Affirmation: I can chill and have fun even when things aren't exactly the way I'd like them to be.
My son was recently accepted to college (Woot! Woot!) For several reasons, which I won't go into, he ended up signing up much later than is customary. This has meant that all of the things that need to be done to prepare have been compressed into a much shorter period, and some decisions have had to be made "out of order."
This has caused quite a bit of anxiety for my control freak self. Especially when you include the fact that my son's sense of urgency is .... well, lets just say it's drastically less than mine, just sayin'... And, oh, that's right, I'm also dealing with the wistfulness and occasional bouts of terror of my son starting college and living away from home for the first time (even if it is only a short drive away).
This all leads to many sleepless nights and a considerable production of stomach acids... Ugh! I'm trying to be super conscious of everything I'm feeling and trying to get to the bottom of these fears, so that I can hopefully move through it. Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of deep breathing lately.
I've also been reading the plethora of affirmations I've already written about control issues (clearly an area of growth for me), and found that one thing I haven't written about is this: In my brain, when you do things in a certain pre-prescribed "order" it's like creating a stair case, each step supports the next step. My brain sees it kind of like this picture to the right...
So, if there's a missing step, not only does it take great effort to step over that area to get to the next step, but I also fear that the entire thing will come crashing down. Eventually, I can end up getting a kind of "deer in the headlights" phenomenon going on ... I'm not sure how to move forward or IF I should move forward, and I can become overwhelmed, indecisive and eventually paralyzed. Because to me, it looks like a rickety ass stair case with a gaping hole in it that will surely lead to me and my loved ones plunging to our eventual deaths. No, I'm not dramatic at all, thank you very much...
Ok, so I joke, but do I have to acknowledge that the fear can sometimes feel that threatening. If you can relate to this feeling, here are a few things that I'm realizing and trying to tell myself that I'm hoping will help me and might help you as well:
1. The first thing to remember is that the images your brain is constructing are complete and utter bullshit! I mean, come on, that first picture with the stair of books? For the love of all that's holy, that's not even how staircases are built, brain! So CTFO!
While it's true that the middle section of a staircase is often self supporting, the overall structure and foundation are what is critical - not each step. In fact, its entirely possible to build a staircase with several missing steps and have it still be structurally sound. I mean, you do have to tread lightly, of course, if you're walking it, but it doesn't mean imminent death ... just sayin'...
2. Then remind yourself that you DO have this structure and foundation in place. You're starting from a solid foundation, so if a few steps need to be filled in later, that's totally cool. It may be a pain in the ass and take longer, but it's not life or death.
3. And. lastly, don't forget to be grateful and enjoy the process. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what needs to be done and worrying about what's undone that we can forget that, "Holy shit! What I'm building is so totally cool!" No matter how it eventually works out, being grateful along the way can make the journey joyful and fun!
As I write these things out, I do find some increased peace, but I've gotta be honest -I'm still popping the Tums quite a bit. But, I guess, like most things, this is a process and a practice that needs to be repeated ... a lot! So, in honor of enjoying the process, I'll leave you with this stair pun that I found while writing this ... enjoy!
And tread lightly, my friend ... all is well ...
Spiral level: Meh, Pretty Darn Good, Great!
Use when feeling: fear, anxiety, frustrated, overwhelmed