Boxed In

What if I am not as resilient as people say?  What if I am not as mindful as people think I am?

With a lot of therapy and personal awareness, I find myself asking these questions.

Throughout the last few months, my exploration has led me to two conclusions.  The first that uncertainty and not having control manifests itself as anxiety quite quickly and profoundly.  Then I ask isn’t that was anxiety is, the fear of the unknown.  I wasn’t always this anxious but I have become hypervigilant about my feelings, in particular to anxiety and in turn to uncertainty. I try to minimize uncertainty by thinking about what is the probability and something bad will happen. A lot of bad things happened to me, it was relentless and although I hesitate to use the word traumatized, but maybe the series of significant losses in my life has made me vulnerable to doubt.

The other is that I don’t have a very good relationship with myself.  You could call it poor self-esteem but I find in the therapy world, poor self-esteem is usually followed by a sentence with the word shame in it.  I  don’t identify with the word shame.  I do identify with this feeling that maybe I don’t deserve to be happy. Perhaps that is what shame is? I suspect this notion of self-love is going to be a work in process.

Sometimes I wonder is it possible that I am too mindful?

Is there such a thing as too much psychotherapy?

Am I beyond repair?

Have I forgotten the basics along the way, to be present and in the moment?

I choose to stop thinking of therapy as fixing what is broken but instead as a lifelong journey of healing and learning.

I’ll still always be thinking and feeling, and regulating and tolerating those difficult thoughts and feelings, but maybe it’s time for a shift.

I can radically accept that uncertainty exists.

I can be kinder to myself, maybe even lighten things up a bit.  If I am kinder to myself. I think that will begin to address feelings of not deserving happiness or lack of self-esteem which leads me feeling disconnected.

To feel connected, means allowing myself to be vulnerable, in front of others and myself and accepting myself as who I am, and accepting uncertainty so that I continue this journey of learning and healing and strengthening the relationship I am having with myself.

I think…

16 thoughts on “Boxed In

  1. I think you’ve got it! It sure made me think deeply about what you wrote. And I have suspected for quite some time that there isn’t a destination…that we don’t heal all our wounds and then go on to live a painfree existence. No, I think it’s the journey…the healing…and being able to function while we go through all that we must go through to learn. Hmmmmm…..

    I hope you are doing really well, my friend, Harlon. I miss you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lorrie, I miss you as well my friend. Thanks for your comment, I love how you are able to reflect and also expand on what I am thinking. I think you are right, and perhaps it is about being realistic about expectations in a world where high expectations have become the norm, I don’t think that high expectations are achievable in a sustainable kind of way. I agree it is about the journey; it’s ups and downs, it’s wounds and healing. Through it all, I am learning it is important to bee kind to ourselves.
      I am always so grateful when I hear from you or see your posts. Fondly (I think that’s a word), Harlon

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      • “Fondly” is a good word, my dear friend Harlon 🙂 You know you have a place in my heart…a space that is solely designated to you!! I just had a conversation with a friend yesterday about tennis…but it so aptly describes life in general. She had not played tennis for months and she got out on the court and said she played out of her mind. But then the next time she played she was horrible! I told her it happened because her first time back she did not have expectations of herself or how she would perform…she gave herself a break because she had not played. Then she played well…AND SHE HAD EXPECTATIONS that she would play well again! And this is where it gets complicated…there is a difference between having expectations…and BELIEVING!
        I can’t tell you how many tennis matches I won that if it was decided based on ability I would have lost. But I used to play the matches in my head…visualize exactly how I wanted the match the next day to go…and then I BELIEVED it would, many times, go that way.
        But, I digress…
        It is so nice to see you and feel your energy which has a bit of bounce to it 😉
        Many Sweet Blessings to you. I hope today brings many smiles to your heart!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so relatable! I also find myself too far in the future. I used to see all the negative possibilities as an attempt to gain control if ever something like that happens but now I’ve learned that doing that only gives me anxiety. Now, I try to stay present as much as possible and to expect good things to happen in order to manifest them. Good luck to you! Take care!

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  3. I think of you so often Harlon, so glad you are writing. I think writing helps you release the anxiety you are feeling. You were just getting on your feet good when the COVID hit hard, Canada has done a better job than America in controlling the spread. At least Justin has a handle on things. You are very strong, I don’t know about the BUT part of the sentence because I have shame, most resolved but still uncomfortable to talk about. You have gone thru a trauma, you almost died, that’s very traumatic. I may not talk to you often enough but know I’m thinking about you, remember you can always reach out to me. My dementia is worse so I don’t remember to do things I want, it’s not that I don’t want to talk to you, I just forget most things that are not right in front of me. Keep writing your feeling down, on here or in private, writing and sharing does you, all of us good. Hugs. 🙂

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    • Thanks Melinda, I am so happy to hear from you. You are correct, writing is a great way to connect more meaningfully with the thoughts in my mind. COVID-19 has been challenging in it’s own way and I find it difficult to focus and to get motivated, but I try the best I can. Things are indeed much better in Canada, than in the States, so I feel blessed. I will work on writing more publicly but also privately – because that makes me feel good too! Hugs, Harlon

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cindy for your great message. It is something I have learned and also embraced, that being vulnerability decreases symptoms and increases the power of me to move forward and perhaps taking risks. In essence, I believe to move forward one must except vulnerability as moving forward may have it’s challenges, but not let fear prevent me from accessing my power. Many thanks, Harlon

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