Recently I fell into a whole self–created story around my worth and my competence in relation to my work as a nurse. This happened because I assumed something and reacted.
I love to clean my own car. One of my jobs at home when I was a young teenager was to clean the family car at the weekend and I loved getting soap everywhere, all over myself and the car and then being allowed to use the hose to wash it all off and would occasionally squirt someone from the family who happened to be nearby. Our neighbour would ask me occasionally to clean his car too and would pay me the equivalent of my weekly pocket money, so that was always a bonus.
I used to consider abuse as something that wasn’t part of my life. I saw it in the news, films and read about it in papers. Abuse to me was extreme: extreme cases of violence, beheadings, bombings, attacks, rapes, fighting, shootings, stabbings, war, domestic violence, shouting, swearing and attacking people, someone physically self-harming or cutting themselves. Never once did I consider that abuse – which we all normalise and make okay, which we turn a blind eye to daily – is in all our lives.
Have you ever been really busy and caught up with something that is all consuming and feels very important – to discover later that it was actually not that important at all? We can feel quite ‘taken over’ and energetically, it can feel like we are being driven by an energy and a force that is not us.
Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates – A Buffet of Choices
Perhaps for many, one of the most memorable lines in Forest Gump was when the lead character said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” If we park aside the fact that the saying suggests we are not in charge of our own choices, therefore “you never know what you’re gonna get” – which of course is not true – what we are left with at this stage is a proposition that no matter which chocolate is picked, we still end up with chocolate, just a different kind.
One may draw a praline, a truffle, a caramel delight or a coconut nougat, however, is it not still a chocolate, still made up of cocoa, sugar, often milk, and then just a varying flavour to differentiate it from the pieces that lay beside it?
We have all experienced anxiety at some point in life, some more than others. It can be a debilitating condition that creates stress and affects us in many ways; in our ability to relate, to work effectively and to be in the world in a confident and calm way. I know the times in the past when I have experienced anxiety I have felt overwhelmed and powerless, unable to feel clear or be at ease with myself.
I recall experiencing panic attacks and anxiety so badly at times that I felt I would be unable to leave home for fear of not being able to handle the situations or people that I would run into. I felt totally immobilised and would start to get hot sweats, feeling like I couldn’t function properly if I saw anyone I knew, and if I did speak with them my face would go bright red making me feel even more anxious, compounding the stress I was already feeling.