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If the thought of “too close, too crowded, too clingy” makes your chest tighten, it might be a tell-tale sign of enmeshment somewhere in your past. Add to that a pounding heart and slight difficulty breathing…and oh, my!…a full-blown fear of engulfment may be lurking beneath your yellow brick road. Call me crazy…but I’m pretty sure I know what I’m talking about. And if you’ll give me just a minute to catch my breath…I’ll be more than happy to explain.

Maybe you need a minute to catch your breath, too. Plus a reminder that this is now (not then) and you are here (not there). It’s likely that you already know this, but sometimes we {I mean, I} forget. Especially when I’m in the middle of reacting in a way that’s completely out of proportion to the actual situation…which is exactly why it’s wise to take a minute to realize what’s really going on. Because…{still trying to catch my breath here}…the truth of the matter is that there’s a perfectly logical explanation for such a gut-level, irrational response. It’s a reflex, after all. And by that, I mean a cellular-level reflex.

It’s completely natural to respond illogically to phantom fears still hanging around since who-knows-when, wreaking havoc in our otherwise carefully constructed adult worlds. These reactions are imprinted, or stamped, into our hearts, minds, and bodies. And, as we all know from stories of cute little goslings, imprinted behavior doesn’t always follow the norm. {No pun intended.} Scientists tell us that imprinted behavior is the result of a survival instinct that causes us to follow the lead of the most present and prevalent influence during our most impressional stages of learning or most sensitive phases development. And suddenly…guess what? I can breathe a little easier just by reminding myself of a scientific fact that makes perfect sense to me.

See? I told ya. There’s a reason our behavior often makes no sense to our conscious, intellectual, trying-our-dead-level-best-to-be-a-highly-functioning-dysfunctional-adult rationale. And there’s nothing crazy about it. So there you go, folks. That’s all I got. Hope it helps. Maybe we’ll pick up there next week. Maybe not. Honestly, it all depends on how things are going…you know, in terms of cellular reactions to phantom fears and catching my breath. Oh, my! So stay tuned. No telling where the yellow brick road will take us next.

Til then…as always,

Love Julie