~This I want you to know~
Have you ever felt that something was off or felt something pulling on your mind or an issue weighing on your heart? Has the weight of the world engulfed you like the oceans waves when there was a dangerous undertow? Were you were picked up by the oceans ferocity, tossed around and as you emerged from the water, were you even more disorientated? Did you feel like you didn’t know where you were or what to do?
We have all felt pressure, confusion, and even down right anxiety or panic when faced with certain dilemmas or problems. Some pressures are a normal part of modern life like trying to fit in one more task at work or chore at home into our day. There are also the days when we feel pulled in many, many directions all at once and at these times the things we would like to focus on often are not the items that need our immediate attention. But, confusion, uncertainty and even their more intense cousins anxiety and panic seem to visit so many of us today.
As society we now have all embraced the information highway or the internet. We have the possibility of so many answers at our finger tips. We can find answers for parenting issues, relationship questions, marketing and business problems, and even health issues. We can search and find results that can allay our fears, give us suggested ideas or down right scare us and send us over the proverbial edge.
Yet, more and more people seem to be anxiety stricken and may even panic over things that a generation or two ago people would have handled in different ways. I don’t believe for one minute that people didn’t have the same types of thoughts or emotions during earlier time periods. People often relied more on close friends and family and shared their burdens with them because there existed a combined trust and respect for the person they were confiding in. Although, this was not a foolproof system of guidance, very often the person who was being confided to knew all the people involved, the social structure and then gave very practical and easily applicable advise. Even when the advisor didn’t know the all the people involved it was the human contact, voice and touch that has great value and benefit to anyone distressed.
Some of this advice could have ranged from:
“Why don’t you talk to your teacher or professor and explain that you really don’t understand the information?”, “Why don’t you ask for an extension because of a death or serious illness in the family?”.
“Why don’t you tell the boss that you really need and deserve a raise?”. “I know how much you do at your job and how many customers you have brought in.”
“Why don’t you explain to your child(ren) what they are doing really isn’t their best interest? Why don’t you tell them that you want so much more for them? That you see the their potential and you are here to support them.”
“Why don’t you go the doctor about this concern? I will definitely go with you”.
These were the headlines. The conversations that followed usually contained realistic details in which information and direction were offered. These discussions often consisted of truly useable suggestions that turned into solutions.
So what do you do when you feel there is something off or that there is something weighing on your heart or on your mind? I can tell you what I do. As a women who has dealt with a variety of issues from raising children and all that entails, moments of trouble in martial happiness, health issues in those I love, business situations, and all the day to day challenges that are small but feel big at the moment, I try first to gain some perspective or analyze the issue by myself. I think about the thoughts running through my head and I try to breakdown the problems and my emotions surrounding the matter at hand. Then I try to come up with plausible answers. In the past year or so I have gone back to writing or journaling what troubles me especially if thinking it through in my mind just hasn’t worked. Somehow, seeing it on paper, in my handwriting makes me think more critically and drives my mind to focus on clear answers. Also, I am very big verbal processor so if steps one and two haven’t worked I then talk to my family or a few close friends about whatever the problem that I am facing . Usually, between thinking things out myself, writing them down, talking to the trusted people in my life and listening to what they have to say I feel calmer. Then using my own intuition or answers, guidance from those I have shared with I am able to move foreward.
Sometimes, the process of moving on involves doing nothing tangible or saying nothing at all. In these times my job is just to sit with my emotions and really feel all the uncomfortable issues and feelings they bring up. When I chose not to talk about whatever is troubling me to person that I am unhappy with, it’s because what I want to say will not be heard the way I mean it and intend it to be heard. It will be taken out of context and it will create drama or problems that are larger then the relief or understanding I would have gotten if I expressed my truest feelings.
Other times the answer is to have a heart to heart dialogue and work on the dilemma with the other person as team, a couple, or a family and come up with the best possible solution. Sometimes, the solution is simply to step up, volunteer to help or support someone. It’s to do the research for the best doctor, cook a meal, or proof read information. It is to offer a hug, lend an ear, and remind the person who is facing a difficult period that you are with them and for them today, tomorrow and as long as you are granted days. Sometimes the answer is something large and will require significant change like a career switch, a move and relocation of your family along with you, or to pull your child from a certain school and move them to a school that will help them academically or remove harmful influences from their lives.
But, I know that the answer is always, always to decide to do something. The anxiety that people feel often seems smaller or even disappears when we decide to do something. The mind knows when something is right around the corner. While the possibility of something new can make us feel unsteady or uneasy we want the new experience or challenge all the same. If it is not absolute true anxiety that might be holding us back but a more specific fear like fear of failure, the mind also feels better when we decide to take the leap and try whatever it is that’s frightening us. People desire new stimuli in the way that only new experiences can bring it to them. When we decide to open a business or our hearts we know that if we didn’t earnestly make this decision nothing would move forward. Our professional ambitions and our personal objectives would never come to fruition without the resolution to take a risk to begin something new or to try something again.
I can hear my father’s voice saying “Debbie, take chance what do you have to lose? What do you have to win?”. I can also hear one of my favorite poems:
I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.from -The Road Less Taken By Robert Frost