I’m working with my colleague Dr. Mark Brady, learning more about the brain and how it is involved in what he calls, Sacred Relationship. It’s a powerful education he’s giving to me and I hope to be able to pass it on to others the start of the New Year. (If you are in my Acceptance Workshop, you’ve heard me refer to this profound teaching.) One of the things I am most in awe of about the brain is how we can rewire it. What fires together, wires together, as the neuroscientists say. We can, over time, learn a whole new way of thinking, feeling, and being in the world.
Dr. Brady shares that our brain is wired for threat detection 24/7 (even for people not in benzo withdrawal). Since our threat detection center is always on, we get triggered by things that are not actual threats but are unconscious reminders of old real or perceived (imagined) threats. A great deal of this triggering is under the radar so to speak, and we may not even be aware of what has caused us to feel anxious, angry, less than, etc. All we know is that suddenly, we aren’t at peace anymore. We’re reactionary, not able to make good life and love affirming decisions or actions. And that causes a great deal of pain and anguish.
Learning to be aware of our triggered states and to make the conscious decision to move out of fear and over into love is what creates the changes for the better in our brain.
In benzo withdrawal, we are often in triggered state as our threat detection circuitry is firing away due to our lack of functional working GABA receptors to keep it in check. So how can we rewire our brain for the better if it’s not in proper working order? We must come to terms with our adrenals misfiring and remind ourselves that there is no threat. We allow the adrenaline rushes, the panic, the terror, to wash over us without telling ourselves a catastrophic story. We don’t tell ourselves that they signal a true life-threatening emergency. We don’t tell ourselves that we will always experience these extreme and uncomfortable states. We breathe in slowly and exhale even more slowly and we tell ourselves that we are safe and that we are healing, because both are true.
Learning to master our adrenals, to not give them any attention or energy when they fire over anything that is not a true emergency, helps us to rewire our brains for more of a peaceful existence. As we recover from benzo withdrawal, learning how to manage our adrenals is one of the keys to an exceptional life. In becoming an “adrenal ninja,” able to put our threat detection circuitry in it’s place, we learn how to forgive, how to accept, to feel compassion and how to love. We learn to extend these things even to ourselves.
A true happy and healthy life is not simply the lack of disease in the body, but rather it comes from having an open heart. Love heals the body, mind, and soul. But in order to live from a place of love, we’ve got to get our reactionary limbic system under some degree of control. We can’t allow it to tell us scary stories about ourselves or others. We can’t allow it to create distance between ourselves and others. The wise Sufi poet Rumi wrote that our job is not to seek for love. Our job is to seek all the barriers we have to love (and dismantle them). We can’t begin to do that work until we are more conscious of when our adrenals are running the show.
If you are wanting more peace and healing while in benzo withdrawal, I invite you to join my next Acceptance Workshop. It will begin next Monday December 3 and run until December 31. This will be the last class I teach this year, and possibly, it is the last time I’ll offer the workshop until later in 2019. If you’d like to know more about the workshop, please visit the workshop page on the website, or drop me a line. Happy to answer any questions. If you are a current or past student, the course is open again free of charge, or if you feel inclined, a donation of your choosing, payable at my other site: soulreminders.com/donate
One more bit of news: my newest book, Soul Reminders, Little Chats With God, is now available on Amazon. I’ve kept the price point low (7.95) so that people in benzo withdrawal can afford a copy. I hope that the devotions bring you some peace and comfort as you recover.
Remember, your overactive threat detection system will settle down as your GABA receptors heal. Then it will up to you to decide if you want to wire your brain for more love and less suffering. If so, you can become an adrenal ninja and show that pesky limbic system who is the boss!