To something deeper, discernment. I follow Lilly Hope Lucario on Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD A journey to healing from complex trauma. The article I read is about turning hyper-vigilance into discernment.
For many people this is a sticky area because discernment has to do with judgement.
dis·cern·ment (dĭ-sûrn′mənt) n. 1. The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment. 2. Keenness of insight and judgment.
I believe it is our responsibility to make thoughtful considered judgements when interacting with people. I like Lilly’s perspective that hyper-vigilance is fear based, where as discernment is careful consideration and judging not only world but their deeds. I especially appreciate her comments about making judgements on what they don’t say and don’t do. My counselor explained that due to hyper-vigilance I respond to most situations with a knee jerk reaction without determining the why and red flags I am responding to. Judging someone else’s motivation is critical in my setting appropriate boundaries with different people.
An example might help, a couple of years ago I was working with a lady that appeared to be my friend. When I talked about some of the things that I was frustrated about, my sister pointed out that those things she did were not the behavior of a friendly person. I didn’t see it at the time. Later when the person left, I found out from other sources that what she was saying to my face and what she said when I wasn’t there were not the same. My frustration clued me in but I didn’t want to believe it because I thought I was judging harshly. Turned out I was judging accurately. I was sad that I misjudge this person as being friendly to me when she was actually using me. I felt sad. Friendship was a cloak used to hide less kind behaviors that she kept hidden.
I think hyper-vigilance is a first responder’s type of knee jerk this in an emergency you don’t have time to think just do. Avoiding a car wreck on the freeway because I see an idiot pull in front of me on the freeway. This is a needed response in a flash-bang situation. Discernment takes this to a deeper level of a thought out considered response soundly and carefully judging the persons words, actions or lack of actions in reference to how their behavior will affect me. After this judgement, making a plan of action that may involve adjusting my boundaries and counter actions to take care of myself. Discernment is healthy response to any situation that sound judgement is needed. Sometimes this means I am listening to hyper-vigilance waving a red flag over a situation. My counselor spent many sessions helping me to see the why behind my actions and the actions of others. Combining healthy judgement with healthy actions is the fruit of discernment.
Quick note: How do you get good judgement? By learning from bad judgement.