Post-trauma, you might find yourself reacting in extreme ways to benign circumstances. The dog barks suddenly, for example, and you respond with a heart-pumping, car-lifting adrenaline surge. Again, that's where you need to be still and get back in touch with your gut/intuition/wisdom/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. It's there. It might need dusting off from years of neglect. You might need to apologize to it for ignoring its sage guidance. But if you take the time to refamiliarize yourself, it will be more than happy to play the game with you.
Do I want to leave? How does that feel in your gut? Terrifying? Liberating? Terrifyingly liberating? If you picture yourself on your own, how does that feel?
Can I forgive him? Getting warmer? Colder? Can you picture a marriage (forget for the moment how you're going to achieve it) in which the two of you are happy and fulfilled? Or is your gut freezing up at the possibility?
Get the idea? Give it a try...and let us know what you find by posting here.