Overcoming fear

570349_the_key_to_success.jpgThe worst part of fear is that we can become immobilised by it. In other words, we become frozen like a ‘stunned mullett’ when we are fearful and not able to make decisions to even save ourselves. There are several steps to take in order to cope with fear so that it does not debilitate us. First we need to breathe evenly in a rounded fashion – this will help us relax; then we need to imagine how it will feel to be a part of the solution and how rewarding that will be; finally we need to take action instead of just sitting and waiting for it to get better. There are probably other steps that may suit you personally, so note them and make sure you can recall them when you are next experiencing fear.

the boss was autocratic and prided himself on
being masculine or “macho” in his approach
his staff had been full of fear and either moved on
or everyone was miserable at work!
eventually they overcame their fear and
spoke to him about how badly they felt
and to their surprise he realised that it was
risky for his business that his staff are unhappy
so he put in a plan to involve them in the decisions
and give them a voice to keep him informed
about his behaviour and how it affected productivity
in time they realised that he was indeed smart to be
willing to change his approach for the sake of his business
and that overcoming their fear and asserting themselves
made a huge difference for their wellbeing

The key to success, photo by Jocilyn Pope, London, United Kingdom, assertiveness

Exercise for healing and fitness

A Walk in the Park 1, photo by Curtis Fletcher, Thornton, United States, easy  fitnessMany people love going to gyms and/or exercising like jogging, swimming, horse riding, dancing and bicycle riding. Others participate in sports such as tennis, bowling, football, squash, and more. Some of us who find exercise too daunting can manage walking, slow dance, aqua-aerobics, yoga, and mowing the lawn to name a few. Any exercise is vital for gaining and maintaining fitness. Furthermore, exercise is especially beneficial for healing such basic illnesses as depression and diabetes.

she sufffered from severe depression but
although she new the benefits of anti-depressants
she was loathe to take them but she did know
that exercising was therapeutic for many illnesses
she attended the gym and yoga regularly
which she told me kept her hopeful of
a speedy recovery as it had helped in the past
another wise choice was that she drank water and
ate healthy food which she mostly prepared herself
a good balance of protein and vegies
were the major ingredients and
I loved to eat them with her

Isolation

Black 5, photo by Ana Labate, Santos Brazil, alone timeIt’s so easy to justify isolation as being time alone. When you prefer to be alone rather than being a part of the community and feel intolerant about everything and everyone then it’s a warning sign that all is not well. To ignore that is to toy with serious consequences. Many people would rather suffer than do whatever it takes to heal. Sometimes all it takes is writing about how we feel until the core anger or fear is released. Other times it may take joining a group to share similar interests or hobbies. Another solution is seeing a doctor or therapist to sound out your innermost thoughts. Perhaps there may be a need for a change in diet, exercise, or taking supplements (vitamins). It could be you need medication or anti-depressants under doctor’s supervision. Or all of the above. Whatever it is, don’t let the dysfunction or ill health ruin your life and that of others. Deal with it and turn your life around to be more joyful and fulfilling.

she’s in her eighties and totally alone
full of complaints about her family
whom she feels has abandoned her
over the years she’s had interesting friends
for short periods of time because
she constantly ‘leaves bodies in her wake’
her dysfunctional behaviour shows as
meanness and blame levelled at all ages
any suggestion for therapy or medication
incurred her wrath
then one day as a result of some
medication for vertigo for 2 weeks
she seemed so sane and serene
then she stopped taking the meds and
life was misery again, for her and others
yet she could not see the difference!

Addiction and anorexia

Mannequins, photo by Marco Michelini, Firenze, Italy, beauty mythMuch has been written about the effect that thin models and movie celebrities have on young women. In an effort to look like these role models young women develop eating disorders. Addiction and anorexia are the same condition. When a person suffers from anorexia it is on the same eating disorder continuum as compulsive overeating. Just as life threatening as other addictions anorexia results in a distorted perception. The afflicted person does not see themselves as being thin and continues to do without food in order to lose more weight.

she was such a loveable person and
so thoughtful too, not to mention how
talented she was in writing
poetry straight from the heart
however, she battled addiction and anorexia
she managed to become free of the heroin
but not of the need to avoid eating
no matter what she tried it worked only
for a short time and then she was back
to her old ways which eventually led her
to her heroin addiction and death from starvation
some more fortunate are rescued from this fate

