Sharing Oneself Can Be Hard, written by Dawn Jepson

Every morning since I began guest writing for Focusing Inward, I wake up filled with ideas for what I want to write. With two pieces partially done I am excited to share what they examine. One is about my speaking the truth and how it relates to anxiety, and the other connects living with a lack of financial security and how anxious I get about it. These posts will come later.I love writing. It feels so good to share my experiences and insights in hopes that they will help another. As I wrote the first piece last month there was excitement, passion and an aliveness that I had not felt in quite some time. As I have continued writing down the ideas that have been flooding my mind, those same wonderful feelings arose. Then something strange shifted, and now two pieces of my writing are sitting in a file on my computer, unfinished … incomplete. I hit a wall. But not that writer’s block kind of wall you might be familiar with or have experienced for yourself. My writing is sitting there waiting, hidden from the public, because I am afraid of the responses it will get - the responses I will get - from people in my life. For example - one individual has already told me not to mention their name when writing anything that will be made public. It was clear they do not want to be in any way a part of this public sharing of my life and past. With those words, anxiety rose up within me as I accepted that person’s request and still decided to write. I am so afraid of people’s negative responses toward me. I can feel the anxiety bubble up in my belly as I type those words, as I read those words … and yet I am so excited to be writing. Sharing my experiences, challenges and even my mistakes (as embarrassing as they can sometimes seem to me), so that they might help someone else, is what I have always felt “called” to do. Yet at the same time I am sometimes afraid of what those close to me will say to me, that they will be angry with me for writing about things in my life that directly or indirectly involved them, even if it is told from my perspective. I can only guess why they would be upset with me. Maybe they are afraid what I have written will make them look poorly. Or they might be embarrassed about the connection they share with me. Since this is all my fear and imagining, I cannot know for sure what is truly going on for anyone else. I must remember that!! I have also considered that I am afraid that they will accuse me of writing things that aren’t true … that what I am writing is not the way it happened, my memories faulty, or my reasoning inaccurate. That I can understand - we all remember things differently even when we have been through the exact same experience together. I also realize that some of what I am writing about is sensitive material … for others. So as I pick and choose what I am going to be sharing, I realize I need to be truthful AND be sensitive to others who were also a part of the stories and memories I am sharing through my writing. Any more than that … I just don’t know what I can do. Certainly I don’t want to hurt anyone or betray anyone. I also don’t want to betray myself. The goal for me is to do my best to write these postings in a way that does not point the finger of blame. The truth is, I don’t blame anyone for my choices, actions, behaviors, and ultimately my decisions. They are all mine and mine alone. If I have allowed myself to be affected in my decision-making process by what I thought others wanted, in other words, if I did what I thought they might have wanted - instead of what I believed was best or right - then that is, and was, still my choice. I am coming to realize that much of the anxiety I experience involves two things: my relationships with others and more precisely, my fear of other people’s responses towards me. I am afraid of their negative responses. Bring on the approval, but I cringe and quake at the thought of dealing with the “how could you? and, “how dare you.” Yet through all of this, including the anxious feelings, I am learning that I must write. And that sharing my writing with others is important to me. For me the life lesson in this is that if I allow the approval and praise to have great meaning to me, then I will also find the disapproval and disappointment to have equal power. Onward I go, with care and respect, for myself and my desire to write, as well as for others and for their feelings. I won’t let my fear and the anxiety stop me from writing about my experiences as I remember them and learn from them. However, I will do my best to exercise wisdom when the choice needs to be made as to how much of my writing requires the inclusion of other people’s involvement in that particular life experience. I know it is time for me to let go, as best I can, of my approval seeking behavior. My belief is that with it will come a releasing, at least to some degree, of the fear and anxiety that once held me hostage. In taking this step I am calling back more of my power, which can then guide me as I journey onward in my desire to share through writing.

Dawn Jepson - Bio As a Consulting Hypnotist since 1997, Dawn Jepson holds an alternative doctoral degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy and is registered with the National Guild of Hypnotists. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services and an Associate Degree in Mental Health.

Dawn works with individuals and groups. During private sessions, speaking engagements, and workshops she assists people in realizing their ability to reach their full potential through self-hypnosis, deep relaxation and suggestion. The primary intention of her work is to encourage each person to move closer in affirming their personal goals, thus enhancing their life.