10.12.2018 = Compromising

Today is one of those days when I am quite angry of myself because I am still allowing my fears to control my life and behavior. I still have a problem defending my opinion and expressing things important to me. From one point I am trying to be peacemaker even if I see sometimes I will not benefit from that but still because of fear I do it.  From another point there are people who just express whatever dissatisfaction they have without caring about the outcome or considering how other person would feel. And the thought that I am compromising my life because of these kind of people makes me angry. Angry that I am not able to fully step up for myself and I treat myself as a less equal.

But maybe it is good to have a bit of an anger inside because it gives me a kick to push myself further. To just have more and more confidence to not allow fear to control me and to be one more step closer to reach my full potential. I am for sure on the way to have a better self understanding but moments like that when I just compromise too much where I should not have raises a bit of a frustration. So today I will use it to my advantage to not forget and keep moving forward because no one deserves to compromise too much of their own life and happiness. For some it comes naturally but for some like me I need to practice it until I make it.

Remember how much of yourself you are compromising to meet the approval of others. Twisting your personality until it breaks completely. Rachel Wolchin

09.12.2018 = Self – compassion

Do we have enough compassion and understanding towards ourselves? Or it is just better to let some things go and let it be even though we would compromise something just to avoid some conflicts. Especially when around the corner is Christmas and lots of celebrations it so easy to just forget who deserves first the most of your compassion.

I know how great it feels to help someone and bring joy to them. However, sometimes maybe it brings more pressure than joy. Pressure to give the “right” gift to a family member, to plan enough time for everyone or just to not disappoint a friend. And the list goes on especially when there is also a personal relationship involved. So in this case I need to have enough compassion towards my partner so I would not look like I care less about this person. And all of this can be really stressful especially for those who are struggling with social anxiety and fear of judgment. It is so easy to get lost in this circle where you are not included.

So this time of the year I ask you to give yourself a special gift – compassion. Compassion towards yourself, love yourself and to be understanding of all the good and bad moments. No matter how stressful you are feeling try to come back to yourself and start building again your circle but now first including yourself. And to have a happy you is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and then to others.

Self – compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. Christopher Germer

 

05.12.2018 = Practice

I have recently started to notice that my practice of speaking up and just doing things which have made me really uncomfortable for many years has been finally working. To finally starting to believe in results and seeing that I can overcome myself has taken me over 1 year and it is definitely an ongoing process. But to see that I can look over my fears and step by step express my true self strengthens my hope that it is possible to be free. Free as I have always wanted to be but did not dare to be. 

Therefore, today I am grateful that I was able to start my journey of practice and no matter how hard or scary it has been I still have managed to push through and move forward. With the practice also came better understanding on how my mind and emotions function. What are the triggers for anxiety and my fears and how to better reduce them. And after each time I pushed myself I realized that actually it is not that terrible and I can do it next time again.

So today I can say that it is true that only by practicing things which make us afraid and uncomfortable will help us overcome them. With time it will get easier and fears will slowly decrease and one day they will be so quiet that you will be living in peace with yourself. Note that practice period for each person is different so do not be discouraged by how long it takes and just push through – because you deserve to be free.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Mark Twain

03.12.2018 = Be grateful

The most wonderful time of the year is here – magical Christmas time. This December I have decided to write short thank you letters and share some nice experiences in order to be more grateful and inspired to work more on myself and just to appreciate where I am now and how times have changed comparing to some years ago and even last year. I can say that this December I am at much more better place personally and professionally I have not been for a long time. So today I am thankful for believing in myself and not losing my hope that one day it will get better and I have all what it takes to follow my dreams. I am grateful that I am able to finally learn to be good and compassionate first to myself. I am grateful and thankful for all the lessons and people I have met and I am taking them with myself so together with practice I can keep moving forward.

Even though it is important to have a hope for brighter future, it is also important to live in the present. To enjoy the moment with loved ones or sometimes just being alone. I was thinking about it few weeks ago and I came to conclusion that I have most of the time just lived for the future. I did not enjoy my present when I should have and I would say I even was angry at it. So for the next year I am promising to myself not only be more grateful but also live more in the present. Because tomorrow will be another day and it will not be possible to relive that missed present again.

If you live in fear of the future because of what happened in your past, you will end up losing what you have in the present. Nishan Panwar

Strength

I have been reading a book about understanding social anxiety and one of its chapters described how people with social anxiety do not recognize their strengths and the first thought that comes in their mind is their flaws and weaknesses. And once asked to say what are their strengths it is somehow harder to do it. While reading this I was trying to do that for myself but there I was a bit stuck and unable to clearly say what my strengths are. But immediately I was able to say what I thought was wrong with me and which weaknesses I had. Then I realized that because of this first reaction and instant self-doubt I am thinking that I do not deserve anything better I just need to settle for something even if I do not feel that it is the best fit for me. Why I should speak up and ask for what I want if I do not think I am good enough? It is just an unnecessary action and anyway I will be not able to have what I want.

