I made assumptions about how everyone around me was feeling. I felt that I knew who liked me and who didn’t. I would distance myself from those who I felt did not like me and attempt to bring those who did closer to me. I made assumptions about how others were feeling and why they feel the way they do. These assumptions led me to a plethora of internal emotional experiences. I was overrun by feelings of guilt anger shame and depression. The reality is I have no clue how anyone feels. Assumptions and beliefs that are not accurate allow for behaviors that could keep you feeling lonely and isolated from others. If this is your pattern, you could be losing out on relationships with people. I had an experience with someone who I thought was dismissive of me. I based my conclusion on the fact that I hadn’t heard anything from him in a long period of time. One afternoon I allowed myself to drop that assumption. I decided to call this particular individual. After speaking with him I learned that my belief was far from the truth. I learned that this individual wanted to work as a team and was delighted to hear from me. If I had stuck to my inaccurate position I never would have made the call. I was needlessly angry and disappointed with this person. I felt ignored and disrespected. I could have easily continued that stance for as long as I felt justified. Looking back I created a ton of negative emotional angst, playing the victim role, all for nothing. What are the possibilities for you if you could drop your assumptions of how and what people think and feel about you?
I avoided doing things that ultimately make me feel good. Procrastination and ignoring daily tasks and obligations felt easier. This method worked however only for a short while. Time inevitably runs out and I would have to rush to get things done. Afraid of making wrong decisions, I spent my life letting choices “make themselves”. I also never realized that doing things in a timely matter would make me feel so much better. I was living with pain the pain of not doing. An example from my life is that I used to ignore my finances. I would have a rough idea of how much money I had in the bank, but not know exactly. Every time I would write a check or use my ATM card I would have that old familiar knot in my gut saying, “is this transaction going to get declined?” I never would have felt the relief that I now experience knowing exactly what is in my account. I can now trade my anxiety for a feeling of safety by being responsible with my finances.
I hated myself. Feelings of self degradation pervaded my life. I carried so much self hatred and rejection that I automatically would keep myself from experiencing any happiness. I found that internal hurt was easy to inflict. I would reject and nullify myself before others did, which kept me from feeling the pain of rejection of others when it finally occurred.
I tried to make my death look accidental vs. intentional. I was a huge risk taker. Any opportunity to harm myself without harming others was a welcome moment. I purposely put myself into harm’s way.
I lived my life in a constant state of fear and unbearable physical tension. This was without question, the worst feeling of all. I could never relax. The relentless feeling of the knot in my stomach was enough to make me want to die. I worried about absolutely everything. I thought that my life had to look a certain way. I thought I knew what I needed and wanted, and if I didn’t get it, anxiety was the price I paid. I based my self worth on external things, like how much money I had or didn’t have. Looking deeply at everything I discovered that at the core of everything I feared my own mortality. That is the irony of the whole story of our lives. We fear what we don’t want, which leaves us with…fear.
I discovered that these old ways of functioning in the world was my way of saying, “NO” to life. So while I was not physically dead, I was a walking dead person. I was living life with the brakes on. I learned that I was living my life through something called “ego consciousness”. The good news is we can constructively use the emotional pain that ego consciousness generates, to free ourselves from our suffering. Start by allowing yourself and be willing to look deep within and see what beliefs you are holding on to. Do this without judgment. Be willing to see if your beliefs are really true without exception. As you discover how these beliefs work in your day to day life, you can start to open up to another reality. Something refreshing and different will begin to show up. Take some time to explore what arises. You will be pleasantly surprised.