JOY IS YOUR SAVIOUR

Photo by  David Groves  on  Unsplash

Photo by David Groves on Unsplash

There are times in our lives where something happens that metaphorically pulls the rug from under your feet and the safety ropes you normally grab to save yourself just aren't there anymore. You collapse to the floor and just can't find the inspiration to pick yourself up again.

It can be very scary and leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable and perpetually anxious.

The time I can identify that this happened to my younger and naiive self, was when I quite ignorantly decided that I was going to be in a relationship with someone, in complete denial that the feeling wasn't mutual and in fact we weren't really compatible. I had been on a couple of dates with this guy and I found him attractive because of what he represented, rather than who he actually was. Therefore my interactions with him were disingenuous, trying to win points to get him interested in me and strategising on how I could get the relationship to develop. All the while I was ignoring the fact that he was not really texting me back consistently, and when we were texting, he was being a bit mean and then eventually said that he didn't think I was 'boyfriend material' for him.

I wouldn't say that this shattered my world, but having created this vision of us together, fantasising about our journey to relationship success and getting excited at the validation that having this trophy boyfriend would bring, it really built me up for a very hard and inevitable fall.

I think many of us have been in similar situations, leaving us feeling humiliated, dejected, devalued. The mistake I made was to be seeking that validation from someone else in the first place.

My sensitive nature makes me prone to anxiety, and back then I could easily become unbalanced. I wasn't using techniques such as meditation to help me stay centred and find my inner calm and power, but was at the mercy of negative thoughts of failure, unworthiness and disfunction.

As much as I tried to combat these thoughts, in the end I surrendered to them. I took up a regime of daily meditation, where I allowed these thoughts to roam free and it took me on a really interesting journey.

By observing these thoughts in meditation, I somehow managed to disempower them, because I realised that the only way I could move forward was to accept that I had made a mistake, and a bad assumption, but that I would forgive myself. I am only human and I forgive my mistake. And in order to demonstrate that I had forgiven myself I would show myself some self-care by reminding myself of the things in life (aside from the romance, companionship and intimacy of a relationship), that brought me joy. Every day during my meditation I practiced observing and understanding the negative thoughts and then gave time to identify things in my life that nurtured my inner love, joy and gratitude. It was always an amazing and empowering experience.

It took a few months for the positive thoughts to become habitual again, and I have become wiser and more resilient as a result.

Now, when I meet people who have those same characteristics that I was attracted to in this guy, I stop myself from claiming ownership to them, just because I have decided that I have some sort of right to 'possess' them. I centre myself and remember what it is in life that brings me joy, what is it that lifts my soul and makes me the person that my friends and family love and I try to express that in my interactions. It is important not to feel judged if that person doesn't connect to it. You will not connect with everyone. The most important connection is with yourself and working on strengthening this will build your defences when the threat of that rug being pulled presents itself again.

Have faith in your inner joy and listen to your intuition when you feel yourself giving it up for the sake of appeasing someone else, because if you do you will get trapped in an unwinnable game.

The more and more I let go of appeasing others and living my own joy, the more I discover new friendships that are truly genuine and rewarding and I feel like my friends need me just as much as I need them.

One of my favourite quotes from Carl Jung is 'No matter how isolated you are and how lonely feel, if you do your work truly and conscientiously, unknown friends will come and seek you'.

Life Coaching is a great way to help you re-align when that rug has been pulled. Please get in contact for a chat – I would be honoured to help.

Take care for now.

Oliver

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