Forward from Daniel:
The next step to build out of our Pain Cycles (If by chance you missed the first article relating to this topic you can click here), is by moving toward our Peace Cycle. When we communicate with our loved ones, sometimes they accidentally trigger these hurtful Pain Cycles causing us to feel hurt or emotions that the communicator might have never intended. The core of a pain cycle is how we respond to threats to love and trust with truth rather than instinctively reacting to it. In this post I wont cover Pain Cycles as they’ve previously been written on, but it is helpful to know that this article is a building block toward focusing in on soothing solutions or your Peace Cycle.
Engaging the Peace Cycle is a very active process. It does not come naturally. We have to slow down our minds and actively respond to our pain rather than letting our natural reaction run their course. This process is like talking to ourselves internally. Rather than talking to someone externally, we talk to ourselves and soothe the pain. We engage the Peace Cycle by speaking into ourselves. We can find peace and soothing from others, but the most significant change is learning how to speak truth and peace into ourselves. Let’s explore the natural steps that are taken to mindfully navigate these thoughts and prevent a nasty reaction.
IDENTIFICATION: Lies vs. Reality
Initially we identified the painful feelings that arise when we feel insecure. These are the instinctive reactions. Now, we need to discern truth from the painful lies we feel when our sense of love and trust is threatened. We need to learn how to emotionally regulate these negative feelings by speaking into our lives the reality of love and safety in our relationships. Rather being unloved or unworthy, are we really Significant, Valuable, Precious, Wanted, Connected, and/or Competent? Reflect on the reality of our relationship, your identity, and sense of safety. These are the words that you will speak into yourself when the painful feelings arise.
FOCUS: The Truth is Your Ally
Second, focus on the truth you identified and choose how you would rather respond knowing this truth instead of the reactions you identified in your pain cycle. How would you respond in ways to be beneficial to you and your relationships? Is it by Nurturing Others, Loving , Encouraging, or Patient? Valuing yourself, Respectful, Hopeful, or Positive? Balanced in Give/Take, Engage with others, or Open? Reliably Connected, Faithful, Self-Controlled, or Responsible? Reflect on the way you would respond to the insecurity in your relationship that will be beneficial for both of you.
OBSERVE: Reactions are Insightful
Finally, simply notice how your spouse/family member responds to you when you respond from your Peace Cycle rather than your Pain Cycle. Do they become defensive or aggressive? Most of the time when we respond to the feeling of insecurity from a place of peace, the other person will feel less threatened and open to communicating.
So, the Peace Cycle is a outline of what are truths in our lives and how would we act in ways beneficial to ourselves and our relationships. The Peace Cycle does not deny that we are in fact in pain or gloss over the painful feelings that arise. We acknowledge the pain and speak to it with truth to soothe our hurt and act in ways that will propel us to healing rather than perpetuating a painful pattern.
Identifying our Pain and Peace Cycles is not easy. There’s a lot of work to be done in engaging the Peace Cycle, because it is hard for us to believe the truths when we are in pain. This takes active effort and practice. Learn your loved one’s cycles! It is not your job to be the sole source of soothing, but understanding your loved one’s pain can better help you respond to their pain! Reach out if you notice that communication between you and your loved ones or someone you care about seems always end up with you in pain. There is a lot to unpack from our wounds and having someone to walk you through it always makes it easier.