I’m sat on my bed, eating a bowl of porridge and jam and listening to Perry Como’s “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”. This makes me happy! My new arrival, Matt Haig’s “Notes on a Nervous Planet” has been started and is sitting beside me. I’m finishing this week in a place of NOT feeling anxious, which is sweet, sweet relief!
My question today for you to ponder is where is your self care, your self regard, your self love when you are worrying about someone else’s judgement and people pleasing. Why do you think you are doing it to your poor head and heart?
Wanting to make people happy is really nice. But there have to be boundaries with that and you have to genuinely feel happy too.
I want to tell you that whilst it might not seem it on the surface of things, I am one of the most anxious people you will meet. Like Matt Haig mentions in his book, I too over catastrophise. If my boyfriend isn’t on time at an agreed destination, I actually go full blown panic mode that perhaps he’s been hit by a car. If I can’t get through to my mum on the telephone for a couple of days, I strongly consider the possibility she’s in A&E and I might lose her. I’ve assumed too much responsibility for things NOT my responsibility in my life, and that’s where I think my anxiety comes in. I think I have to please everyone and I carry this feeling around with me that unless I am pliable and achieve that, I’m not loveable. It’s a ballache. It’s damage that created it and it’s definitely damaging carrying it.
I have been told since childhood that I am a worrier and during my growing up years, and still now is that dreaded, anxious, knotted pit in my tummy that I. have. upset. someone! A small breakthrough in this though- after years of replaying every single details, questioning over did I tell them this or that and what I could have said or done in my defence is THIS. It’s taken me until 36 to realise when worrying obsessively over someone who is either acting/telling me they are upset by me, that at the core of it and more importantly when I’ve really sat and thought about it, is a) I’ve definitely got more compassionate towards myself that I’m totally not perfect and that is very ok but b): breakthrough chaps, I’m not always sure I’ve been so happy with their behaviour towards me! Yet I couldn’t see that at the time as I was so obsessed and emotionally unwell, picking at wounds in my head that I should have done more, been more, behaved better and in certain really unhealthy situations just craving to be forgiven… This has been a lightbulb moment for me. My go to question in these moments now is to ask “How kind do I think this person is?” and it really helps and directs me. I always take accountability for my actions but also, I will take accountability and responsibility for things I didn’t to, in my need to please, and therefore sometimes be taken advantage of for that. My other go to consideration now, is that if a friendship is making me feel anxious, what dynamic is going on here that needs to be considered? I might make mistakes, but I am generally a very kind person and realise more and more that I need the kindness and compassion I give out to others, back.
I was worried recently I had upset friends because I took some time during November to pretty much be a hermit, except to honour pre existing arrangements but also just to rest during the week after several weekends on the go. (No one was upset with me id like to add- I just felt incredibly guilty). I felt exhausted, but my people pleasing mind and need to justify means I often provide too much detail to over compensate and probably over complicate matters! I then get paranoid that I have caused offence, whilst also knowing mentally and physically I just need my own time and to see out the arrangements also made. I am a work in progress you see!
People will have expectations you can’t meet and be disappointed- it does not mean you have done something wrong.
If you are in a situation or situations where you feel you have to justify your self to friends or family, where you become extremely anxious that you have upset them, where you feel the need to check in with them a lot and actually ask if you have upset them, this is likely to be partly just “who you are” but could also be a result of their controlling and passive aggressive behaviour (?) You are allowed to assert opinions, you are allowed to say no and you are allowed to make mistakes. If you are being punished by silence, or punished by behaviour, it might be time to positively review the dynamics, because it doesn’t necessarily sound how a healthy relationship as an adult should. Friendship is not about punishment that the one time you weren’t “good” you have to overcompensate with your peace of mind.
The truth of the matter is that you are love. I’ll say it again, you. are. love.
You weren’t born worrying, torturing yourself, trying to be good enough to others in worry that you aren’t enough and that you might not be loved anymore. So where did this need to torment yourself come from? (This is not to account blame but to look at it as useful foundations on which to build from). It’s upsetting to keep doing this and you deserve better. We all do! 🙂
A daily or consistent practise of self love has to be the most important thing.
I know at times, when having a bad day or a bad moment some of the positive expressions can seem a little cliched or far far away from the reality, but crikey at other times they have saved my frazzled overthinking mind. It really is the little things that matter, it’s the little things that make a difference and sure, my mind might start creating the noise when the anxiety starts but it’s intercepted now by my little back up stations! Its small but it’s a start! Here’s how I find my inner strength and am building on my self love:
-Positive content is really important, including what you absorb on Instagram, podcast and reading materials. On Instagram, the Shelf Help Book Club has been a beautiful little godsend. I take part virtually, but you can go to classes too. I am currently reading “The Kindness Method” by Sharod Izadi which I can’t wait to dive into!
-Reflective Journaling. Check out Project Love (https://loveprojectlove.com/) and their Hello 2019, Goodbye 2019 diary. I’m looking at my reflections during 2018, where I loved and learned the most and what I want to achieve and feel in 2019! Excited already!
-Kundalini yoga or just yoga in general. I’m planning to attend this group soon: https://www.joy.yoga/kundalini-classes/ Perhaps it’s not the best way to describe it, but attending here feels like when you were a kid and you’d hit the pillow in annoyance kind of relief! I leave feeling joy that I have come back to myself and can’t recommend it highly enough. Movement and getting out of your head sometimes is always good!
-Pranic healing- restoring and cleansing negative energy from your Chakras. A bit like Reiki, I had my first healing yesterday. Unsure what I fully thought but willing to try it again!
-Wellness events: weekends entirely to focus on you! Check out Soul Circus in Cotswolds, https://www.soulcircus.yoga/ The Big Retreat (never been, looks and sounds awesome!) https://www.thebigretreatwales.co.uk/ (And check out my blog post on Soul Circus which was one of my highlights of 2018 and my year of finding a better level of emotional wellness!)
-Quality friends and family. “You can’t choose your family”, except you can and you are not obligated to anyone who makes you feel bad. You can totally back off from anyone or any situation that doesn’t serve you if you feel you need to. This is about protecting your own energy and that is worth it! I got lucky and I found some amazing friends who repeated love love love back to me. Whatever I said, they didn’t absorb the crazy of it, or help me dissect the lunacy of it, they just showed me love. If I came on too strong, these amazing beings hung on with their own strong boundaries, and showed me love again. Learn your own boundaries so you don’t take more than what you give to them- seek counselling if you need to. I learned so much.
Loving who we are and finding the soul of who we are repeats to a similar blog post I’ve written before, but it’s so true.
It is one short life and you deserve to be so so happy and connect to the joy and love of who you are. Where this has been damaged somehow, it is yours to reclaim it, with self kindness and love all the way! The question is, how and do you choose to? No one says you have to be perfect- you can’t be, because none of us are!! But it’s about you being kind and loving you more than anyone else 🙂
Learn to be, like and love you! You are good enough.