Jane just bought the car; this was her first drive around the city. It sputtered, lurched, and then stalled. And night was rapidly approaching as were the storm clouds the weatherman had predicted.
The car mishap was out of Jane’s control. But how she reacted to the stress was in her control.
Each person faces a myriad of stresses each day. Some are small and warrant only a small acknowledgement from us; whereas others can really increase the heart rate and cause a heightened sense of awareness. Luckily, for most, those BIG stressful situations occur rarely.
Dr. Rajan Sankaran, a great Classical Homeopath, has concluded that people perceive situations in one of 10 ways. Their perceptions of the situation determine the action and reactions they take in response to the situation.
Sankaran, in his book Homeopathy for Today’s World, has determined that situation can be perceived as one of the following:
1. It is perceived as sudden and acute, and there is a desire to flee from the situation as if one’s life depends upon it.
2. It is perceived as suddenly critical, but if one made an immediate intense effort, he could regain his security.
3. It is perceived as a situation that can be worrying for him but never hopeless. The feeling is that life is a steady, ongoing struggle.
4. It is perceived as a situation that he sometimes tries to overcome and at other times just accepts.
5. It is perceived as s difficult situation by which he feels trapped and occasionally threatened.
6. It is perceived as a difficult situation, ensnaring but not life-threatening, and so he just accepts it and hides his problem, because it is a perceived weakness.
7. It is perceived as a situation in which time is short and there is a sense of being hemmed in and therefore a desire to break free before it is too late.
8. It is perceived as a situation that feels chaotic and out of control, and one has to stretch beyond one’s capacity to control it or restore order.
9. It is perceived as a sense of obvious disgust with oneself and the situation, in which the person chooses to preemptively distance himself from society, which makes him feel isolated.
10. It is perceived as a situation that seems impossible and hopeless, giving rise to a sense of impending destruction.
Based on Sankaran’s 10 perceptions, 10 different actions or reactions can occur (using the car breakdown as an example):
1. The situation calls for panic. I need to escape as soon as possible. I will abandon my car if necessary in order to get to a safer, less precarious area.
2. The situation is a crisis. I need to make an intense effort to solve it quickly. I will examine the car forcefully and determinedly, all the while rapidly pushing the buttons of my cellphone to immediately summon a towing company.
3. The situation presents a problem that is solvable. I will make an optimistic effort to solve it. I will carefully look for the cause of the breakdown, summon what I know about the workings of cars, and attempt to get the car going.
4. The possibility of my solving the situation is doubtful. I will likely attempt to solve it, give up, but then try again (alternating state). I will move around the car carefully, looking for the problem, while thinking, “Gosh, I really don’t know much about cars.” I’ll return to the driver’s seat feeling defeated, and then rouse myself to go out of the car and take another look in case I missed something.
5. This situation is harassing or persecuting. I feel unfortunate and am sure that such situations always happen to me. As I circle the car I am more occupied with such thoughts as, “If I weren’t so poor I could afford a better car,” or “If my husband loved me more he would see to it that things like this didn’t happen to me,” and so on.
6. The situation is for which I can do nothing. I will find another way (of getting home). I will make little or no attempt to examine the car, because after all, only mechanics know how to fix cars. I will immediately reach for my cellphone to call a towing company.
7. There is a very limited window of opportunity to solve this type of situation. In order to get the car working attain, I’ll be racing against time. I am acutely aware that darkness will be coming on, I am in an area that will become increasingly isolated as rush-hour traffic ebbs, and the towing companies will not be open much longer.
8. The situation just has to be solved, whatever it takes. I will apply superhuman effort to solve it, as if my life depended upon it. I will pop the hood, get tools from the trunk, and work determinedly, evening doing things that I am not strong enough or knowledgeable enough to undertake, regardless of such surrounding hazards as cars speeding by at close range or the pouring rain.
9. This type of situation is always very dangerous and difficult to solve. I think of all the reasons that it will be difficult or impossible to get a towing company to come all the way out here and fear that I will be forced to remain here, stranded, and at the mercy of criminals, wild animals or bad weather.
10. This type of situation is always totally hopeless and always makes me feel angry and frustrated. I am certain that when a car breaks down this badly it is beyond repair. The good feelings I had about the car are ruined because it is now just another unreliable car. I will feel like taking a hammer to the car, certain that I’ll have to junk it anyway.
How a person perceives a situation—and subsequently his/her reaction—has been instilled since birth (some believe since before birth, but for this discussion, we’ll say since birth).
