I sometimes have a thought something like ‘ oh everything is chaotic, it’s scary, and I’m barely coping’. I also have the thought often that ‘life is going very well for me, I have a better relationship with myself, and doing better than ever in many areas’. Which one is true? Well I think it’s which one I believe. And I notice that the first type of thought leads me to feeling ill at ease. The second one to being at peace with life as it is.
It’s so interesting that how we frame things can lead to such different outcomes of feelings, even if the actual circumstances are identical. Is it a choice that we have, how we frame things in our minds?
How to manage these fearful thoughts as they arise has been a lifelong journey for me, one which I’m still on. I have noticed that when I try and push away those sorts of thoughts, or feelings of fear that arise once I have believe those kinds of thoughts, then I experience even more suffering. If I instead choose to be kind to myself and comfort and allow those feelings to arise and then let them go off on their way, I can ride the waves more easily. I see these as waves, arising and disappearing, arising and disappearing over and over. One minute it’s fear, next minute it’s a joyful feeling and positive thought.
This morning I’m sitting here alone. I have a little Easter lunch party next door with the neighbours churchy friends and feel relaxed about that. I’m supposed to be going to the guy I went out with for a couple dates to his house for dinner this evening. He asked me over when we were over on Friday night and hasn’t mentioned it or confirmed and I find that I have some anxiety starting to arise about that. Has he forgotten because he had been drinking when he asked? How do I feel about that, how do I respond, do I even respond? The mind loves making a drama out of something that isn’t even an actual problem yet! (Later- he cancelled due to having cold).
It’s been 5 years since I had a relationship and I do feel a little anxious about this one developing. We both like each other, but I have some fear arising. Such as ‘what demons might he be hiding?’ This is simply because that’s what I experienced in both my previous relationships, I dived right in with trust only to find major inner dysfuntionality in both. So you see how my fear can run away with me if I allow them. I understand now that by now cherishing myself I was attracted to others who would not cherish me. If you don’t love yourself it’s near impossible to let another love you.
The other way of framing this is that it is an adventure into the unknown, I trust and love myself a lot more now so not prone to attracting abusive relationships. He will probably get in touch about tonight today and if he doesn’t, well maybe he explains or I drop him. I’m safe and well and happy with life as it is, there is no problem. It’s a totally different way of framing the same situation and it feels a lot kinder to myself, stronger.
Now that I do love and cherish myself more I’m ready to allow another to also. This is so very new to me!
I’ve moved away from the idea that I need to fix myself, and instead think of it more as one big navigation learning experience. Navigating the ups and downs. And also for those of us like me who have been more accustomed to regularly returning to a habitual struggle, to start to welcome the peaceful, stable and joyful times, allow them to remain a little longer. To start expecting the best instead of being braced for the worst.