Fear felt like my emotional default for most of my life. It didn’t take much for me to lash out at someone. It wasn’t until a painfully lonely period in my life, that I asked, “What if something I’m doing is making things so difficult?”
It was next finding the courage, learning the patience and self-compassion to explore the inner parts of myself I’d spent my life avoiding. That decision changed everything.
Growing up my social awkwardness was dialed to 11, making me ripe for being dumped on by most of the boys and a few of the teachers. Getting criticized and rejected that much can leave you feeling fundamentally unworthy to belong – that is a profound hurting of the soul, my friend.
No wonder I’d respond so defensively, so often. Even when someone genuinely cared. But people in general had become a threat and I didn’t have much of a barometer for who could be trusted.
When you grow up never feeling safe, not even in your own family much of the time, you mostly know the perception of threat. So most experiences might as well be life and death.
After one too many ruptured relationships, I finally had to look inward. What was my role in these harmful patterns? This question set in motion a journey through therapy and self-exploration to find out what was triggering these outbursts.
As I learned to calm my distrust, I realized how my defensiveness was keeping me from seeing the opportunities to get to know some potentially caring people.
Another breakthrough came when I learned how to treat my thoughts of rejection like bubbles – watching them rise to the top of my attention and then POP, the thought is gone. This skill has been instrumental in allowing me to let go.
Does any of this resonate, then please take a chance on yourself. There is no shame in seeking help to unravel the layers of unrefined experience that have accumulated all these years.
For me, this has been the work of a lifetime – and the journey continues. I can significantly decrease your learning curve. We’re in this together.