Shift to Peripherals

There are people out there who hurt others. They tease, they taunt, they bully. There are others who hurt people unintentionally. They break your heart, they let slip a crass comment, they behave carelessly. This can leave a person feeling pretty low about themselves. It can result in a person’s focus being swallowed up with the pain. In this situation the best action to take is to shift peripherals.

This isn’t the same thing as denying the pain. It is the practice of stepping back and letting it go. Instead of focusing on these people and situations you shift them to the side of your vision. They will still exist but you will still have use of your focus to direct toward your end goal, your work, your life. When hurtful things are pushed to the side you can still step forward and act in useful ways.

Because these issues don’t disappear you can begin to work through them. Because you have put that distance between you and the hurtful person you can begin to heal from it. In treatment for PTSD it is common practice to relive an experience in a safe space until it’s effect is lessened. You can create this safe space for yourself by regaining your focus. You can also avoid the dark path of denial by keeping the experience in the corner of your eye. It is present yet not overwhelming.

An added benefit is that you can always reengage the person when they go too far. When they are in your sights, if they move in a threatening way you can take action. You can defend yourself, correct them, or remove yourself from their vicinity. Take a deep breath and find your focus again. The things you want most. The life you want to create for yourself. The people you love. Your love for yourself Abbe all of your best qualities. You maintain your power because they are not your main focus. You can also deal with them because you remain aware of them.

It might surprise you to know that I actually have rather terrible vision. I have to wear corrective lenses or the world becomes one big blur of colors. However, I an an extremely visual person, which is why I find these visualizations helpful. When something is visualized it becomes easier to manipulate. It presents a controllable variable.

This exercise in particular assists one in maintaining the vision of the self when one is hurt. Whatever model you identify with, it should serve to make you stronger. Is thus visualization helpful? What tweaks can you personalize it with? What is your main coping mechanism and how well does it serve your best interests? Do you run away? Do you ignore the person? Do you find time later to work through it?

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