The Problem With Fault Lines

Living in Southern California, the reality of the fault line is ever present yet it fades into the background.  Then Japan happens and reminds you that you live on a sleeping time bomb.  We remember that we live in a world where a huge ‘ring of fire’ exists where one section of earth is thrust under the other section.  It causes huge rifts, where molten earth boils up and spews out from deep inside the earth’s core.

Interestingly enough, Mayan prophecies – which have gained so much attention with the approach of 2012 – calls for an end of this long count of time that ends on Dec. 21, 2012 with earthquakes.  In other words, the violent domination of one piece of land by another is what helps bring about the end of this age and the birth of a new age.

That started me thinking, particularly after a busy few weeks of reading for people.  Something that came up often enough to note is the ‘right/wrong’ discussion.  With so much personal and professional upheaval happening – it is playing out in much the same way as the earthquakes.  One person forces a point of view down another’s throat, often accompanied by rage, verbal torrents and shock waves through the relationship.  The one with the most force comes out on top but to a much different landscape than the one they started with at the beginning of the argument.   The lines in their hands can even point to this – the personal ‘fault lines’.

In geography, the land around an earthquake takes generations to recover.  I suspect the truth is valid for those seismic emotional eruptions as well.  Whether you are the winner or the loser, you have scorched earth and debris for company, possibly for longer than you might like.

In times of serious change, the old ways of doing things don’t seem to work as well, or in some cases, don’t work at all.  So stress becomes a constant companion as you struggle to decide what to do next.  Anger helps move people out of fear and into a place that feels more powerful.  Which might be why we see more of it erupting in unlikely places.  People with heart lines that curve up are more likely to explode versus implode.  Whereas the straight heart lines often find themselves dominated and forced to give way to the onslaught from another.

Interestingly enough, a study at Ohio State pointed up the fact that people chose stories (men more than women) to help fuel their anger when they thought they could retaliate for uncomplimentary comments on their competence.  They wanted to ‘fuel the fire’ so to speak so they could dominate the person who offended them.  (Would love to have seen their hands!)

But when the people didn’t think they could do anything about it, they didn’t need to read things to keep them angry.  In other words, stoking the anger was a way to shift out of fear or pain by retaliating against what caused it.  It is an unconscious way of dealing with the trauma.

Knowing that, what if we consciously use anger to help put a healthy boundary down in our minds about what we are going to protect in our lives.  Rather than operating in the automatic trigger, which is what shows up in those brutal showdowns, what if we rewire our brains so that we can reroute the feelings before channeling them down the anger and upheaval path?

Whether your heart line curves up or lies flat, you can rewire your brain to help take the grinding pressure out of the conflict.  With short heart lines, ones that end under the middle finger, whether curved or straight, the default is blaming themselves first and then getting defensive.  With longer heart lines, curved or straight, the first instinct is to see the fault in others and then go to defensive behavior.  The straight lines withdraw or defer their feelings more often than not, allowing the curved lines to dominate.

One is no more right than the other.  Because the thought pattern is still who’s right and who’s wrong.  In other words – whose fault is it?  What if the brain is retrained to see it in terms of what is MY lesson rather than right or wrong.  The power in taking responsibility and asking what you can gain from the situation is tremendous – think of redirecting the 9.0 magnitude of Japan’s earthquake into something more constructive.

When you take the right/wrong fault out of the equation, everyone wins.  But first you have to be willing to surrender all faults!  Make it a no fault zone and see what happens.  Who knows what is possible when we get to that place on earth…Hmmm?

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