Using my favorite therapy skill, “Changing your perspective,” again, I have noticed that I was able to get over a large part of my anxiety by taking away some of its negativity. Anxiety now motivates me and it is possible for everyone. Adventure helps me and this is because I have depression. Going out and living an adventure helps me feel something. It helps me feel the adventure and also helps me feel even more because going on an adventure is hard when you’re either depressed or anxious. But I can’t always just drop everything and go on an adventure can I? But I have anxiety, so I can always, most days, have something to be scared of. So turn this need to go on an adventure into fighting your anxiety. Even when I have depression and can’t feel something, I have moments of feeling anxious until the moment passes and then I go on to feeling nothing. But even in times when I am just anxious without having a pressing need to feel something, I can always use this anxiety adventure to love myself for fighting it. And no matter how I feel, I always love an adventure, so channel your anxiety and turn it into a mountain to climb even if you’re just shaking someone’s hand while looking them in the eyes. The other day something happened that gave me a lot of anxiety and would normally send me into a dwelling state. But instead I decided to find some other thoughts that are true as opposed to the catastrophizing thoughts my dwelling mind gives to me…and the true thoughts are thoughts of my own strength. Surviving the moment gives you strength that you cannot deny, dwelling gives you thoughts that always wander from the facts into fiction of weakness.
This post is all about “should statements.” I was trying to think logically about how I messed up at work yesterday and at first I did well. Then the day went on and I started to believe another thought, “You should have done better.” Then I channeled everything that happened that day. “No, actually I should NOT have done better. I now have this memory, this BIG memory because of what happened from my mess up, and I will most likely never make the mistake again.” I mean, I might make the same mistake again but since the memory of my mess up is so big in my mind, the probability of doing it again goes drastically down. So maybe I “should” have done differently, but I really should not have done differently if you see what I mean. Anything that could have a “should statement” in front of it, is just a barrier to learning something that will help you so much in the long run. This memory of this mess up is now in my mind. So if anyone tells me I should or should not do something, I will just say (or think to myself), “The word should is the barrier to best lesson I could learn.” The best lesson because mistakes are harder to forget. So much different than looking at a lesson on a chalkboard. So don’t just push should statements out of your mind, channel them the opposite direction. You “shouldn’t” have made that mistake at work? Well you learned something out of it so maybe you should have.
PS: The way I came up with this post is because I wanted to write something. I thought really hard about my dilemma. Harder than I would if I just wanted to be happy. I didn’t want to turn my emotions into art and be creative because being creative to me can sometimes makes things worse if I am in a bad state. So I decided to think of something to blog about and I came up with this gem of a coping skill. (Well really an extra little twist to this already known coping skill). Basically I knew I wanted to write something in my time of insecurity because feeling creative or feeling smart could help me with my problems and I wanted to showcase the things I know. So I wrote about it and came up with something else. If you have no other motivation for using coping skills, try to remember how good it feels to blog about your intelligence and what you came up with on your own. That could be motivation in itself to think positively like it motivated me to change my “should statements.”
I am not supposed to use the word “should” but I am going to for just a second. You should never think of your slips and negative moments as anything other than a miracle. The reason for this is because it gets you to stand back up. Like myself, you may feel ashamed of any of your past issues, but how good would you really feel about yourself if you were always doing well your whole entire life? You might think you would feel pretty awesome if you were always doing well but change your perspective a little. And I know it doesn’t always seem like it, but this goes for everyone. Everyone has tough times…even that person you consider to be flawless. Healing goes up and down and that is a beautiful thing because it leads to a feeling of accomplishment and self esteem. I used to be afraid of talking on the phone. I was envious of my friends who were able to talk on the phone like it was nothing. I managed to get over that fear and every time I talk on the phone I feel accomplished and happy with myself. I am not weaker because I wasn’t born able to talk on the phone, it was a miracle that made me start from the bottom and work my way up. If we all were perfect and did everything without fear, anxiety or any other negative emotion, we would have no area for improvement. Think of it this way. What aspect of yourself do you possess right now that you had to fight for? Doesn’t it feel amazing to think about the past when you were not the same person? No one on this planet is perfect. That’s a miracle. I know what you’re thinking. It’s a miracle because you don’t have to be constantly thinking of those perfect people with their perfect lives. You’re probably thinking it’s a miracle because you don’t have to live in their shadow. But the miracle is not that no one else is perfect. The miracle is that YOU are not perfect. Perfection would mean no room for improvement so no sense of accomplishment. No self-esteem built up from your hard work through anxiety and fear. A perfect world would be boring and probably depressing. So thank the stars and the moon that no one is perfect but only because you are not either.
