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Growth and protection

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InnerLight posted 9/29/2013 10:41 AM

I was listening to PhD biologist Bruce Lipton's audiobook, The Wisdom of your Cells and he talked about how the body can either be in growth or protection mode but cannot do both at the same time. He related it on a cellular level and an organism level. When we are in a stress response the energy for growth is shifted to energy for protection and growth stops. However both protection and growth are needed for survival.

I have been noticing where i shut down to protect myself. I will not often reach out to make new friends or form new strands of connection that might blossom into a sense of community because of being burned in the past. From infidelity related burns to other shocks and subsequent rejection and disconnection pain that left me with mild but definite PTSD. I happen to have a nice SO so I am cautiously but steadily moving forward with that. He feels safe.

I am going to review where I am in self protection mode when it's not necessary anymore and see if I can open up to new connections with people. Yesterday I reached out to a neighbor and offered to help with her horses so I am going over today.

I don't want to block my growth by shutting down where I don't need to anymore.

Where are you in your balance of growth and protection?

NaiveAgain posted 9/29/2013 10:46 AM

Right now I am definitely in survival mode. I am usually very extroverted and take charge....risk taker and rule-breaker.

Currently I am just trying to get thru my days minute by minute, I have slowed down on my friendships and I have not been going out socially much.

I feel I am hanging on a precarious thread and just waiting for it to break. This isn't a fun place to be and I am trying to work thru it, but I also realize sometimes I need to cocoon and rest and zone out a bit on life before I can run out and tackle life again. Right now, safety and comfort rule supreme.

hexed posted 9/29/2013 12:26 PM

Wow IL this really hit home with me.

wildbananas posted 9/29/2013 14:30 PM

This really struck me too, IL. I never thought about it in these terms before but it's definitely true - you can't grow and protect at the same time.

Between ex-asshat and XSO, I was in protection mode for years. It's only in the last almost two years that I've finally stopped protecting and started growing. Sometimes protection is a good thing but I don't feel it should be a way of life, which is was for me for more years than I can count.

Thank you for sharing this, IL.

Weatherly posted 9/29/2013 18:09 PM

Right now I'm in protection mode, I have kind of shut down. I don't reach out to new people and I'm not connecting with people I was close to.

I know there isn't much growing going on right now, but, I also know what triggered this, and don't think it will last too long.

exhausted lady posted 9/30/2013 20:43 PM

I'm not sure I completely agree with growth and protection being exclusive to each other. I think I've grown exponentially by establishing my boundaries and enforcing them. I OWN my life and my own shit. No one can take that away from me now.

I have a family member that does readings, is "sort of" wiccan and she did a reading on me a few weeks ago. I came up with the raven card. Keeper of the laws. We did a cleansing of my families land, and it feels a lot better now. I'm growing, but also protecting me and mine, ya know? Having my elderly, demented mother move in with me has brought home how much I need to protect, and yet grow as well.

My family member said she thought I was really coming "into my own" whatever that means.

We'll see....but I think I'm growing more as a protector. I'm no longer a victim and I don't think I ever will find myself in that role again.

I think by realizing that you NEED to protect yourself and your loved ones is a growth thing. You must count on yourself to do this. No one else. It's part and parcel of being a truly strong person - and my strength has been tested sorely this past year.

nutmegkitty posted 10/1/2013 08:11 AM

I know I was in growth mode last spring and summer, but I feel now I have shifted back into protection mode. DDay Antiversary is approaching, and I've been having whacked out and sometimes violent dreams about the ex (thanks, subconscious).
I feel like I need to lay low and just get through this phase until the next growth phase arrives.

InnerLight posted 10/1/2013 11:58 AM

I totally agree that establishing healthy boundaries creates a safe place from which to grow. I don't think we are either all growth or all protection. Maybe it's more like shifting gears. Sometimes in some areas of our life we shut down, and shutting down is different than healthy boundaries. I think that's when we can't grow.

Life is complex with many (oh god I want to say 'shades of grey' but I can't bec of that damn book) variables. It's not black and white. I do find that going back to understanding the actions of out very basic biology can give insight into how the whole of us responds to life.

When I find myself shutting down I am double checking with myself. Am I triggering? Am I really in danger? What is the danger I perceive? Is it really present or a shadow of the past? Is this behavior really serving me now? Is this behavior blocking me somehow? What small action could I take that would break through the automatic shut down response and still keep me safe?

I find little actions create a feeling of more wiggle room in my life and more openings to possibilities.

I did go and work with the neighbor's horses for a couple hours. I was invited over 6 months ago and it took me that long to 'get around to it' because of that shutting down response in me. I enjoyed grooming and lunging 2 beautiful arabian mares. I hadn't done stuff like this in 20 years. I love horses. It took a little push for me to reach out like that and ask if I could come over. It was a good experience and who knows where that connection will lead.

[This message edited by InnerLight at 12:03 PM, October 1st (Tuesday)]

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