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Day 10 What if the person that causes me most stress is ... me?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by bur, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. bur

    bur New Member

    On day 10 of the program you are supposed to write a letter to someone or something that is causing you the most stress at this moment. I could not think of anybody but myself. I've never seen myself as anxious at all, but I've started to realize that I am.

    I can name events / people in the past (childhood) where I had cause to be anxious because it was not safe. I don't remember being anxious at these times though. I remember standing up to people and fighting for myself and I remember being angry or sad, but I don't recall ever being afraid.

    At this time in my life there is no external cause for being anxious. But more and more I discover that I often am anxious now. What's worse, I do it to myself. It is in my mind. It's not proportional to the situation either.

    So... I do not only cause my own physical pain (TMS). I also cause a lot of my own psychological suffering. That's just great. :banghead:

    I really don't know what to do about that.
    plum likes this.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    What an adorable post. :)

    It can be legitimately argued that every last one of us is the cause of our own suffering. What to do about it? Declutter and space-clear our mind and then make it beautiful. Easier said than done I know, but there is something reassuring about making our mind a home that feels nurturing and loving. For me it is ongoing and sometimes it leaves my true self feeling like The Prodical Son (only it was authenticity squandered not financial fortune).

    Still, the mind and body are where true belonging begins. I was never particularly anxious either, that came later. As did anger. These days I try to set a place at the table for all of my emotions, and it is a round table to boot.

    We can change our minds and ourselves. I like to hold that truth close and remind myself of it when the tendency to escalate descends due to giving idiotic people head-space. (I like to imagine a big burly bouncer hurling them out with an ear full of insults.)

    TMS =Bad use of imagination.

    Creating happy places in mind and heart = Good use of imagination.

    Plum x
    Elana likes this.
  3. bur

    bur New Member

    Thank you Plum. You've painted a lovely picture to aspire to!

    I've never thought of decluttering my mind before. It really suits me though. I know how powerful decluttering my home is when I feel overwhelmed. Even if I do not consciously notice it in my body, my home shows when I have too much on my plate. Suddenly something like putting the dishes in the dishwasher becomes too much trouble. When I make an effort and declutter, I instantly feel better. Less stuff in my house = feeling better in my home. I suspect this might be even more powerful if you can do it to your mind.

    I've been talking to a friend about this anxiety this evening. We came up with two things that might be helpful as well. I've used them before with the internal bully.

    The first is similar yet different from your round table:
    In the past I've used the image of a bus. In the back there is enough space for each and every part of me. My internal bully, the inner child, the mature adult and so on. They are all welcome to join the ride. But I decide who is in the driving seat.

    This was no final solution for the internal bully though. He kept fighting to be in the driving seat (or at least be navigator). I used to lay awake at night beating myself over the head about all the things I said and did wrong during the day until finally I could see how valuable he had been to me when I was a child. That was when I could thank him for all the hard work he did protecting me. I explained that I can protect myself now. He no longer needs to work so hard. He told him he deserves a rest and take a holiday without worrying about me. He left. I did not send him away, he chose to go. In my mind he is hanging out in a hammock at the Bahamas sipping cocktails. Sometimes something happens that really concerns him, which makes him race back to scream into my ear again. If this happens I often can reassure him quite easily so he'll go back to his hammock and cocktail. My inner bully has been on holiday for about 6 years now.

    Maybe I should try something similar with this anxiety thing. I'm not sure if it's too soon for that though. It would not be true if I said the same things. I'm not grateful at all. I do not see any use for anxiety. I don't feel like inviting it into the bus or to the round table either. I feel like throwing it off a cliff while saying "Now you've got something to be scared about!"

    So.... I guess there is something I need to learn first. My friend mentioned this Rumi poem about welcoming feelings, which right now is one of those things I know to be true, but don't want to admit just yet.
    Elana likes this.
  4. Elana

    Elana New Member

    I so much identify with this thread. . . I am working a lot at treating all the parts of myself with kindness and compassion. Even the uncomfortable messy bits. It is pretty difficult especially when somethin is giving you so much trouble. I can't say the throwing of a cliff thing sounds entirely unappealing. . .
    bur likes this.
  5. bur

    bur New Member

    Writing this sentence opened the door for me to welcome anxiety into my life. I took the time to journal a dialogue with anxiety that same evening. I guess I kind of talked to myself in my mind :cool: It may sound a little crazy, but it was extremely helpful to do such a dialogue. I asked what she wanted to tell me, I asked why she felt she needed to scream to do so, and so on. I kept asking questions until I knew the root cause for her screaming. I know why she does what she does en what she needs to relax.

    I guess this was the first time I took anxiety seriously by having a conversation with her. The result was quite unbelievable. My anxiety stopped screaming. There's still a lot more to be dealt with, but so far I consider this a huge success.

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