At Your Upper Limit?
Have you ever had an intensely beautiful time, followed by a really challenging time – either in relationship with someone else, or in relationship to work, money, yourself, your health? I have.
And wondered wtf (technical term!) for a mixture of confusion, upset, disappointment, and/ or maybe annoyance… basically, you found yourself probably needing empathy and understanding for just how much you DIDN’T consciously want that ‘downer’ to happen!
You just want the ‘up’ part, yes? Or at least only a small dip of a downer .. not so much of a big deep downer. I understand 🙂
You have a nervous system that is used to a certain familiar state. Reactions happen internally and subconsciously when you move into particular zones – especially emotionally.
You could say you hit an upper limit or that a part of you does something to try to keep you safe/ in your familiar zone.
- If you hit your upper limit* for joy, happiness, contentment, do you find yourself bringing things down? Perhaps you introduced something challenging to talk about that sent things into chaos or less equilibrium? Something more familiar.
- Maybe you reach your upper limit for intimacy, vulnerability, or emotional safety and unconsciously act to create distance or disruption? You then forget to return a call? Say something critical? Pick up a device, turn away? Crack a joke?
- Perhaps you hit an upper limit for feeling well in yourself and eat/ drink something that makes you feel ‘off’?
The list could go on – you get the drift. These are all unconscious ways of trying to bring things back to old familiar sensations and behaviours to restore a sense of security – even though other important needs you also want to meet, get excluded.
Could this be behind what leads to you having less intimacy, love, connection, etc than you consciously want? YES, quite possibly. Reflect on it ..
I recognised my own upper limit cycle and unconscious protective part 16 years ago. I’m thankful to Gay Hendriks now for his handy label, I came across recently – Upper Limits.
Here’s my example: I didn’t grow up with a lot of peace and closeness, so a ‘part of me’ kindly took on the job of making sure I was safe and in familiar territory by disrupting too much peace and connection. That looked like moving house 16 times in 20 years or something like that. A general dissatisfaction with life… I learned to untangle and befriend my thinking and behaviours (aka parts) and today I not only obviously value connection and closeness, peace and calm 🙂 I have this internally and throughout my life. You can too.
P.s. If you’d like to know more about how to expand your capacity to love, be vulnerable, make friends with your upper limit behaviours/ parts, please reply back here 🙂