It is too intriguing and thrilling to look at the poster on the left – the force of the negative emotions keeps drawing you back. Looking at the poster on the right, gives me freedom that I cannot yet fathom, nor understand. And negative emotions are so powerful, that I am instinctually drawn to the poster on the left. The one filled with anxiety, panic and negativity. Oh, how I long for the freedom to just walk to the poster on the right and be filled with peace, love, calmness, power and a sound mind.
Today is a bit of battle. You see, I have two anxiety triggers, there are other minor ones but these two can set me off at any time. The first is my marriage – you see, I grew up in a home that had lots of fighting and ugliness, with both my parents threatening divorce as early as I can remember. I lived in that environment for 30 years before they finally did split up (just after I got married). And ever since our daughter was born, the anxiety regarding my marriage has increased ten-fold. You see, I love this man, but I play these mind games – what if I don’t love him, what if he doesn’t love me, what if, what if, what if… When I know – in my heart of hearts, I know that I love him and will never leave him, and want to spend the rest of my life with him. And yet, I still play these games with myself. And you know the result? Well, anxiety and panic. You see, it is much easier to keep looking at the poster on the left. It’s what I’ve inadvertently trained myself to do my whole life. When I can and am able to draw away and look at the poster on the right, I feel great, our relationship goes well, I eat well but then, lurking in the back of my mind are these thoughts that explode into my consciousness, and before I am even aware of it, I find myself gazing longingly at the poster on the left.
My other trigger is eating. When you come from such a stressed filled background, drowned in anxiety and stress, I grew up not eating a lot. Meal times were never pleasant and I am not the type of person to eat under stress – and we were always under stress. We always had this burden of a strained marriage and the pressure of trying to keep things normal (even though we could not articulate that in words when so young). The result was that I was terribly skinny and was teased so much for being skinny, and then your mother taking you to a doctor for anorexia when you have never been on a diet on your life, kind of makes your relationship to food and weight not a healthy one. You see, I had anxiety back then due to the background I grew up in but everyone – even the doctors – looked at the outward appearance and treated me for an eating disorder that I never had. I grew up in a shitty home, with a shitty home life – that was what needed to be looked at. I needed coping skills to cope with the stress and anxiety of what I grew up with. However, now, the whole concept is so messed up in my head, I can’t tell it apart – the anxiety automatically goes with eating/not eating and not eating/eating goes with anxiety. All goes so nicely hand-in-hand…
And these two triggers are so inexplicably linked now. I need to disassociate the two.
I suppose it’s like training for the Iron Man when you’ve never run, walked or cycled in your life. If I have trained my whole life to be focus on the negativity and anxiety, and I’m only now learning HOW to give a voice to these feelings, then I’m not suddenly going to wake up tomorrow and be all positive. I need to train my mind, thoughts, emotions, spirit, subconscious mind, etc to do this – and soon all I will be able to look at is the poster on the right. But, it takes about a year to start from nothing and to train to do a full Iron Man – that is a 3.8 kilometre swim, a 180-kilometre cycle, followed by a 42-kilometre run. Actually, I would say it would take about 18 months if you have never done exercise in your life before – hubby took about a year to train, and he is a seasoned athlete who had been cycling and running quite extensively, (he had to start swimming from scratch).
So, I am estimating now, but I would guess it would take even longer to train your mind. Reading the right books and constantly being aware of focusing on the positive are tools you can use to help you train your mind. Prayer also helps, and reading and watching feel-good movies (as opposed to scary thrillers that get the adrenaline flowing), and watching what and how you speak.
So, I guess I can’t be too hard on myself just yet. I just find it odd, on Tuesday I was praying and thanking God that I’ve finally reach the point in my life when I can wake up in the morning and feel so grateful for the life I’ve got, for my hubby and daughter, and ever since then I’ve been battling now to do just that. Odd.
And perhaps all this is coming out now because of all the stress and pressure surrounding our daughter’s birth – which is for another post.
And perhaps I should’ve called this blog, “Peaceful Motherhood” – just perhaps…
The Two Posters
On the second poster, on the right, it says in bright, beautiful colours:
Love, peace, patience, friendship, romance, truth, righteousness, purity, loveliness, faith, admiration…
What do you think will fill your heart and mind if you stare at the poster on the left?
What do you think will fill your heart and mind if you stare at the poster on the right?
For far too long, I have been staring at the poster on the left. I have been filling my heart, my thoughts, my mind with so much negativity by just focusing on all these negatives – fearing the fact that I may be feeling a little anxious, fearing another panic attack, fearing that I am living the wrong life, fearing that I’m not going to eat, that I am going to get sick and die, hiding in shame at the weight I’ve gained and am battling to lose, hiding in shame with my parent’s divorce, feeling overwhelmed by lack of sleep, a stressful job and major financial issues…
No wonder I have been feeling so anxious, with a constant tension of something being wrong, just waiting for that boulder to come down the hill and hit me, or the bus to crash.
If I keep putting so much stress and negativity into everything I say, do, think and feel – then I can quite honestly only expect anxiety, panic attacks, and lots of negativity.
I think it is about time I step away from the poster on the left, take a side step, and start focusing on the poster on the right.
Let me think about all the love in my life and how incredibly blessed I am to have a husband and daughter who love me so much. Or focusing my energies on feeling peace and love. Or injecting some romance into my marriage. Or having some faith that perhaps I am exactly where God wants me to be. Or a little faith that everything will work out just as its meant to in the end, I mean, doesn’t God tell us:
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
And doesn’t He tell us to think properly?
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
I think it is with good reason that the good Lord above has told us to watch our thoughts and our thinking patterns.
As Joyce Meyer says, “You cannot have a positive life thinking negative thoughts.”
Easier said than done – I think we are all prone to be drawn towards the negative. The negative somehow gives us a skewed meaning of life, but makes life feel more real. That is such a lie – I’m just sorry I’m only realising that now as I head into my 40’s. I suppose better late than never…