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Fear During The Coronavirus Pandemic

By: Richard Boyd Copyright © 2020 March 24, 2020 no comments

Fear During The Coronavirus Pandemic

The loss of and search for safety

We are all living a moment in modern history that we each will remember for the rest of this lifetime. Regardless of your beliefs around COVID-19, it has affected global consciousness and society in ways few thought possible even a month ago.

Events like Pandemics reach deep into our psyche and touch ancient instinctual places around safety and threat.  For much of mankind’s existence we have basically lived in survival thinking and adopted safety making strategies to guarantee our basic survival needs.

It is a relatively new era where mankind collectively had largely overcome day to day survival need thinking and instead started to have fun, play and explore the world and what we have invented in our world. Many have not had to face real threat in this lifetime, and so are largely unprepared or experienced to deal with a circumstance such as a Pandemic, or their own inner stirred up turmoil and anxiety as they collapse back into survival level thinking and reactive behaviours.

The Team at Energetics Institute in Perth is here to provide COVID-19 Counselling Services to all our followers online.
We will be facilitating this through Online Therapy.
Our unique blend of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Body Psychotherapy is very effective in treating many conditions as we help you alleviate your issues emotionally, mentally and physically.

Find out how we can help you with your COVID-19 Anxiety today

Snakes and Ladders

We each play out our personal state of safety like a game of “snakes and ladders”. Most of us have played this board game where by rolling a dice you move across the board, and landing on a space at the foot of a ladder, sees you advance upwards, and landing on the head of a snake, sees you slide downwards.

Ladders are akin to a realization of safety within consciousness that triggers elevated behaviours like fun, play and exploration. Snakes are perceived or real threats which trigger a collapse of safety and a retreat or falling backwards to a lower state of survival consciousness.

There is a progressive series of safety making strategies built into the brain and psyche of each of us. The foundational state of getting safe is stage 1 which is in self isolation.  Our brain upon waking has to ask a question “am I safe ?” to which the answer “yes” means that we are free to advance towards the next Stage 2 strategy which I will further down in this article.

Stage 1 Safety

Stage 1 safety making will be self based with rituals such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), hoarding, isolating and withdrawing into a safe space, sleeping, ritual enactments, superstition charm wearing, and arming oneself with supplies or weapons in lockdown. The COVID-19 isolation is a stage 1 strategy.

Some traumatized people spend a large part of their day resourcing themselves up to attain Stage 1 safety. Some never feel safe and live more or less in reaction and safety making activation much of the day. They may resort to connecting with safe objects such as animals, angels, spirits, or withdraw into fantasy via books or digital media, or go online and socialize from that safe anonymous place behind a keyboard.

Stage 1 safety making is a solitary strategy involving only yourself to a large extent. It is the ground zero that for some they are unable to transcend and they are trapped in a solitary safety prison where they are both the jailed and the jailor.

The Corona shopping centre behaviours are classic Stage 1 and Stage 2 safety behaviours that focus on “me, me, me”, and such persons engage in irrational and emotional behaviours such as hoarding toilet paper and other useless items. A degree of mimicking also occurs here as even though many might not show up at the shopping centre wanting toilet paper, they react to the idea that others are grabbing them, and think maybe I am missing out on something I do not know, so they join the herd behavior of the group and panic buy from an anxious place.

If a person feels safe enough to satisfy Stage 1 safety, then the instinctual drive in humans is to move towards others, which is what is called the “herd instinct”. The strategy is there is safety in the herd or in a group as there exists more resources, protection, information and support than what one can find in isolation.

Stage 2 Safety

The only problem is the question needs to be asked “is the group safe to enter and participate in ?”  This is the proximity question of Stage 2 safety making, and unless the answer is “yes” then the person will hang around the edge of the group, not commit to the group, and control others in interaction as part of their social engagement strategy. This gives the Stage 2 person a degree of shared protection and resources, but their over-riding trust issues mean they have defences against becoming vulnerable to group members, or disclosing anything meaningful to the group.

In the shopping centre a Stage 2 person may mingle and even engage with others, but it is with a strategy of self gain, and there is no compassion or consideration for others. They may steal, bully or threaten others to get what they have obtained, and be merciless in barging through the pack to get what they want. Stage 2 Safety personalities often use aggression as their safety making strategy.

Stage 3 Safety

If a person feels safe with the group and does not have trust issues, then they will have the impulse to transcend to Stage 3 where group contact and communication is the level of safe social engagement. Here the person feels safe to make contact, socialize, relax and have fun, participate and give and take in equal measure.

This socialization capability sees them accepted at a deeper level and comes about as the person has empathy and compassion for others, has emotional intelligence to be able to satisfy the Self but not by exploiting or controlling others in order to do so. They have a strategy of bonding to others in order to prevent abandonment by the group or herd and so may give a lot to others so as to setup a dynamic of being invaluable, and therefore safe in the group.

Stage 4 Safety

Stage 4 is a subtle shift from Stage 3 and involves the ability to transcend from conditional giving towards unconditional giving.  It represents a deep sense of safety that unlocks a strong sense of self and other engagement and consciousness. It represents the ability to practice inter-dependency and the flexible capability to be situational in many contexts where the underlying sense of safety remains unshaken. Such a person will model good boundaries and can take informed risk as typically they are a conscious leader.

A person who has transcended to stages 2 – 4 can fragment and collapse back to the foundational Stage 1 safety making, normally in the face of a trigger or a threat. As each successive Stage represents a higher stage of safety then each stage normally marks a higher resilience factor in terms of what a person can stay present to without fragmenting. The collapse can be quick and the climbing of safety stages can then also be a quick progression for the affected person, but some triggers may represent a threat that floors the person for hours, days or weeks.

Importance of Trauma Resolution

People who have unresolved trauma or PTSD are prone to having triggers that cause such a collapse. Traumatized people may typically operate in Stages 1 and 2 a lot of the time, but may suffer safety triggers that create manifesting panic attacks or trauma re-enactments.

The current COVID-19 crisis represents a real threat to everyone regardless of which stage they normally operate at. However not everyone perceives the threat as real for them, or they have the resilience to not let it affect their daily sense of safety, and Stage level 3 and 4 types are more likely to get on with life without it affecting their felt sense of safety.

It is the people who are already anxious, fearful, and compromised by struggling to attain or remain in Stage 2 who will become triggered, along with Stage 1 persons who are often struggling day-to-day already, whom may go into overwhelm at this global threat stalking them now.

The best way to advance up the Safety Stages is to do trauma resolution work on your traumas, fears and anxieties, so your base Safety Stage evolves upwards, and you resolve triggers that may be fragmenting and collapsing in your day-to-day life.

You can’t change the threats that show up in our world but we can change our response to them. If this article makes you feel uneasy or you simply would like to talk to someone, please contact us today from anywhere in the world.

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