I have been a life-long observer and analyzer of everything in and around me. It’s my natural tendency and has served me well in life, especially in my chosen professions. The times that I miss something are when I allow myself to be distracted or emotionally driven. If I’m honest, that’s happened more times than I’d like to admit. As I've grown older and have committed myself to my personal growth and evolution, I have honed my ability to observe my reactions to things around me and to discern not only my reaction to them but my willingness to participate. The act of saying “NO”, to setting boundaries and honoring my needs has been the biggest challenge. As Wayne Dyer said so many years ago, related to the work of enlightenment (and this is paraphrased): "You begin to notice that you may still react to things but you catch yourself faster and move through it with more ease."
WELL SHIT... This is coming up for me as I have found myself reacting to constant chaos of this bathroom remodel. My home is my sanctuary; my private place where I can control my environment. I retreat into my 4-walled cocoon when the world overwhelms me and stay until I've recharged my batteries and grounded myself. Without that, I feel frazzled and discombobulated. I tend to make more emotional decisions and either seek to numb the anxiety with food or shopping (not a drinker, so that's off the table). So, imagine my reaction to having my home taken over 6 days a week from 8am to 5pm with constant noise and dust EVERYWHERE! Having to dig through clothes laying on top of a bed to find something to wear; strangers coming and going through your front door all day. Cleaning is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreo's. I find myself getting more and more anxious and angry.
I'M OUT OF HERE!
I will find any excuse to leave the house just to get a break from the noise and feelings of invasion and lack of privacy and control. I then find myself overwhelmed by all the chaos out "there". There’s no escape for me and it’s made me feel like a caged animal!
It all came to a head yesterday when I nearly totaled the truck on the interstate when a huge work truck pulled out of the shoulder without looking into the slow lane that I was in and forced me to slam on the breaks and I barely avoided plowing into the back of it. Everything in the car, including me, went flying forward and I was bracing for impact. I was definitely being watched over by angels because no one was behind me. Went from 70 miles an hour to dead stop and no one hit me. Truly a miracle on I-95! I was on my way to purchase more tiles for the bathroom so I couldn't just go home and curl up in the fetal position. My usual response to this kind of stressor would have been to get a donut or spend a bunch of money at a store, buying shit that I didn’t need. I did neither. Don’t get me wrong, once I was done with the tile store, I did go to Marshalls and wander around aimlessly for an hour to decompress. I bought a sweater and Christmas gift and made it out the door without doing too much damage.
SORRY, NOT SORRY...
Once home and back in the chaos, the ability to recharge was not available so the donuts left on the counter from Halloween were calling my name and I gave into the old patterns. This made me even more angry at myself because of my lack of will power and I found myself in the familiar place of being emotionally volatile. Never a good place to be. I felt defeated. Like I was back to square one and all the growth I thought I had achieved was obviously bull shit.
You know the idea that if you just sleep on it, clarity will come?
I woke up with the residual residue of the previous day’s emotional turmoil and was not interested in carrying it around all day. I sat with my coffee and stared out the window at the falling leaves and took a deep look inside, hoping for some relief. I’ve come to find that when you can ask your internal guidance “What am I supposed to learn from this?” you tend to get pretty clear answers.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE...
I observed that my perceived lack of control over my external environment was what was causing all of my discomfort. Hi, my name is Laura and I’m a control freak. I could either continue to numb it or feel and process it. I had to admit to myself that my need to be in complete control is irrational and impossible; That "shit" happens and there's not much you can do about it. That it's okay to feel annoyed or angry that things aren't going the way you want. That everything in life is temporary and as my mother-in-law used to say, "you can do anything for a few hours".
As I sat with all of this, I felt calmer and more in control of the only thing I am actually in control of – my reactions to my environment. I made a commitment to myself to honor any feelings that popped up and allow them to be felt and released; to honor my vessel and go back to eating in a mindful and healthy way. To communicate clearly what my expectations are and maintain my boundaries.
Will I get angry or irritated again? Hell yes, I will. Like clockwork! But I won’t let it fester. I will see it for what it is and honor it’s lesson.
Why did I feel the need to write this? It’s my duty, as a member of the ground crew to share my journey because it’s ALL of OUR journey. We are all ONE, after all.