Viktor Frankl says,“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
This is his way of describing that particular time and space where an intervention is possible. An intervention is the only way to change behavior patterns and level up in life. This is where the power of our choices can be fully utilized and we can create the life we want.
I have a twelve year old dog. She was a part of the package deal that came with my wife. She’s a very sweet, little yorkie. My wife rescued her from a puppy mill years ago, she was about half what she weighs now which is seven pounds. When my wife adopted her she’d been abused for years. She was especially afraid of men and bonded very powerfully with my wife. This means that she’s not that interested in me and when my wife leaves town she gets anxious. I’m no puppy shrink but it seems to make pretty good sense to me.
So part of this anxiety is that she pees in the house. She’ll does other things too like shake and shiver like she’s cold and just do other generally weird things. Obviously there are certain things that I don’t want her to. Like pee in the fricken house!
A couple days ago she was up on our bed and decided to empty her bladder. I grabbed her by the fur on the back of her neck and briskly, fucking briskly, walked into the bathroom and put her in the bathtub. I could barely think straight and was livid. I gave a little swat on the bottom like I was reprimanding a child and at the same time I was thinking to myself, Who the fuck am I and where is this coming from?
I could observe myself losing my shit. Over pee? Some laundry I was going to have to do? Because of a seven pound anxious dog? After some deeper inquiry and examination I could see the childhood inner mapping that was showing up unconsciously in fears of scarcity around time and my precious belongings. Growing up for me included that classic-take care of your stuff because it’s the only *blank* you’re probably going to ever get.
Next came the shame. Am I a monster that could lose control at any minute? Is the destructive part of me (yes I have a powerfully destructive part of me) just barely lurking under the surface waiting there for ruptures of violence and perpetration? Am I just a sliver away from going back to living life with a short fuse, on the edge of explosion? That guy couldn’t maintain relationships, hated himself, and constantly felt out of control.
I fully believe that I and we have the potential for everything malevolent in the world. And the more we know that fact the more we can gain deeper understanding of it. Another added benefit is that we can also understand how other people do horrible things. We must understand how the world works and why we and others do what they do.
Where were you the first time you saw someone close to you lose control?
When you lose control what are you afraid of?
How do you feel after you lose control and have been destructive?