I have recently started working with someone who has throughout her life faced a pattern of bullying. She would often find herself in situations wherein she felt bullied or put down by someone in her environment, which in her life currently was playing out in her work environment in relation to her employer. So how does QCK work with such issues which are partly internal, in terms of your emotional and mental experience, and partly external as the actual situation that is playing out? How do you in other words focus and work with who you are internally while simultaneously giving direction to your external reality so that you walk your process of change on all levels?
Essentially the purpose of working with your reactions in moments is to find a way of directing yourself as well as the situation in a way that won’t recreate it. You will find that the mind follows a certain reaction pattern which repeats itself. You’ll for instance go from feeling inferior/bullied/rejected to getting angry/resentful, which then also flows over into behavior patterns – from for instance making yourself small and suppressed to eventually lashing out from a place of anger or frustration where you will momentarily feel empowered but then eventually the cycle repeats itself again, from the internal experiences to the behavior to the actual situation play-outs. The aim of the process of self-change is to develop an insight into how these patterns play out so you can stop them from recycling over and over again.
Let’s look at an example of directing the internal reactions as well as the external situation. Say you are facing a moment where your boss says or does something you experience to be demeaning or even bullying. You’ll first have your internal reaction patterns that come up where you will feel inferior/rejected and then angry/resentful. From the internal reaction pattern you’ll then go into specific behavioral patterns of either suppressing yourself and ‘sucking it up’ or lashing out in some way, either passive aggressively or within spite or through aggression.
You’ll first want to address the internal reactions as these are the driving force behind the behavioral patterns which in turn contribute to the entire situation play-out and re-occurrence. Addressing the internal reactions is mostly through understanding and insight into the deeper layers from which the reactions are arising (which is where you also consider that however you’re feeling is not about the current situation play-out or person, but more about how you’ve already programmed yourself throughout your life — thus a ‘self’-responsibility).
When you’ve stabilized your internal reactions through understanding and for instance living a word like gentleness, then you can look at ‘how do I want to direct this situation?’. You could then for instance look at letting your boss know how you feel or communicating to him in some way that how he is handling the situation is unpleasant and ‘destructive’ rather than being constructive or supportive. So here you are simply looking at the best way to direct the situation while being calm within yourself. How you direct the situation won’t necessarily be ‘perfect’ as in producing the desired result, but it’s a learning process. The key is that you are calm within yourself when you address the situation, so that you can step by step find a solution that works best.
If you wouldn’t direct your internal reactions first, then your response to the situation will be driven by emotion rather than common sense, which will cause the situation to repeat itself again eventually as that is how the pattern works.