>Strapped In

Balancing both feet on a thin wire strung high up between two trees, even my pinkie fingers are shaking.

I’ve gotten almost to the middle without looking down..
.

But when I see how far I could fall, I see only certain death coming if I continue.

I feel only the fear.

I freeze.

Static fills my ears.

Then a voice reaches up to me –

“What’s gonna happen if you fall?”

Apparently, my whole team had been shouting up at me, but that was the only voice I actually heard.

Interesting that your brain interprets emotional threats exactly as it does physical threats

So when you find yourself staring at the person you love so much but you can’t think of one word to say, it’s probably because your body has frozen out all logic; because saying the ‘wrong thing’ becomes to your body exactly like taking the false step that will destroy everything.

When faced with conflict in a relationship with primarily positive experiences built up, you’ll find it easier to calm down and remember that the person sitting across from you is not the enemy.
You listen; you respond.

When conflict arises in a troubled relationship, your entire body goes into protective mode against the person who is supposed to be your comfort. That makes you angry, frustrated; and often resentful. You mount your defense, not really hearing their words.

In my case, I had a safety harness. Literally, but also chemically. The words coming from someone I loved and trusted were like a warm embrace.

I was fully strapped in.

The blood began to return to my body; I felt the safety harness tight around my waist, the straps pulled around my legs; the tension at my back from the safety rope.

Logic returned to my panicking brain – If I fall, the scruffly mountain man at the other end pulls the safety harness and catches me.

That’s what’s going to happen.

What’s gonna happen if you fall?