This is a large part of the story to being able to find the blueprints to your worthiness. Basically for years I was trapped in the ideal that girls should be weak and dainty. I never wanted to be anything else because no one told me the other way around was worthy too. First of all, “strong is beautiful” is something that is being said to women now and I’m grateful, but it wasn’t said to me when I was younger. Anyway, I started working at a bakery on a side where being strong didn’t really matter. The other side however, the side I never worked, was where the strength was required. Since I was a child, whenever I would lift something I would feel bad about myself afterwards, but it’s human nature to be able to lift. If we were cavemen how would we survive without a little strength? But you don’t just have to look at it like that. What I did was I watched my co-worker lift these things. The way I lifted them the rare times I had to was strained and struggling…the way I thought it should be. Then I saw my co-worker lift these things like it was no big deal whatsoever. Her eyes were unaffected. She’s just lifting and carrying this giant bag to wherever it needs to go. Then I began to get stronger myself and eventually had to work the side where strength was required. I ended up being able to carry large things in one arm. Since I was young I cringed at myself anytime I noticed my physical strength. Now I put a large portion of my consciousness to the muscles in my arms as I carry these things. I let them protrude into my consciousness until I feel their worth. The reason I love being strong now is because of the gracefulness of your muscles tight against whatever you are carrying. The gracefulness of just carrying it without a fuss. The thought of how intense you look with those two things combined. I must also mention that now I believe strong to be worthy, that doesn’t mean the worthiness of being weaker has evaporated from my mind. That ideal was ingrained into my head for probably most of my life. That ideal will not leave my mind nor should it. Someday I’ll get older and I’ll get weaker. I won’t have a choice but to lose my muscle and by the time that day comes I’ll need a strong mind and a strong mind comes from loving yourself no matter what. I know how it feels to be okay with being less than strong, so I will make sure I keep that in my mind as to not judge others who are not the strongest and I ask that everyone else does the same in any other aspect of their self love. Find your worth in whatever it is that you are and keep the worth you always saw in whatever you used to desire. Or if you were born loving a certain aspect of yourself, work on trying to love the opposite even if you don’t desire it as to be sure you don’t judge others. You won’t judge others because you see their worth already and you hold self love for yourself. This gets rid of self loathing that leads to judgements and seeing someone different from yourself that leads to judgements. I believe this to be one of the keys in eradicating judgements. If we all see the worthiness in ourselves and notice that people who hold the opposite aspect are worthy too.
The first one is self as context. This means that you are not truly one thing. You don’t have to mold yourself into what you believe you are or have to be. It makes labels not make sense. Sometimes I am shy, sometimes I am outgoing. I cannot label myself as either one because every moment and every experience calls for something different. (This skill took me awhile to understand, so if I am wrong on this skill, feel free to correct me).
Then I love mindfulness. This one started as boring for me and then turned into something I use almost everyday. This is where you make sure you are aware of your surroundings. This helps immensely with anxiety. You occupy your mind while you tell yourself to look for certain colors around the room. Or you just sit outside looking at nature and make sure you notice and feel every single wonderful thing.
Building mastery. This is when you learn new things in order to gain self-esteem or a sense of accomplishment. This one is obviously self explanatory and if you are learning something new, you are already using this skill. However, this is something you need to keep in mind if you are in a rut and feel you need something to get yourself out.
