It’s pure instinct in its most primitive form. Our Systems are working together assessing and processing input from internal and external sources, conscious and subconscious, in order to keep us safe. #protectthehuman
In times of trauma and/or excessive stress our Systems can become overwhelmed. We all know how that feels. We can have a million different things all going on at the same time and we proceed to get more stressed, more overwhelmed until there is a breaking point. Something has to give.
The Systems simply can’t keep up with all the information being thrown at them. So they process what they can for immediate action and throw the rest into a pile in the corner to get to later. Then the next experience of trauma and stress comes as it always does, because life.
The cycle repeats. And the pile in the corner gets bigger and harder to ignore until it’s the only thing the Systems can think about, because the pile is so intrusive.
Systems & Strategies.
As much as we would like to create a pillow fort and ignore the outside world, that’s not really an option. Ah, maybe on a rainy Saturday we can make it a date.
The Systems have to create a strategy in order to keep you safe, putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving forward. If you can keep moving forward you can evade danger, get the food, get the sex, and get on with the living.
Let’s use a painful experience as an example of a #protectthehuman strategy.
Have you ever twisted an ankle? Those curbs are sneaky, I get you. When you twist an ankle you immediately put most of your weight onto the other side to AVOID further pain or damage. That first exploratory step onto the injured side is a wake up call.
The Systems gather forces creating a compensation pattern in order to keep moving forward and avoid further damage. Whatever information did not process well was thrown into the pile in the corner to deal with later so you could get up and keep moving. This is a fully functional survival strategy.
The beauty of this primitive instinct ends when you begin to live within this creative strategy.
protectthehuman vs limitthehuman
In case you haven’t noticed, we humans are inherently lazy. We like to expend as little energy as possible to do what needs to be done. It’s another primitive survival strategy. Saving energy means we have reserves to hustle when the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us. Remember, you just have to run faster than the other guy.
When we get stuck living within the strategy we developed to get through trauma, we are unknowingly piling up more things in the corner. The pile gets bigger as our compensation patterns develop compensation patterns and a little twisted ankle becomes a noticeable limp and severe hip pain 30 years from now.
Our #protectthehuman response, which was once the hero of our story, is now limiting our ability to move well. It’s not the villain though. It’s simply doing a job that it believes to be the best course of action.
It’s our responsibility to become aware of these responses and discover where things went sideways so we can decrease the need for the Systems to continue to #protectthehuman and adapt forward.