07 Mar Reality or getting your head wrapped around the axle?
What is our reality anyway? Are we making something out of nothing when we get upset, scared, angry, ____ (fill in that blank with your favorite shaming word)?
For me, I know that I used to really over react and make something out of nothing. My eyes would see, ears would hear or body would feel something and my brain would make up story after story. Each thought getting darker and gloomier. My interpretations of an event or perceived event, look or slight would escalate into something worse and worse and the “what ifs” were unbearable. At work we call that “getting your head wrapped around the axle”. You think and think and think and finally nothing makes sense anymore. Believe me…the little hamster between my ears certainly had a blast with that axle winding!
The more depressed and sad I got the more I confirmed that I was just hopeless. Stupid. Awful. Not likeable and just an over all a terrible person. Ahhh… it always came down to I am a terrible person. Can’t get much worse that the core of you being despicable. How can a misunderstanding make you into a bad person? Guilt, maybe, because that meant you did something bad by the shame of being a bad person is just carrying things way too far.
I have worked and worked on my self confidence over the years, overcome depression and crippling anxiety. I know that I am loved no matter what I do. Understanding guilt vs shame, having faith, seeing things realistically but one day in the not so distant past I had “an episode” and the hamster was loose! <squeak, squeak, squeak!>
I was on my Facebook site and thought I would look at how many likes I have. Then I saw it… “Say what? an UNLIKE?? what? What happened on that day? Who did I offend? What did I post? It must have been something terrible!” Let the axle winding start. My head wrapped and wrapped and wrapped. I started to rethink (THINK is the key word there) my intuition of posting something that someone didn’t like.
After a bit of fretting and pinging a trusted friend, I went for a walk. When I was not in my head it came to me, “oh, that’s right… I myself liked and unliked my OWN page inadvertently early in the week” and all the feelings just melted away Not only did I cause the problem by overreacting to something that was not real to start with… I really did this to myself… literally! This was a great reminder that we are all human, we all have triggers and don’t take things so seriously. Did I beat myself up like I would have before for wasting an hour of my life? Nope. I had to share because it is hilarious!
What I learned ……
1. Get over yourself (myself!)! if someone did unlike my page, who … cares….!!! Like my Mom says, 100 years from now it won’t even matter.
2. Be careful to judge intent on social media and mail. I see so many misinterpretations. Posting wars, unfriending, and crises at work over nothing. It is easy to misread, mistake, misstate, mis mis mis mis… so verify before you react.
3. Realize that what you think you sense is not always reality so check your reality and get out of your head. Notice that reality came to me when I was not thinking about the situation. If it is reality, is it that bad?
4. Axle wrapping, even if for an hour, diverts energy from what could be used for much more creative pursuits.
I hope you had a good laugh… I sure did!
All the best to you all! Love Kristen