Are you a worrier? Or are you close to someone who worries about you? Are you familiar with people who have to know you're OK by asking you to check in: "Phone me when you get there". My mother was one of those. When I first left home, she'd request a check in after any long car journey I made. It always slightly confused me because I'd been living away from home for quite a while so there was a lot of stuff I'd do, which Mum wouldn't be aware of. So why this sudden need to know where I was when I got into a car? In the end, in order to become a bona fide independent adult, I managed to break this habit of hers, but it did get me thinking. Why do we worry about people in normal situations? It's not something I've really done. I assume people will be OK unless I have a good reason to feel otherwise. Those who do the worrying will tell you it's because they care and it's a loving thing to do for someone. And if someone is happy to text or call when they arrive at a situation, then so be it. But one day, I forgot to call my mother. I just got sidetracked by life, no big deal. But when I finally did call, all hell broke loose; it was out of character for me not to call, so she'd assumed the worst. I think she may have even called the police or been just about to. Now, it seems to me to be a fear based response, there's some kind of fear about the other person's safety that no amount of being careful is going to remove. And maybe there's also a lack of trust in their ability to "be OK". Recently, someone new in my life asked me to text when I got home and I had to remind him that I been successfully getting myself home for the last 20 years with a 100% success rate. So does this worrying actually do us any good? Well the incident when I forgot to phone home clearly didn't do my mother any good. She had a traumatic evening stressing over all the terrible things that might have befallen her daughter. None of it did me any good because I had to check in whenever I went anywhere, which was a real hassle before we all had mobile phones. I also felt that it was being assumed that I couldn't look after myself. So what is the alternative? Well, obviously not to worry. But that's probably like saying to a chocoholic, just don't have a choc bar. So to make it easier, try asking yourself how likely it is that the worst case scenario is going to happen. Also, consider that most of us carry mobile phones these days, so we can call for help pretty easily if something does go wrong. And finally, note that we cannot change the outcome by worrying about someone. If they're going to be OK, then it's pointless to worry, and if they're not going to be OK, it's actually equally pointless to worry. Worry itself is a thought process not an action process. And if this still doesn't help curb your worry tendencies, ask an angel to protect them and let it go.
Self awareness is a subject I've been pursuing for a while now. I still remember how it felt back in my past when my self-awareness was much lower, and indeed, I can look back at my journals in amazement at my rather strange perspective on the world. But in spite of this, I have to acknowledge that I used to look at the world from a very different place from where I am now. I used to take things personally, I used to feel the world had some problem with me and I used to feel quite hard done by. I used to jump to conclusions about situations and this often made me feel either very angry or very upset. Having gone down my road and enriched my self-awareness, I now realise that these conclusions I reached, were often projections of my own fears or judgements onto those around me. So, for example, if a friend had changed plans to meet up, I may have assumed they didn't care and they took me for granted, whereas, this was a projection of my fear that I wasn't deserving of friends who cared. This can lead to a rather self-absorbed state, which can often happen when we struggle in life. Our perspective narrows and, when we feel something, we project it onto the first thing that irritates us, rather then looking into our feelings for what they are - just feelings. There's a big difference between "She's abandoned me because she doesn't care" and "I feel abandoned". The first one is blame and projection and the second one is a simple acknowledgement of a feeling. Our feeling of abandonment may well have been triggered by an experience from our past which has gone unresolved. Understanding this is where self-awareness comes in. By looking into our feelings and asking ourselves where they come from enough times, we start to understand our patterns and where our past hurts haven't been resolved. If we can release them then they will no longer trigger extremes of emotion. But even if we can't, we can remember that our emotional reactions are based on something deeper and bigger than the current experience. This can lead to a broader perspective and is what self-awareness is all about. If you would like help with doing this in a safe, non-judgemental environment, please contact me for an appointment.