I am doing a class from Brene Brown in her Courage Works Classes called Living Brave. I thought it would be a good distraction this winter. I love her work and have read her books and followed her blogs for a while. My intent is to get back to the spiritual and self-compassion work I had let go of. I also thought it would help because I usually am depressed in winter and this year has been very bad for me.
I also have been so overwhelmed at work that I am miserable, cranky and in general, very unhappy. My hope is that this class might help me figure out why. It seems so simple at first glance but the layers and complexity is deep and involved. The bottom line is being vulnerable. My biggest issue in my life all stems from one intense feeling for me and that is feeling unsafe.
Children who grow up in chaos and abuse learn to create a way to get through life. The toll on the body appears later in life in chronic health issues, mental illness and addiction. This has been proven with the ACE Study. I believe that this occurs because the body never deregulates in to a calm and natural state. There is always a sense of fight, flight or freeze going on with the individual that never really goes away.
I do not think I can even put into words the way this feels. It is not like a phobia that only occurs when faced with what-ever action created the phobia. This is more like a low level current that just feels like bad food sitting in your gut. It never goes away. It can be more prevalent at times, especially if something happens to put me in an even more vulnerable spot. I wake up in the morning with it and often will wake in the middle of the night to perseverate on something to the point of become nauseous.
I write about this not because I want people to feel sorry for me. I write this because I am facing my own vulnerabilities. I am not sure if this is a help. I am not alone in this though. I was surprised in reading through the multiple threads in the class that the issue of being “unsafe” is something that so many people face. When I realized how common the lack of security or trust is with my classmates, it made me think what are we doing to ourselves? There are hundreds of people from all over the world taking this class and so many all feel some degree of being vulnerable to a point massive insecurity. That is what unsafe is.
Just being aware that I am not alone has been helpful. I think many people do not want to face fear and it does take being Brave to do so. I am not sure yet what steps to do or if there is steps, or even if there is a fix for this. I am starting with some self-compassion which is very hard for me to do. And it goes back to feeling worthy, which is a whole other issue unto itself.
This weekend I made time to do things I enjoy like reading. I am dealing with the guilt that came from not attending to the things around the house that need to be done. My usual approach is I do the work and then heap on being more miserable because I did not want to do it in the first place. It is like I still hear some voice saying “clean your room” and I feel like I am going to get into trouble for not doing the work. But no one is going to yell at me. I literally had to talk myself into a place of feeling ok with not spending the weekend busting my ass. I admit, I am really enjoying the escape into my book and it helped to not think about the negative stuff for a while. The outcome was a few hours of peace and pleasure and well worth the grace it gave me. Who cares if my Christmas tree is still up? I love my tree and I would leave it up all year.
I am a work in progress….