I have shared before that I am trying to learn how to “be” with my feelings. I am trying not to analyze them or avoid them. My therapist advised me to do this years ago, but it doesn’t come naturally for me. Who wants to sits around feeling “bad” for days or weeks on end?
For whatever reason, this is what I have felt drawn to do this time around. I have been in a cocooning place, not really wanting much interaction with the outside world. That’s unusual for me because I am a social person. While I do need “me time,” I also draw energy from connecting with other people. However, for the past few weeks, I haven’t been calling many people. I have withdrawn into my shell.
I actually saw some results from this over the past couple of days. Wednesday was less hard. I guess that’s the best way to word it. It felt like I had been carrying weights for a long time, and now some of the weights had been removed. I didn’t feel “good” or “happy.” It just felt “less hard.” I was appreciative of that.
Thursday was even better. I felt “lighter” and more present. I noticed more things around me when I went to the gym and otherwise went about my day. I actually felt like connecting with other people. I called my sister and had lunch with a friend. I was amazed that I actually felt this way, especially with the holidays so close. I am typically getting “worse” by now, not better. I have been trying to observe all of this without analyzing it, which isn’t easy for me.
Sadly, that place did not last. As I engaged in the world again, I found myself getting triggered a lot. I guess that is to be expected at this time of year for me. I am very sensitive to anything that can in any way be construed as criticism at this time of year. I am also very sensitive to other people’s energies, so I can “feel” other people’s negativity.
Perhaps this is a normal part of reengaging in society after disengaging for so long. Again, I am trying not to analyze it, but old habits die hard. I am also trying not to react but just “to be.” I am trying to let go of my own negative reactions to other people’s negativity, and I can see progress there as well.
One piece of self-analysis I was unable to avoid was connecting that I think I am sensitive to other people’s criticism (as I perceive it – I doubt any of these people intended criticism) because I am already working so, so hard through my stuff right now. As Michael shared before, there is no public acknowledgement for all of the hard work I have been doing. I don’t need a to-do list of more changes I need to make. I need to honor how far I have come and don’t need anyone else giving me more to change.
Photo credit: Hekatekris