Recently, I experienced several social situations which allowed me the opportunity to explore self-proving my abilities with the management of subtle red flags presented with the intent to control.
I wondered how I knew they were red flags and their intent and that it wasn’t my brain on overdrive from PTSD symptoms. The answer was found in the once information only, now turned habit, application of the concepts of Awareness, Discernment, and Understanding, and associated life management tools.
Red Flags — silent or obvious — are not meant to be ignored. Unfortunately, I have played the probability game with far too many people in my life, placing my bet on their changing, that I can influence them to want to change, that they didn’t mean the jabs or to hurt me, or they don’t understand me. The odds of any of this happening were never in my favor, each time ending in trauma.
Returning to my point, recently several people with similar agendas raised my awareness to the level of hypervigilance when they communicated using almost imperceptible Red Flags and statements leaving me little to no room for responses that were appropriate for me.
Not all Red Flags are easily noticed. Some are “silent.” A few examples of these silent warnings may look like:
• Declaration of affection too quickly.
• Frequent defensive statements.
• Put-downs veiled as jokes.
• Give ultimatums.
• Play the martyr.
• Emphasis on sex in conversation.
• Questioning your judgment of style/appearance.
• Questioning your decisions.
• Statements that leave no room for choices.
• Hot/Cold communication.
• Telling you how you “should” be/do/think.
I acknowledge there are times when an action or statement may be an unintended consequence of social awkwardness and can be misunderstood. However, some people deliberately present a false bravado in what may be a seemingly innocent conversation, dotted with sharp barbs veiled as jokes with intent to disarm you of your critical thinking in the effort to gain control.
Control leaves no room for choice. If unaware, you can be blocked from your ability to think clearly about your options. How many situations can you think of where you have been given an ultimatum or a statement that leaves you no choice but to comply or quit? That’s control.
Noting increased body pain and tension during multiple recent conversations and interactions, I knew to turn my awareness to my external environment, focusing on the mind-body connection. My body felt as though it was in a continuously prepared state for my go-to survival responses. My mind rapidly sorted things I heard into containers of “keep”, “pitch”, and “alert”, while I reminded myself continuously of this thought: I am safe and in control. I make my choices and I am accountable for the outcomes.
It wasn’t until I was “unpacking” the mental and emotional bags from the last few weeks that I recognized I had been gifted a specific answer to a question I wanted to answer during my trip, “Have I changed without changing?” A few situations I encountered were used as a way to self-prove my learned abilities through application, not only in knowledge. My answer to the question came in the form of reviewing each of the encounters and how I applied deliberate intent, integrity, impeccability, and ethics to each experience and did so without apology or doubt.
Unbinding the experiences and extracting the Moreness from each of them, showed me I had not only successfully avoided repeating old trauma thinking patterns and behaviors, but I did so while keeping my self-worth intact, and self-proving I can change and do so without changing who I am.
Discernment involves asking the hard questions, in-depth examination of our experiences in real-time. It assists with self-proving or testing our intent and can show us the intent of others. Some examples of test questions to ask yourself when facing an uncertain situation may look like:
• Am I choosing what is appropriate for ME?
• What is THEIR intent?
• Am I enabling actions with excuses?
• Are these MY choices?
• What is MY intent?
• Are MY boundaries being violated?
I invite you to examine each of these questions and others from all perspectives; take each one as far as you can take them until you are satisfied with your answer. Remember, control offers no choice.
There was one more important point of awareness that was critical for me. Control of my choices is essential. When my choices are threatened I know I will respond, but it’s HOW I CHOOSE to respond that proves to me I have *achieved* Independence of Being.
It’s no longer a matter of BECOMING Unbound for me. Becoming is not the same as BEING.
For me, Unbound means Deliberately Living in a mind-body-spirit state that is free from the fears of my past. It means I can trust my abilities to apply Awareness, Discernment, and Understanding in *maintaining* Independence of Being.
🤍🕊️ Sher Unbound