But before I had never thought that maybe I do deserve and I have a right to freely say what I want without feeling guilty or afraid. Even though I am practicing this approach more and more in my daily communication there are moments where it is harder then I thought. Mostly when I know what I want will be different from the other person and that it could lead to a disappointment or maybe an argument. And here I still sometimes sell myself short and put my opinion second and maybe even decide to not express it. This is what I need to learn a bit more and take step by step because before always the first thought was no I cannot and to change that takes time. Only while practicing again and again I will be able to feel more secure about my decisions because that is what matters to me.

So in order to think how weak I am because of these few times I did not speak up I will say that it takes a strong person to overcome self built prison and really move forward with a change for the better. And this is one of the biggest strengths I have. We all deserve the best for us no matter how hard it can sometimes get.

The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about. Jonathan Harnisch

Reactions

The chaos inside me for now has been decreased and silenced. However, still some rushing thoughts remind me of those days. And so my rational thinking is stepping in and I am being able to better evaluate my behavior and to decrease irrational fears. It also helps better keep calm before speaking up for myself and expressing my thoughts even if they would differ from someone else. Even though in silence I have always had an opinion but saying it loudly was not my strongest ability and somehow scary.

During my practice of speaking up and having different opinions I realized that for some people and even for some family members it was not considered as a positive trend. Even though they seemed to be fine with me before now when I had something to say it was different. I could feel some distance from them because I was always the one saying yes, agreeing on most of the things and always supporting them even if I thought it was not such a good idea. So they got used to my old behavior and now when I am trying to speak up it is something strange and unusual. I am not validating their behavior and putting them first as it was before.

I started to notice this pattern recently and it made me feel quite strange and also somehow lonely. Since I have used to seek validation from others and not being judged it was quite sad to receive such a different reactions and especially from family. I have always thought that family should stick up for each other and support each other no matter what. But from another point I should not be surprised because for the most of the time it has been about them and supporting them no matter what. And I would do that again but now with more respect towards myself.

It also explains my question why I had so many unsuccessful relationships with others. I have always thought that it is better to be silence and it is easier to say yes. Then I would have no disagreements and people would just like me. But it do not guarantee that it is the right relationship, that it will be good also for me. So now when I am receiving such a different reactions I am grateful for that even though I am feeling sad. Because now I can clearly see who is there for me no matter what and this gives me a motivation to try to speak up more and to not be afraid so much of others. Even more it gives me a hope that one day I will be able to be free as it was meant to be for me.

I know it can be really scary and sometimes too hard but no matter what reactions you receive do not be afraid to speak up because only by doing so you can understand for yourself who is there to stay and who is there to go for the best.

Speak up, because the day you don’t speak up for the things that matter to you is the day your freedom truly ends.

The Body Keeps the Score

I am currently finishing an amazing book which has helped me to understand better why I am the way I are. Why I have some parts of me which I would like to forget and leave it in a past – fearful, silent and closed. At some point sometimes too fearful that I am not able to open up and be in a healthy relationship not only with people around but also with myself.

The book is by Bessel van der Kolk M.D “The Body Keeps the Score” – where the author detailed describes how the trauma stays locked in the body and where it all begins starting from our brain and how the aftermath of a trauma can be better understood and treated.

One year ago through a therapy I started my journey of understanding and overcoming myself. However, I was not completely able to understand why I have certain body reactions when I need to interact with people and why it is so hard to keep calm inside and not go into anxiety mode. Was there something more that I have not thought about. I got some explanations during my sessions as well but still I had some missing pieces. I asked my therapist And so I accidently found in the internet this book and I bought it. After I received it I started to read chapter by chapter and my missing pieces slowly were coming together and I could finally start to answer my question – why? It was so fascinating to read how the body locks the trauma and fear inside it and how any trigger can bring me to a mode of war inside myself and feeling again the same fear and just shutting down.

I am still on the way to learn how to deal with my emotions and saying my body – it is ok there is not anymore reason to feel afraid. That part of my life is past, however, I know it still remembers and that is why it is so hard to release and move on. But thanks to the book I have much greater understanding and compassion towards myself. The following quote just perfectly describes who I lost during my times in the darkness.

We can hardly bear to look. The shadow may carry the beast of the life we have not lived. Go into the basement, the attic, the refused bin. Find gold there. Find an animal who has not been fed or watered. It is you!! This neglected, exiled animal, hungry for attention, is a part of your self. – Marion Woodman –