Create. Hope. Rising
Avoiding Emotional Ice Cream Headaches
I love a hot fudge sundae, but I hate an ice cream headache. Sharp pain, knife stab to the temple. Pleasure and pain need to be split for me to really enjoy the experience.
I was thinking recently about how an ice cream headache is a perfect metaphor for what it feels like when someone I love hurts my feelings. All the pleasure of loving and being loved, suddenly becomes a piercing pain. Now tell the truth, you’ve had it happen to you. Don’t know if you play the hurter or the hurtee, but if you love, you’ve most likely danced the bully/victim tango.
I wanted to figure out how to break it down one small scoop at a time so I could step to a better tune. Here are some of the ingredients I’ve come up with to take that experience from pain back to pleasure.
Let me know if you have found a few great recipes yourself.
I was thinking about bullies and victims. I noticed when I am in a situation where someone hurts my feelings and says or does something that I decide is hurtful, I might respond with a defensive, victimized thought. Then I look for evidence. Which is what our brains are designed to do.
I was thinking how very common it is to divide ourselves from real communication by labeling what happens as bully/victim. It sounds at first like this: bully-bad. victim-good.
But is there more to this slipper slope?
There is something deceivingly slippery about being a martyr. It is a sympathetic position, if you don’t believe it give your friends a call the next time you’ve been ‘wronged’, and I almost guarantee they will volunteer to kick the offenders butt, love their loyal souls! If they don’t, bet you have a few more numbers you could call.
Ironically, the bully is probably calling his friends and being all indignant and righteous about what you said, did or didn’t do and their friends are willing to kick your butt, so this might not be the best solution.
But underneath that pain is a deeper pain. Somewhere along the way an idea is born, “I’m not good enough” or some version of this thought. And that thought seems true. From that belief that it is a truth comes action.
Why? Because the mind is designed to find evidence to support thoughts. Deep neuro-pathways are formed, most likely charged with high emotion. With that pathway installed we go through life finding evidence.
Why? Simple biology, again because that is what the brain is designed to do.
Tigers BAD! Tigers live in green bushes! Bushes Bad! Look, A BUSH! Very primitive but elegant brain work.
That first painful thought became a belief and it could have come from family, teachers, peers, endless sources. We all bump into that place where we get hurt and wounded.
It is the human experience. So often, it was a broken and wounded soul inflicting and continuing broken and wounded behavior.
“They did to me what was done to them,” spoken by Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah years ago.
We survive that painful early experience that created thoughts of ‘not good enough’ by being a marytr, holding a grudge or in fearful silence. Or we lashed back out in pain toward others or toward ourselves.
The reaction doesn’t matter really. When we disconnect from true feelings, we become the bully and the victim all in one, inside ourselves.
A full house, flush with a cycle of circular pain.
But to keep that cycle going we have to use outside relationships to prove the theory of ‘not being of value’ and find situations and people where we mask our true feelings by being either angry or hurt.
They are not hard to find. They come in the shape of mates, lovers, bosses, friends, family.
Hell, they stand in line in front of us at the grocery store, and certainly drive on the highways.
People act, and we respond. They are legion.
Unless you decide to readjust your view. There is no need to be a victim, no need to label a bully.
We are here, and because we are here on this earth, we are good enough.
And we all yearn for the same warm rich topping, to love and to be loved.
I say serve up that real truth of love in big old fashioned scoops to everyone you meet today.
It’s tasty sweet peace.