From F*ck-it to Feel-it: A Wholehuman Signature Process
Updated: May 13, 2021
To navigate our inner worlds with more skill, we have to start noticing how we respond and react in real time. When sh*t goes down, do you roll with the punch or do you punch back (metaphorically speaking)!? As we get more familiar with our patterns of reactivity, we can start to make more skillful choices about how we respond. Often times reactive patterns were adapted for your self protection, but they aren’t always appropriate in every situation. They could be eroding the health of your most important relationships!
Let’s break it down together. Keep in mind, these reactive patterns aren’t bad, but they can be limiting the growth and development you are yearning for.
There are 3 main patterns of emotional reactivity. We’ll call these the “F*ck-its of Feeling”:
Fake it: This is the pattern of pretending everything is sunshine and roses, sometimes called toxic positivity bias. You’ll say things like, “let’s fix it, just feel better, stay strong, it could be worse!” You can tend to dismiss, ignore, sidestep over feeling, or brush them aside to focus on the positive outcome instead, to the exclusion of everything else.
Fuse it: You are overwhelmed by feelings, get hooked by them or even wallow in them. Feelings are intense, full bodied, all encompassing states that can take over the show. You’ve created battlefields in your relationships, and sometimes regret what you said or did (...slamming doors and storming out or streaming a slew of insults you can’t take back)...Sometimes you might just wish you could turn down the dial a bit.
Forget it: In the face of feeling, you are numb, flat, great at overriding, freezing in the face of, disconnecting from, suppressing, bottling, or avoiding feelings altogether. However you name it, you are great at pushing feelings to the side. You might not even know how or what you are feeling when someone asks.
Maybe you can locate a dimension of your pattern in these 3 categories? As you start to understand our reactivity play out in real time, we can become more efficient and agile at navigating our inner worlds as we move through the cycle responsiveness.
Let’s take a look at the cycle of Emotional Responsiveness, a simple (but not always easy!) 3 step process for more emotionally agile in the face of feeling.
Feel it. This is your ability to get close-in to what you feel, notice sensations in your body and name what you are feeling accurately. We cultivate the courage to see ourselves clearly as we nuance our experience by tracking and naming our feelings with precision.
Flow through it. Creating a non-judgemental space to allow your feelings some room is the first step to working with your feelings. Angry? Great. Numb? No problem. Frustrated? Welcome in. Creating space is the key to create fluidity to move in, with and through your feeling(s). Once you can allow for your feeling, you’ll have more fluid and powerful choices about what you do next.
Find your response. Feelings often hold key information about something you need, a value you hold, or something you care about. Get still and ask ‘what is the intelligence within this feeling’ or ‘what is this feeling telling me’? Anger can signal a depth of care or a boundary that needs to be respected, numbness can signal there is something intense you aren’t yet willing to feel like hurt or heartbreak, frustration can signal that something is unresolved. Once we can see the intelligence, we move our insight into action and contemplate what comes next: do you contain your feeling or do you express it? And, it is important to note, just because you feel it, doesn’t mean you have to express it!