When was the last time you were hijacked? Never, you say?
Whoa…not so fast! Think again.
Have you ever had, or felt like you were going to have, a panic attack?
Have you ever suddenly heard words come out of your mouth that you would NEVER actually say?
Have you ever been paralyzed by a seemingly ‘irrational’ fear, been afraid to speak up or felt like you’d done something wrong for no apparent reason?
Have you ever picked a fight in a relationship for no good reason, and you knew you were doing it and could see the train wreck about to happen, but seemed powerless to stop yourself?
This, my dear, is you being hijacked. Actually, it’s you hijacking you.
There’s not some sinister external force tossing you into a van, hiding you away in some remote location and demanding ransom for your return. It’s your own survival brain sensing that you are somehow in danger and then doing what it’s been wired to do since the beginning of humankind, i.e., protect you to ensure your survival.
It does this by instantaneously flipping through your mental file cabinet (ok, I’m dating myself) or your database, looking for how you survived this particular ‘threat’ in the past
Mind you, the threat doesn’t have to be real. It’s all about energy.
It could be your partner using a particular tone of voice or your boss calling you into their office.
That tone of voice or summoning may instantly trigger something inside your emotional/energy body that reminds you of something from your past that was frightening, painful or even life threatening. It may be pushed so far down in your subconscious that you don’t even remember it.
But your body does. Because every emotion has a particular vibrational frequency and when that frequency is felt in the body it triggers a reaction.
Perhaps that tone is reminiscent of the one your dad used just before he was going to blame or humiliate you, or perhaps even physically or sexually abuse you. Your shame, fear, anger or sense of powerlessness gets triggered.
Or maybe you got into a lot of trouble at school and were “summoned” to the principal’s office for punishment, which may also have been followed by getting in trouble when you got home. So now when your boss calls you into his or her office you immediately feel guilty, ashamed, angry or like you’re going to get in trouble for something. And you probably feel a bit crazy for feeling that way!
NOW do you remember the last time you were hijacked?
You have your very own emotional set point, which I call your Personal Energy Signature (PES), depending on the circumstances of your early life or of particular traumatic events or losses. The more difficult your life experiences and the more limiting the beliefs you developed about life and yourself as a result of those experiences, the denser your PES vibration is.
Consequently, you get triggered more frequently and more intensely than another person might when experiencing the same stimulation.
So now that you have a better understanding of how your being hijacked by your own brain, what can you do about it?
Here are a few basic steps that I recommend to my clients:
1. Develop awareness. Notice when you have been triggered and what was responsible for the triggering. Notice the signals from your body that something is happening, such as tightening in the chest, clenching of the jaw or hands, change in breathing, feeling like you want to run, etc. In the beginning, you probably won’t have the awareness of this until after the event has passed, but over time you’ll get more familiar with your body’s reactions and that will help you to intervene before the train wreck!
2. Realize that your emotions and your ego are trying to tell you something and protect you. Begin to get curious about these fears and other emotions and why they are coming up. Remember that emotions are simply information, letting you know that something is not ‘right’. You may have learned to turn down the dial on your emotions to stay safe but now you can allow yourself to feel and explore them so that you can understand them better.
3. Use some techniques to deepen your understanding of the triggers and emotions and to clear them out of your emotional, mental, physical and energetic bodies. My favorites include different forms of inner dialogue and journaling, especially active imagination, guided imagery, tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and neurokinesis, both forms of energy psychology. There are many wonderful tools at your disposal these days. I always recommend working with a trained practitioner if you don’t seem to be getting anywhere on your own or your issues are significant.
4. Make a different choice. Once you have some awareness of your patterns and triggers and have done some inner work so that you’re not so reactive, it will be easier to make a different choice. Spend some time thinking about who you really want to be, how you’d prefer to handle certain situations, what you can do when you feel your fears coming up. Recent research has shown that using the words “I don’t” rather than “I can’t” or “I won’t” greatly increases the ability to let go of habitual behaviors.
Keep your thoughts positive, stop complaining and express gratitude often! These intentional practices will all support your ability to choose differently!
So it turns out that you are actually the hijacker and the hijacked! That’s actually good news, sort of like being the Titanic and the iceberg!
It means that you’re really the only one who can pay the ransom to ensure your emotional and psychological freedom!
Even though the cost may initially seem really high, I can promise you that it’s well worth it! My clients will attest to that! If you’d like some support on your journey to emotional freedom, I’d be honored to partner with you!