What do you do when you are worried?
How do you act when you feel harmed?
If angered, wronged, misheard, left out?
What do you do when someone threatens?
How do you manage double binds
That tangle up your mind?
Do you cower away?
Do you lash out?
Do you curl into a ball under the covers
And turn off all reaction, action, light?
Does your body compensate
In sweet diversions
Or does your gut churn ire
And shuts down?
Do you sob, mope, break down
Does your heart thunder in your eardrums
As your blood pressure spikes red
Behind your eyes
Or does it plummet
Do you respond in kind
To wound another
To give as good as you had gotten
To show who’s boss
To cut to size any potential bully
So they stay down?
Or do you shrink
Into wall flowered corners
Get by through fading into
Till all turmoil passes
And you can seek the bits you hadn’t managed
And tentatively try to
Patch life up?
When feelings flood, how do you manage:
Float on? Hold tight? Spit out? Swirl dizzyingly in the eddies?
What is the language of reaction
In your body?
Does your mind
Or does it find a pause
Between a stimuli and action
To weave insight to choice
And sort true danger from benign?
Do you collapse
Into outdated paths
Formed by a not-good-enough childhood
And unhealed histories
Or has your palette widened
To allow volition
Kindness — to yourself, to others —
To find courage
For The Daily Post