Have you ever been asked an in depth question about yourself that you had no idea how to answer? Not because you didn’t know the answer, but because you’ve simply never given it much thought?
That very rarely happens to me, certainly hasn’t for a good few years. Those who know me well may understand how my mind is sadistic in a way that it loves digging into wounds to find answers. I’ve never been afraid to ask myself hard questions, examine my actions, or analyse my behaviour – no matter how much difficult it may be to swallow.
Yet my view had always been restricted to the most recent experiences. I tend to break down incidences on their own, especially when it comes to relationships, and go through the issues piece by piece, filtering them through multiple lenses until I’m convinced I’ve done all I can and learnt all my lessons. Once I’ve reached that point, I pack them all up and place it in a box for storage into long term memory.
Now I never realised how this approach, although thorough, is missing one key element which allows deeper understanding. By packing each experience away one by one, I’m failing to see the connection between experiences and stripping myself of the opportunity to identify the common denominator under all these boxes.
Up till now, I always thought there was no point in thinking about the past because I’ve learnt, grown and matured so much that I’ve become a different person. I refused to be defined by my past. Yet all this time, was this my blind spot? Is there something that continues to drive me towards the same decisions? Perhaps it’s time to unpack some of these memories, rip into old baggage, and make a big mess of it all so I can reexamine, recategorise, identify the underlying issues and learn to finally step out of these limitations!
I can be such a mean bitch sometimes.
And no I won’t apologise.
Life’s too short.
How do you deal with being emotionally overwhelmed? I know some use alcohol (or other substances), some cry or scream or act out physically. Some like to talk about it with people, some like to ignore the issue and pretend it doesn’t exist.
Me? My natural defence mechanism is to go into hibernation. I sleep things off. Whether I’m angry, sad, panicking, or feeling a sense of doom; whenever it becomes emotionally overwhelming – I sleep, and let my subconscious take over.
Surprisingly, it works incredibly well. I usually wake up feeling better and more ready to deal with whatever issue at hand. Sometimes I even wake up with solutions or inspirations! It usually is proportional too: the more emotional I get, the longer I need to sleep before I’m ready to take on the world again.
I can’t help but feel that somehow, I’m connecting with a higher frequency when I shut off my conscious mind. My subconscious doesn’t stop dealing with the issue when I’m asleep. Therefore I’m so very grateful, that I’m being looked after; so very thankful for the peace and energy my sleep provides; and so very very lucky that I have good quality sleep.
Part of self-care is to figure out effective stress management strategies that work well. My top three include sleeping, writing, and good sex. Unfortunately the latter comes with too much of its own stress and complications at this point in my life, so I’m sticking with the first two.
Have you figured out what works for you? ;-)
One of the most important qualities we all need to foster is the ability to be kind to ourselves and recognise our strengths. Recently I have come to acknowledge one of my own strengths as the ability to stay calm under stressful situations. Slicing my arm open, and caring for a disfigured broken arm on a four year old. Pretty damn stressful. Yet my ability to logically assess situations and remember facts was not affected one bit. I handled each situation to the best of my ability and would not have done anything differently.
Sometimes I think children naturally seek comfort in me when they are stressed because they can sense that calm and are drawn to it. I don’t tend to respond emotionally (at least not outwardly) to situations and can empathise without losing my own composure.
Yet I’ve wondered if this calmness repels the opposite sex… I know I had one ex who complained that I was too calm during “disagreements” and wished that I would just yell at him! (You know who you are!) However I figured it’s just another filter of mine to sift out the ones who aren’t for me. After all, I am a rock, I can’t be swayed easily, pushed around or manipulated. I’m dependable, especially in times of stress. And my man, will appreciate all of this and love me for it.
You may question, does this calm cool logic mean then that I’m too collected to be ecstatic and excited? Sure, I might not always be the loudest to laugh at a joke… But my calm composure is just another hat I choose to put on. When I feel safe enough, I most certainly have the power and choice to take it off.
And let the inner child come out to play.
Every so often life strikes you with something to surface your true colours, hidden underneath that perfectly glossy exterior you don.
I am judgemental. There are certain rights and wrongs in my mind that are sacred, and I am closed-minded when it comes to accepting behaviours that stray.
I am impatient. Having devoted a large part of my life becoming more “efficient”, I forget and disregard how people have different priorities.
And I am weak. There are numerous times that I simply take the easy way out and give in to temptations.
And I am stubborn. That one is self-explanatory.
And I am full of faults…..
And perhaps that’s why I keep getting returned…
But I don’t need to be fixed. This is who I am.
I won’t pretend to be something I’m not.
Always maintained that I hated driving… Only recently have I discovered the close-to-two hours I spend in my little Mazda 3 is actually valuable beyond measures. This tiny little space where I am stuck with my own company somehow forces me to deal with whatever emotions that lurk just under the outwardly calm I display. Vowing to always be honest to myself, it is against my own philosophy to ignore what disturbs my inner peace.
A meditative state of floating in autopilot; a heightened sense of awareness. This is when my inner voice gets loud, and the internal dialog flow.
What do I want? Why do I feel the way I feel? What do I need to do?
And it always comes down to accepting how I feel, whether it’s anger, resentment, or plain loneliness; to just be aware, without the need to deny or defend it. It is what it is. I don’t need to judge myself, just to know and understand where it all came from.
Once I’ve processed the emotions, I find myself always reaching for the simple calm that comes with being satisfied, centred, and grateful. To remember that I have an abundance of love, experience, and possessions. To recognise that I am strong, I am capable, and I am willing to keep working towards being a better person. To be happy that I’m able to make a difference in the tiny bit of world I can reach. To have hope, that the future will only be brighter.
Driving has forced me out of procrastination and into a habit of reflective internal examination. As much as I’m tempted to ignore my emotional struggles and bury myself in being ‘busy’, I know this is for my own good.
No more running and hiding. Just deal with it and sort it out Emi!
There’s only so much time in life… And I’m slowly coming to terms with how I may never achieve ALL that I want.
It’s like that girl-raising game (美少女夢工廠) I played in my early teenage years… You only have set amount of hours each day to pick and choose the skills you want to improve, the opportunities you want to provide, or the money you want to make. I remember how I started off really greedy. I wanted my girl to learn everything and be good at everything. But she didn’t end up having the money to complete her tuition, nor did she have time to get out and meet people who can change her life.
After trial and error (and reading cheats and game guides online), I was finally able to get my girl to become experts at things, or be lucky enough to catch a break by meeting special people (right place, right time… where’s the guide for my life on this?!). To achieve that, to get “special endings”, I always had to choose just one strength to focus on though… I couldn’t be experts at multiple things, nor could I choose to marry the prince and still be a professional dancer.
And perhaps in this life, I need to make that decision too. What do I want? I want to be a good teacher. Then maybe I need to give up a few hobbies. I want to marry and have children. Then maybe I need to stop dreaming about what-if’s and start to look with logic… Whatever it is I decide that I really truly want, I know I need to start concentrating.
But what if I just want a life with you? Maybe, I can’t help but wait…