Once again I am joining Deepak and Oprah for a free 21-day meditation experience. This new meditation series is Hope in Uncertain Times where Oprah and Deepak will teach me to find hope in the core of my being to help me discover my strength, clarity, and purpose. Feel free to follow me on my journey or sign up so you can join me.
Hope in Uncertain Times – Releasing Fear and Anxiety with Hopefulness
You can stop fear once you realize that its power comes from the past. Write down two or three things you find yourself feeling anxious about; it could be in the family, in your relationships, or at work. Typical fears would be of failure, embarrassment, a trigger for guilt and shame, being abandoned, not trusting, losing love, etc. When you are clear about what kind of fear is facing you, write down two experiences in your past that created that same kind of fear. Read these to yourself saying, “I am past this. It holds no power over me.”
- Being abandoned
- Not trusting
- Losing love
I can trace all these fears and anxieties back to my childhood. Now, as an adult, I understand why my parents raised me the way they did. They wanted me to be strong, self-sufficient, hardworking and independent. For me as a child though, it was hard. I was a sensitive kid who often felt not good enough, not loved and that I couldn’t trust people. I would be vulnerable with my family, my parents, and siblings, and I felt like they would take the things I had confided in them and use it to hurt me. Often they would throw back in my face what I said when someone was angry or frustrated and it all left me feeling incredibly alone, unloved and that I couldn’t trust the people closest to me.
Anxiety is a reaction to uncertainty rooted in a feeling of powerless or lack of control. Consider an area that triggers your anxiety. Is it a chronic health problem? Job insecurity? Perhaps it’s just a chronic feeling; one without a resolvable root cause. Write down an anxiety-inducing situation and how it makes you feel. Knowing that the only control you have over anything is your response to it, imagine and journal about a new reaction to your specific situation that allows you to be calm and open. For instance, “Even though I’m anxious when I think about the next step of my career, I know that my anxiety is an unhelpful reaction to an unknowable future. If I keep working hard and doing a good job, I will be in a good position to handle whatever future comes my way.”
The most anxiety-inducing situation right now is the lack of trust I have with my husband. He’s lied a lot throughout our relationship and has cheated on me more times than he can remember. He swears up and down that he has learned from his mistakes, that he’s a different person and he’d never do that again. I don’t believe him. Because I don’t believe him I feel like I have to pick apart every small thing to make sure that it’s the truth. The whole thing is exhausting and it makes me understand why infidelity is the number reason for divorce. Whether or not this relationship works out I need to learn that people can and will hurt me and there is nothing I can do to stop that. All I can do is live my life to the fullest and learn from my experiences.
Life challenges almost always can be perceived as win-win, because either they are positive or they give you room to learn and grow. Write down two or three recent situations that didn’t go your way. For each one, write down the lesson you want to learn from it. Examples: this can make me stronger, this can make me stand up for myself more, this can make me trust my real feelings. Now reflect on how you can benefit from this lesson, then thank the bad experience and tell it to move on.
A big thing that has never really gone my way is my marriage. At every turn in the last 7 years has not worked out for me. What I would like to learn from this is to not rush into things, trust my gut more and to stand up for myself.
A smaller thing that hasn’t worked out for me is buying a house. I guess that really isn’t a small thing but I’ve been ready to own a home for a while now. I’m tired of moving and so are the kids, it’s just time to settle down and grow some roots. The timeline hasn’t been working for me though. I want to buy a house now but it is realistically going to take us another year or two until we can really do that. I need to learn patience because when I rush into things I always regret it. I want to do this right way.
I think that I can benefit from all these lessons. I have often reflected on what my life could have been like if I had slowed down and really trusted myself. I can’t do anything about the past but going forward I really think that if I can slow down and really work through these challenges I’d feel better about the decisions I make in my life. There won’t be the regrets I have about past decisions and I’ll be getting what I really want in the end.