Putin triggers my relationship to power and control.

He is like the partner who gaslights, “This is for your own good,” and somehow makes you forget You matter and it is You who determines what is good for you.

He is like the partner who doesn’t care how You feel. It’s just about his needs, but they’ll leave you confused with what is actually true.

They can’t control what You think, but once it’s said, if it threatens their ego, you pay. Dearly.

Sure, they look you in the eyes. But what comes from those eyes is dark. Threatening. They trigger fear. You freeze.

And they behave without a shred of empathy.

We learn about empathy and power and control in early childhood. Often we have to unlearn unhealthy patterns that we needed in childhood, to find increasing equanimity in the present moment in our relationships.

My specific story isn’t all that compelling to explain why I’m so triggered by folks who lead without empathy. Suffice to say I didn’t feel in control in places I needed control.

I know I’m not alone about how I think and feel, but I notice I spend more time wanting to talk about this than those around me.

I think in all our present relationships, we have to learn ways to create a balance, in which we each continually grow to feel and be fully ourselves. Respect. Equanimity.

I’m sure you are unsurprised to know I was similarly triggered by Trump. Just ask my family and friends (and clients..shhh).

It was always about feeling out of power. Out of control.

Putin has more power in this universe than my nervous system handles as well as I want it to. (Said from my privilege of safety). I mean, what does it help to stay triggered?

It doesn’t. We just want to be moved enough to do something. But more on that later.

Putin reminds me how vulnerable we all are to the forces of evil, power, and greed. The human condition. Reality. Just this is triggering.

And how the structures in place, like NATO, don’t suffice to put him in check. Not yet, anyway. Triggered, again.

I’m on my mat now. My breath is fuller and smoother than before I practiced (yoga and pranayama). My nervous system is quieter. I’m even feeling grateful (privilege of safety).

If you are triggered too, (and are safe to meet that with something different, meet yourself on your mat (or whatever that means for you).

Find what powers you have: take that deep, deliberate breath to tap into your peace-that alone is power. That stretch that reminds you that your muscles can walk you away from evil, and unkindness- that alone is power. And your voice of truth that says “No, that’s not kind. Please make your point kindly. Then I can hear you.” Power!

Or just to take space and figure out what’s next. Maybe a hot shower. A hot tea. Power despite the reality that there are things we can’t control (enter Serenity Prayer). So we pivot, and find our power.

Donate. Learn about history and how despots get in power. Vote in local elections. Support individual investigative journalists (check out Judd Legum and Jessica Yellin)! Support companies that don’t support candidates who don’t support democracy. And speak up (silence = complicity).

Meet yourself on your mat daily to reinforce the power and control of your inner peace. No one can take that from you.

I’ll meet you there.

#domesticviolence #powerandcontrol #putin #innerstrength #serenityprayer

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