I talk about changing your perspective all the time in this blog so it’s only appropriate that I share it here. This skill is when you take something you dislike about yourself and then you change it into something positive. This is what I try to do with this blog. Share the wonderfulness that I see in every aspect of all everyone can be. Tall or short? You can love yourself if you are either. It makes sense. Two people who are completely the opposite physically or mentally both have the option to love themselves; both have the capacity to be confident. You cannot look at someone and say with fact, “That person has got to be confident.” Just like you cannot look at someone and also say with fact, “That person has got to be insecure.” There is no universal type of person who is the epitome of confidence. That is saved for someone who is just actually incredibly confident no matter who they are. Every single person on this planet has the power inside of them for self-love. Which means your insecurities are not true. If confidence about some aspect of yourself is not inside of you but is inside of someone else just like you, you can find it too. And every category of person has many people who are confident in that aspect of themselves.
And then there is opposite to emotion. I use this a lot when I cross the street oddly enough. I hate crossing the street at cross walks if there are cars. “What if they wave me on but I can’t see them through the glare in their window and I just stand there awkwardly?” “What if I think they let me go first but then they begin to drive as I start crossing and I have to jump back with embarrassment?” “I’m almost to a cross walk and there’s a car coming. Maybe I should stop and look at my phone and act like I’m too busy to cross the street until that car is gone.” … “No, I better just be strong and cross the street with that car. I’ll feel so much stronger when it’s over.” So yes, I often do cross the street especially when I don’t want to. It’s an incredible feeling, even crossing the street, to defy your fears.
This is obviously very off topic and new for me considering I am not a mother, but I wanted to talk about this. The only time I have actually witnessed mom shaming has been on the internet. I have never seen or heard anyone shaming a mother in public. I know this probably happens, and I know it makes me lucky that I have never had to witness such things. The only mom shaming I have actually witnessed with my own eyes is the occasional doubt of my own mother’s mothering skills. What I mean by this is that in my life, I have heard my mom upset at her parenting skills. Not very often, maybe three times in my whole life, but it’s upsetting. It’s upsetting to see your parents upset for one, but it’s also upsetting to see them upset at their parenting skills. I mean, we are the children and we love our parents. We don’t want them upset. So I see mom shaming on the internet. Specially I have seen Pink being mom shamed on Instagram recently. I am not a mother and I don’t know what really is dangerous for a child. What I do know is that I am the child and I am upset when my mother mom shames herself. How would I feel if I actually heard someone insult her mothering? I would probably be heart broken. Mom shaming is something moms do to other moms when they don’t believe their parents skills are up to par. What is the point of this? I always thought it was because they were worried for the child or cared for this other child. That may be exactly what it is. However, I believe mom shaming to be counter productive and does the exact opposite. If someone were to insult my mothers parenting skills when I was a child, those words would not help me…they would hurt me because they would hurt my mom. Mom shaming is there to try and guilt a mother into changing her ways for the better of the child. It does the opposite. It makes the child sad for the adult that loves and cares for them. So lets stop this mother shaming.
This ideal just came to me recently. When I was a teenager and my cousins slept over, they would always be up at around six am, while I couldn’t get up until around nine. I cannot get up in the morning without an immense amount of trouble. I like working nights because I don’t have to wake up. I hate mornings. Let’s just put it that way. But when you sleep in, this is an easy recipe for self-loathing. “I’m lazy.” “If everyone else wakes up that early I should be able to too.” Well, a few days ago I was finally okay with myself for the times when I do sleep in. I’m a night owl. And there are reasons why I am. I like the darkness, I like driving around at night. I like walking at night. I like staying up late. I love being a night owl because I love the night. I can know why I love being a night owl in my own love of the darkness. I hear the crickets of the night and I love them, so I love the fact that I will stay up late to listen to them. And then, being a night owl leads to the inevitable…I am not an early bird. We can also just switch all of my ideals onto an early bird. You know why you love the morning, maybe it’s the birds chirping or the idea of a whole day ahead of you. And because you know exactly why you love the mornings, you can love your early bird self for being able to see that beauty in the dawn. So back to my point. Be a night owl and sleep in. Don’t consider yourself lazy. You just love the moon, the crickets, the stars, the glow under the streetlights. You feel happiness when you look out into the night, and that happiness is why you sleep in. When you wake up and look at the clock and it’s noon and the sun is already streaming onto your face, think about the reasons. You love the moon more than the sun and that’s perfectly okay. And if anyone tries to tell you, you are lazy for sleeping in, go ahead and just tell them that you love the stars. If anyone tries to tell you, you are lazy for going to bed early, tell them you love the sunshine.