Flames of Pain


Last weekend while enjoying a seaside cocktail just before sunset I witnessed an argument between a couple. The flames of the fight flickered, then became engulfed – swearing, blaming, raising of voices, shaming, punishing, and eventually abandoning occurred. It was sad to observe, and I was reminded of my younger self.

We all have a choice in how we react to triggers and how willing we are to participate in the process of being scorched. Encounters like this, whether observed or experienced, afford learning opportunities for self-awareness. Imagine that fire inside burns stronger and hotter with every trigger, with every infuriation. Without tending to that fire within, momentum builds and simmers like soot ready to reignite when provoked and prodded at, when triggered.

This situation reminded me of what happens when we get lost in feelings and aren’t sure what we need. It’s easy to become reactive. The hard truth is, much of our emotional reactivity – our flames, our rage, are cries of unmet needs, often stemming from inner child or adult wounding (or both) that have not been acknowledged, soothed, and validated. SALT practices work to help tame our inner rage and better regulate our emotions.

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