‘busy’ addiction

Busy people, photo by Melanie Kuipers, Meppen, Germany, another addictionIf we are saying we’re too busy then it’s an excuse to be on the addiction treadmill. The busier we become the more unmanageable our life becomes. Too busy to sit and talk to family and friends. Too busy to answer emails. Too busy to telephone or visit. Too busy to remember to be relaxed. All this makes us more stressed and obsessed with being busy. Before we know it, we suffer emotional and physical burnout. Then we are forced to stop and take stock of our hectic life and how incompetent we have become. We must not let it get that far, because the road back is then a slow one and it takes so long to become relaxed, healthy and efficient once more. Stop and make an action plan to slow down before it’s too late.

I did not notice how busy I had become
and the more I did, the more I wanted to do
I was a runaway train and everyone noticed
except me
how excited I became with my newfound energy
nothing was too much as I spread myself thinly
I was also snappy, and other people’s
inefficiencies were insufferable to me
then my world crumbled – loss of money
loss of purpose, loss of efficiency
my self esteem was affected, my health suffered
the road back to emotional, physical and financial security
was slow and laborious
nevertheless I found my way
with the help of my family and friends
from that day on I watch out for the
signs of busy addiction because
the consequences are horrendous
for me and those around me

Codependence and addiction

ashamed 1, photo by Georgios M.W., Herley, Denmark,  misery, sacrificeCodepedence, sometimes a relief to admit and sometimes people resent the term. It is very simple in definition – when you totally sacrifice your needs for those of another and when you believe that your happiness can only come from outside of you (from people, places, and things) then your are in the clutches of codependence. You can commit yourself to being of service to another person, or a project, which can be worthwhile to everyone concerned. However, in such a case you need to be true to yourself first and then you can be useful in the service you give. Codependence is the undercurrent of addictions.

she sacrificed her talents and happiness
for the sake of her disabled son
saying he needed her love more than
the rest of the family did
as though there was insufficient for all
but in her dedication to caring for her son
she took away his independence and
he could not do anything without her
but this did not bring her happiness
for she often complained about the martyr
she had become and how miserable she was!
jealousy of her daughter’s achievements and
her own severe codependence caused
irreparable harm and loneliness to her

Lonely

lonely, photo by Hipolito Alonso, Rio Gallegos,  Argentina, alone, singleHuman beings have an innate need to belong. This includes being in a union with a significant other and groups such as family, friends, community, work. Happiness also comes as a result of activities carried out alone such as walking and meditation. Then again sometimes being alone can bring on feeling lonely. This may not last long but it is a feeling which is unsettling. Nevertheless, without this feeling we would not socialise, so it has its value even though it is a nuisance.

it was a relatively happy day for me
then out of the blue I felt lonely
so I sat with the feeling for a moment
am I isolating? have I socialised lately?
then I realised that I am faced with a
necessary but unpleasant task to do now
which made me miss having fun with others
so feeling lonely was more manageable than
feeling self pity!
better get on with it I guess and
if I still feel lonely I’ll call someone

Samís loss

Sam commented on the loss of a love

The feeling of an immense loss is so hard to deal with. To be told that after 17 years that now nothing is left is shattering. No clue no hint it just is. Two children whose world has been ripped from under their feet. Security and protection is gone. How do I pull myself up from the biggest low I have felt in my life? Waiting for him to come back and say its alright I made a mistake. I want to feel anger, it would be easier to hate him, still loving him makes it so hard. I hate what he has done but I canít hate him.

When Sam wrote about the betrayal she felt from the loss of her love of 17 years and how it affected the children too, my heart went out to her. We have all experienced betrayal Ė some of us not expecting it and others finding it the end of much misery. Nevertheless, we dream of the possibility of the offender returning and making a soulful remorseful apology. Unfortunately, waiting for the offender to come back and make us feel worthy is an unrealistic expectation because even if they do just that our worthiness needs to come from within not from them. Sam was wise to separate him from his behaviour and although she hated what he did, she did not hate him. In that way her self esteem is enhanced and she will have a faster recovery from her emotional trauma because it is not dependent on him.

When you came back and told me that
you had realised how much you loved me
and that you could not live without me
I was elated and believed you!
but although I forgave your indiscretion
I could not forget the trauma!
most importantly I found out that
I needed to believe in myself before
I could believe you!