Surviving Emotional Patterns Developed in Childhood

‘Survival mode’ is the human body’s heightened response to help survive danger and stress. People live in varied states of existential (stress, worry, fear, hyperbole, catastrophizing, etc.) or real (poverty, violence, famine, plague, war, etc. ) survival mode.

Many ‘negative’ personality traits humans live with today are born out of some form of survival mode.

Addiction, defensiveness, emotional unavailability, exaggeration, dishonesty, attention-seeking, hording, any seemingly ‘negative’ trait at one point often served a purpose.

At one point, being ‘defensive’ or shielding one’s emotions may have been helpful or even necessary. Perhaps it was necessary to shield an open wound from repeated laceration. Maybe exaggeration or fanciful behavior was used to overcompensate for something that was never there but should have been. Could be that taking the fall for others transgressions was to protect the more vulnerable from pain.

These defensive strategies encoded while growing up protected and served a purpose during a fragile state of life. But sometimes we hang onto these strategies too long.

Realizing when one of these defensive strategies starts to serve a negative purpose is a challenge and not one many are familiar with navigating.

Finding the skills and mental exercises to repeatedly choose the harder path of *not* going down the well-worn defensive path to free one’s self from the pattern is even harder.

But these ‘negative’ or defensive strategies are just patterns.

They are patterns in our mind, hearts, and bodies.

And we can free ourselves from the patterns.

— Adam @thatmhg

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