I and Me
Well isn’t this just the day of all days?
I’ve been trying to avoid the use of I, me or my during these past reflections in an effort to make it explorable for the reader, not needing to understand who the writer is. Part of this effort is to challenge myself to provide something for anyone in a particular state, and in this imagining I honestly am just looking at myself in the past and trying to offer insight I wish someone had provided to me in such times.
Honestly, I feel like I would have met a lot of this with hostility or challenge. It’s not easy to accept what someone else is providing to you, especially if you’re not willing to try things on and take them for a test drive. But I digress and just wanted to offer a bit of perspective.
Fear, not an easy subject to broach, as it has so many connotations and brings with it a wide array of emotions. There are techniques people can be educated on how to detach emotions from experience (from “what happened”) and that exploration is something worth such, but for most of us, a large part of our decision and choice making process is dictated by fear. One thing working against us in fear, is the tendency for us to withhold from the world, those we love, those who love us, our fears. In this state, we are not creating workability though, we are isolating which pushes us further into fear.
Our biology is a tricky mix, in a different environment and lifestyle it served us well and its reaction to fear is well founded in said environments (large cat chasing you, tree about to fall on you..). However in this day and age, having someone say something about the way you look should not cause the biology to react as if it’s the same thing. It’s not, but the shot of adrenaline and cortisol is still there, our fight or flight mechanism kicks in and we’re sitting there as if our life was in danger.
With that being understood, and understanding being a mechanism by which to strive to grow beyond, what can we do with fear, how do we manage it, what is it we have the opportunity for?
In a mature relationship, with an understanding of the self, it is not outside the realm of possibility to expect the articulation of fear to be the first step. For how can we know what we need to do, or how to deal with a fear shared in another party (again though articulation or more communication is key to help prevent fears in the first place) without it? Now, communication is a whole other point of discussion, just as feedback can be constructive or destructive, but the point is being effective in your articulation is important.
A key piece of this is your understanding of your state of being, why you believe you feel the way you do, rather than just feeling the way you do, the fear.
The next is how best to articulate it to the other party(ies) and develop a relationship with that. What is your method for communication, how do we ensure that fear is not just transferred into the other? This circles back to safety (again another topic for exploration) and ensuring there is safety in the approach, that doesn’t mean it won’t be uncomfortable, just that we need to feel safe to share. This can be offset with structure and certainty, that the person communicating will always be heard, will always be respected, will always face a lack of judgement, etc.
Finally the follow up, a request, this is similar to Non-Violent Communication (again another topic) where the structure and way you articulate is important as it provides the opportunity for solution, in many cases the resolution is within the self, but the support structure to manage it doesn’t need to be. Like you said, sometimes give me 30 minutes to chill out, is that structure. The request though doesn’t have to be thrust, it could be just for understanding, or continued communication. But understanding you don’t want to exist in the fear, the only thing left is to take action in or on it.
Now, though, where are our fears, what can be done, how do we face them? Do we need to? Can we possibly? Do we want to?
That’s left for you to decide, but in taking even the smallest of steps, it takes us down the longest of roads.
Though we may feel certain ways and emotions come and go, in all of your journeys remember your reflections, bask in a way to become grounded and continue your growth, for it ALWAYS pays off.
You are not who you pretend to be, and are not what others expect of you. You are you, what others see is a reflection of that, and can be nothing more, nothing less. And we are but mirrors to others, picking up and putting on what they do, so be careful who you are a mirror for.
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