Children learn using all their senses. Reaction patterns develop from what a child hears, sees, feels, tastes, and smells. Everyone and everything are teachers to the developing child. From these input patterns, the child’s mind begins to form thoughts about the world around him or her. Young children begin to make judgments about people, food, animals, etc. based on what they learn. Some of those judgments are to ensure safety of the child, such as learning that touching a hot stove will cause pain. The child learns one thing and often generalizes it to more than one thing, such as a fear of being bitten by bees becomes a fear of being outdoors because bees live in the outdoors.
And some perceptions of a child linger into adulthood. As a child, those thoughts needed to be present for survival (or perceived survival); but as an adult, the person is stronger, wiser and more able to take care of himself and to remove himself from threatening situations. However, many times adults do not know that the reaction patterns from childhood had impacted them throughout their life and are still impacting them today.
Let’s look at this with an example: Lisa was 4-years-old when she had been molested by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, Mike. To keep Lisa from telling anyone about the abuse, Mike took Lisa’s kitten and fed it to his boa constrictor. Lisa had to watch as the kitten was killed. Mike told her that if she told anyone about the abuse she was bad, and bad people would get fed to the snake.
As a 4-year-old, Lisa knew that her survival depended upon her being silent and good. She also believed that her survival was in the hands of Mike as he had the power to kill. So Lisa stopped talking and tried to be the perfect little angel. Her main fear, though, was of speaking because she didn’t want to be fed to the boa constrictor.
But even after the boa constrictor died, Lisa maintained the belief that Mike would kill her if she spoke or was bad. Her speech was delayed, as was her writing because she felt that writing might betray the secret and get her killed.
After a time Lisa began talking, but she kept the belief that Mike would kill her if she was bad. She tried to be the perfect child, and would cry all day at school if she had made Mike angry before school because she knew she would be killed when she returned home. There was no doubt in her mind that she would die after school.
Lisa’s perceptions throughout childhood and into adulthood were that the authority figure in her life (Mike) would kill her if she was bad or made him angry. Her perceptions of this then included everyone Lisa perceived as an authority figure, including God, her husband and her boss. She worked long and hard to not make her boss angry; she was a slave to an abusive husband because she felt her life depended upon it; and she tried and prayed for guidance from God to figure out what He wanted because she was sure He was going to strike her down any minute because she was a bad person.
The perceptions that Lisa held had started in her youth. Because they weren’t healed or changed at the time, the adult Lisa still believed that others held her life in their hands, and that if she were bad or made them angry, that her life would surely end instantly.
Oddly enough, the physical ailments Lisa described were of a “suffocative” and “squeezing” nature—as if she were having her life squeezed out of her (like a boa constrictor). Lisa had “squeezing headaches that felt like her head was being crushed” and asthma.
The homeopathic remedy given to Lisa was a homeopathic snake remedy that matched Lisa’s symptoms on both the physical and emotional plane. With time, Lisa was able to break out of her perceptions and free herself from the suffocative relationship and thought patterns that had been caused in her youth.
And now she laughs at her mistakes.
Being abused as a child and tormented with threats of being killed by Mike (via the snake) were out of Lisa’s control. Even the formation of the thought processes and perceptions were out of her control. But as an adult, Lisa realized she was unhappy and living in fear—and she did something about it. Realizing the connection between her current symptoms and her past events shed the light on what needed to be healed for Lisa to be happy. Luckily, homeopathy was available to her.
When a stressful event occurs, look at how you handle the situation, including what your reactions and actions are. What do they remind you of? Was there a situation in your past that reminds you of today? Is there an animal, plant, mineral or such that matches your feelings? If you are explosively angry, for example, do you feel like a volcano that lies dormant until aggravated then erupts? Do you feel like Butch and Sundance in their last gunfight? Do you feel like a king whose subjects want to dethrone you?
Think about it.
Learning to look beyond the reaction opens the doors to healing. Classical homeopathy can lend a hand.
Disclaimer: The information provided by Dr. Ronda Behnke Theys is for educational purposes only. It is important that you not make health decisions or stop any medication without first consulting your personal physician or health care provider.
Dr. Ronda Behnke Theys is a distinguished practitioner of Classical Homeopathy and other Natural Healing methods. As co-founder of The Homeopathic Centers of America, Dr. Ronda passes on what she has learned through her seminars, articles, books and when working with individuals. You can contact Dr. Ronda via the www.MyHCA.org or by calling 920-558-9806. For a FREE guide to help you along your healing path, visit the HCA website as noted above.