Writing for Focusing Inward has impacted my life in important ways. It’s not only what I write about, or that I express my thoughts “out loud”. I am actually changing my life because I am writing about my life. There. I’ve made it official. It is in print. My life has changed by writing about the experience of living with anxiety, taking a Vow of Truth, and having deeper understandings in meditative states. One of the most important changes has been in my primary relationships. Writing for this blog has helped me bring some of the issues that needed to be addressed in those relationships into the light. Every sentence I have written has forced me to look more closely at the connections I share with those near and dear to me.
I have come to realize how powerfully the environment I live in and the people I surround myself with impact me. Now, even something as simple as using my time to write has the potential to become a conflict in a relationship. Here is why. In the past that writing time would have gone to interacting with someone who enjoyed my attention. Instead I am using that time for me to do something I enjoy, and I am loving it. Unfortunately sometimes “a loved one” is not experiencing the same joy. They might express strong disappointment at not having my attention directed towards their wants. Their disappointment ignites feelings of guilt in me. This pattern has caused me to take a long, hard look at my definition of a loving relationship. I am discovering that I may be tired of my old definitions and beliefs about how I am supposed to contribute to a relationship. Whether it was time to update my definitions or they out-lived their usefulness in my life, change is happening and it is “rocking my world“.
I have heard it said that when one person makes a change the people around them react. That saying is true. I am finding that some resist, while others cheer me on. Change is not always easy. Exciting - yes! Invigorating - yes! Simple and easy - not so much. Inevitably the moment comes when it is time to see what a person is made of. Can I walk my talk when the going gets really hard, and also be lovingly patient while others in my life adjust? After all, I am the one who is introducing the change and some people need time to adapt.
During these weeks of sharing my how’s and why’s of living with anxiety, as I bared my soul in regard to taking the Vow of Truth, I find myself looking closely at where and why I am not following through on doing some of the things I love. My guess is that, once again, fear was blocking my path.
Fear of taking time from loved ones to give myself the freedom to do something I enjoy.
What has become crystal clear to me is that there have been too many occasions where I avoided doing things I want, as well as not taking action in areas that were important to me, when it brought up fear. For me that means I am afraid of the possibility of creating disharmony within my primary relationships, in my connections with those closest to me. Instead I would give up what I want to keep “peace.” But at what cost to me?
Unmasking this raw fear has been an eye opener. I am still wrestling with what it all means. Am I afraid of being alone? Am I afraid of being rejected by the ones I love? Good questions to ask myself, and I do! This is not to suggest that I welcome others disapproval or rejection. But to sacrifice my joy in order to maintain these relationships as they are, when it means frequently betraying my own desires, feels wrong and costs me dearly. I have paid with anxiety.
The life lesson in this for me is that I must take what I know to be the truth and apply it in ALL areas of my life, no matter how challenging that might be. Even where and when I am afraid – especially when I am afraid.
I have done this with many of my issues, past and present, and it has made a difference. But as I move forward and write more, I find I still feel a knot in my chest. Something tells me there remains work to do and issues to address. I am doing just that.
Now I am bringing my truth to even the most challenging parts of my life. It is making a difference. Some days it is 2 steps forward, and the next day, a step back. Working with the people I love the most, in regard to these tough issues, brings up all kinds of fear. I will not stop because my commitment to Truth and myself has given me a light to shine on my life. I want the brightest, shiniest life possible!