I have found it difficult over the years to protect my peace of mind and to stay sane. There are persons in our lives – some well intentioned, others not- who constantly threaten our overall well being. They come with demands, expectations and problems and you feel you must address them. Before you know it you have taken on more than you can chew and find yourself choking. You look around and find no one to save you, to perform the Heimlich and you panic wondering how you can save yourself. The analogy above seems a bit extreme even overly dramatic but, there are many persons who leave themselves opened to being so frazzled by live and people that they end up feeling as if they’re always on the edge of doom.
When I was smaller my granny once asked me why I can never say no to any question asked -especially when it comes to food! Being cheeky I immediately responded, no! However, this has become true in instances where I should say no, dangerous instances when I have made decisions that continue to haunt me to this day. This penchant for saying yes to everyone and everything – especially when I know I should not – has affected my mental wellbeing overtime to the degree where I struggle with making the simplest of decision because I am afraid of history repeating itself, afraid to fail once again, afraid of being so disappointed that I could have another mental breakdown…
So I am slowly working on creating a safe space, internally and externally, that will protect my peace of mind. Sometimes when you are really good at something you are rewarded somehow for that or those talents that you have. Often time, in my experience anyway, I note that more pressure is applied more expectations and little or no reward is returned. If you are not careful, you become the expert you is attached to that expertise and your fragility is disregarded. If you are not careful, persons begin to expect you to carry them, because “oh I can’t do this and you are good at it, so help me here,” becomes “do this for me , send this, I tried but only you can do it”. You end up exhausting yourself trying not to disappoint everyone and keeping that halo others have knighted you with. So, the task now is to use my talents to help and not carry others. To say no when I realise that my kindness has become a weapon against me. What about you?
Since this pandemic I have spent a little more time away from certain people and I realise this is a good thing. Through this semi-isolation period I have come to realise that the presence of some persons only serve to make me more anxious, less productive and less happy. So I don’t call, they don’t call and we are all happier that way. I also no longer watch things that cause me anxiety, like the news or go on certain social media sites . I realised I was caring too much about things that did not matter, getting angry and anxious when I really should be taking the time to focusing on the things that really matter in my life, things that would impact me now. Instead I have withdrawn somewhat from looking outward and trying to find happiness in the people and things around me and really thinking about how I can control the things I can control. I can control me, my thoughts, my action and my sense of well being, but, it takes time and it takes will power.
You want people to think the best of you – or not it depends on your state of mind. Many persons want to be liked, to be admired to be recognised for doing good, for being good. However, for me this is no longer important, instead what I want to do is protect my peace of mind. This may mean offending others or may be perceived as offensive to other but you can never please everyone; therefore, we need to have a greater sense of being in control instead of allowing ourselves to be controlled by external forces and influences that have their agendas.
And if you try to find that peace and become swept away by the chaos around, reach for that shipwrecked debris to stay afloat, drift your own way and ask yourself, “Where is my peace in the midst of this chaos?”