When I was going through a period of self-care back in 2016, one that was way overdue, there were all sorts of emotions coming out for me. Two of the most powerful and significant emotions are upset and anger. I learn a lot about emotions in general, as well as realising just how important it is for us to acknowledge them and channel them. That’s for another post for sure.
As a result of these dormant emotions I'd been holding in for a while (as a sensitive chap, those emotions become embodied and suppressed), it got me reflecting on my past experiences in life and how I had acted, or not acted, in them.
I realised that there was general theme in situations where I just sat, in anything from disagreement to what was being said or discomfort to what was going on, and yet just froze and bore it. I am someone who really doesn't like conflict and, in the past, have taken this too far and not done my own needs justice. In other words, I shut my mouth, or still smile and nod, or just generally freeze.
Meanwhile, on the inside, I’m feeling anything from anxious to annoyed or just tsh*tty. My inner Jedi, if you like, know that I am not happy with this yet continues to let it slide and just feel sh*tty without expressing this, or at least, removing myself from that situation and taking myself away from it so my inner being is restored and calm again.
This is where the title of this post comes in. And it can be interpreted both in the way of ensuring we make the right friendships and put ourselves in the right situations to begin with, or simply walking away from a day-to-day interaction that we're not comfortable with, without needing to confront it "head on" but also putting our own needs and feelings first if there is something going on that we're not happy with, we don't agree with, or just makes use feel not great. Man, that was a long sentence. But an important one at that, so please read it again, and maybe even a third time.
As introverts and empaths, we'll be well aware of these moments cropping us, as we feel them deep - even if we have become used to “grinning and bearing it”, or putting on a mask which expertly hides the unrest happening underneath the surface.
And we are well within our right to remove ourselves from these situations, extract ourselves immediately, as soon as we start to feel something which we don't like. It's not being rude to anyone, it's not disrespecting anyone (fairly often, it'll be a case of being disrespected ourselves, or them being the disrespectful/offensive party, hence our discomfort), and - perhaps most importantly of all - it is doing yourself justice and putting your own needs first.
As the majority of us are people-pleasers to one extent or another, and have been used to being so for a long time, we are so used to not acting in a way that puts ourselves first all of the time that this can feel strange, alien even, and thus will take awareness and then conscious effort on our part to change this embedded habit.
One of the most significant things that I have learnt to do which has contributed to my sense of wellbeing and happiness and energy is learning to respect my inner energy by not exposing myself to unnecessary sh*t in the form of negative energy. I'm sat in my gym cafe right now as I write this, I'm sat against a wall with music in my ears so as I'm as least aware of my surroundings as possible and thus not letting anything or anyone else disrupt that inner energy and the flow I am in. In a "stressful situation", of which we sometimes experiences these more as empathetic sensitive folks, the human response is fight, flight - or freeze. To some folk, this may sound extreme. And that’s fine, ordinary folks may think this is strange and way over-the-top.
But do you know what, I’m not just an ordinary person. I’m a sensitive soul, and so it is absolutely key for me to manage my internal energy, respect my previous boundaries, and honour my inner Jedi.
Throughout my teens and the majority of my twenties, for a lot of the time I would FREEZE. Like a deer in the headlights. Just go along with whatever was happening, whatever was being said, whatever had happened that made me judder and shudder and feel icky on the inside.
Now, I tend to just move away from these situations and - if I feel it necessary - even stand up for myself and confront it. (The first time I ever did that was a very powerful experience - again, a story for another time. So many stories for other times!)
I never used to do that. And it felt so ridiculously alien when I first started doing it, and really it's a learning in progress right now as I still have to be wary of underlying past habits and patterns and ensure I don't get sucked back into them.
But it's certainly not as effortful as it sounds. And it’s certainly way less laborious than it would be to remain in those situations like I used to do and let myself "suffer" internally as it were and bite my tongue and let those feelings build up inside me, when I didn't need to, and without any outlet.
And here’s the kicker. For a long, long time I used to be in those situations, suck it all up and assume: hey, it’s all good, after I’m away from this situation and these people I’ll just go back to being me and it’ll all be fine. What I hadn’t realised, though, is that these situations and emotions stay with us, they build up inside us without us even realising it, and they only reinforce these self-destructive patterns and, before we know it, we get walked over - whether others realise they doing it to us or not. Or, perhaps more accurately, we’re letting them do it to us.
The most important person in your life is, without any doubt at all, you.
Remember the airplane pre-flight safety message that says "Put your oxygen mask on in an emergency before you put anyone else's on, even if it's a small child, *your* small child"...? That's exactly what you have to do in life ALL of the time.
And you'll be way better off for it, trust me on that one. If this is something you need to work on - and I hold my hand up again here as I certainly don’t get it right all of the time - this is a really significant awareness for you to have. I am so much better at this now, and I am so pleased I realised this about myself and found the courage to step forward and change those patterns, as it’s affected my life - positively - in so many ways - made me a stronger person with higher regard for my feelings and opinions - AND means that my inner Jedi energy stays more balanced and calm. In other words, putting my needs first like this has pretty much affected my whole life, directly or indirectly.
Yoda’s words of wisdom
Very strong Jedi can be. Controls his thoughts and feelings he can. But honour inner energy he must. Dark side at all times kept at bay, it must be.
Sunday, 11th November 2018
👉🏽 read other articles
💌 i want more