Tuesday’s with Jerry
Acting from a place of fear
There’s a lot of fear in the world right now. A lot of “I’m not me right now” thoughts.
And that’s okay. Of course we aren’t.
I’ve learned the hard way to recognize when I’m not myself and when whatever I’m about to say or do is coming from a highly emotional state versus a rational one. All the times I’ve looked back and thought, wow I overreacted or I was irrational. Even if those feelings were completely valid, but perhaps could have been handled differently.
Or all the times I covered up what was going on in my head with joking, laughing, and putting on a show because I was too scared to let the truth out and the pain show.
Granted, the emotional moments are important. They’re there for a reason. Let it out and let it rip. Get caught up in it and hopefully learn a thing or two about why it happened, what purpose it served, and why it took control.
We’re all dealing right now. We’re all holding up.
The expectations we had a month ago have been smashed and we are reeling. I expected to go to work one day and then I didn’t. I expected to be able to see my nephew and I can’t. I expected to go to the gym and it’s closed. I didn’t expect that person to get sick and now they are. Nothing is as we expected it to be and we are collectively trying to come to terms with that.
Forgetting that this situation is not our fault. The world didn’t want to shut down. No one wanted you to not be able to see your friends and family. Your boss didn’t want to lay you off.
It’s not your fault
But it’s causing us to be angry, sad, fearful, anxious. Driving us to a state of fear we didn’t expect to be in.
Just like we can choose how we look at anything in our lives and be grateful and happy for whatever we have in that moment, we can also choose how we are looking at those same areas in our lives right now. Work, finances, relationships. And try to choose gratitude and positivity over fear and frustration. And damn is it hard. And getting harder. To deal, rather than ignore.
Why is it way harder to shift a mindset or behavior than anything else? Perhaps it’s because the only person you have to hold accountable or blame when it’s not working is yourself. As humans we want to point the finger and make an impulsive decision when things feel icky.
But right now the only person we can point that finger at is ourselves. And challenge ourselves to act from a positive place, not one of fear.
Acting in a state of fear can look different depending on the person or situation. I think it lashes out in anger. It turns something into a joke. It mocks something it doesn’t fully understand. It shuts down entirely.
We invest in our fears rather than invest in ourselves.
I’ve wanted to shut the world out. Frustrated with life. Thinking I just want to be left alone. (While I grab Jerry and wish I could just hug my mom).
Angry and irritated at the situation and channeling that anger into an ignored text, a skipped meeting, an impulse purchase.
Maybe you’ve been the target of someone else’s fear-based decision.
I have. Took a long time for me to realize it wasn’t my fault. That that person was dealing with his own fear and insecurities by mocking and making me feel inadequate.
I think when we’re scared, our minds and bodies go to what we know. Our defense mechanisms give us anything other than ourselves that we can point the finger at.
There’s a reason why little boys and girls are mean to the ones they have a crush on.
They’re insecure. They’re scared that person won’t like them back. Because saying, “I like you” takes courage. And saying “wow what an idiot” takes nothing and even might get a laugh.
Earlier in this pandemic, before it was even declared a pandemic, I was that person that stocked a couple of things “just in case.” Not the clear-the-shelves type of person. But the casual, sure-we’ll-get-an-extra-one-because-there-is-a-weird-feeling-in-the-world-right-now type of person. And I for sure was laughed at. Was told to relax.
How many memes and jokes existed around the corona virus out there? Turning it into a joke before we knew what it really was. And we laughed. Because we fear what we don’t know.
A friend of mine shared with me a graphic he saw that he thought I’d find value in and perhaps be able to write about. It was after I had already been working through this fear-based decision making piece I hope you’re still reading now.
I can apply a lot of this to my life even prior to this pandemic.
Getting so fed up at work or family that I snapped or completely shut down.
Maybe you’ve left a job in the past. And rather than stepping back and seeing it as an opportunity to learn something you otherwise wouldn’t have, even if what you learned was what you want and what you sure as hell do not want out of a position, you left because you were just “over it”.
I don’t think there are any right answers with how to deal with life right now. I’m choosing to believe the best in people and really believe we are all doing the best we can. Whatever that looks like, whatever that feels like.
But I know that at the end of the day, the only thing you can 100% count on each and every day 24/7 is yourself. It’s the only thing you have control over in a world where literally nothing else is in our control..
It’s. Not. Easy.
I freaked out last night. Broke down. Consumed in that inner circle. Drowning in it in fact.
And then sunk further into it because I just wanted a hug that wasn’t there.
JERRY GET OVER HERE.
But because there is no other option. I got up today. And I’m still going. Doing what I can to push to that outer rim. Betting on myself and the ones around me to put one foot in front of the other.
Everyday my dad tells me to remain positive.
How infuriating is that, by the way, when you’re frustrated and you just want someone to share in that frustration and you’re hit with a “stay positive, Em” instead?!
And you know why it’s infuriating? Because he’s RIGHT.
He is 100% spot on. And who am I to question John Lasko, really?
So I suppose this is what I’m doing. I’m working on getting out of the “not my problem” attitude, and swapping it for the “how can I help and add value here” one instead. Shutting down the “this will show them” thoughts and swapping for a “how will that really serve me or anyone else” mentality.
And yes, thinking twice about what I’m adding into my online carts.. Jerry stop it. No more panic purchases.
We’re all out here doing our best, friends. So I’ll do my part as well. I’ll do the best I can to keep a good face on for Jerry and my family. These posts will not end. They’re helping me cope, and I hope spreading some sort of distraction, hope, laugh, and making you think of things differently.
And when it’s too much. When I’m overwhelmed and upset. I’ll be honest about that too. I’ll recognize it for what it is. And then remember what my dad keeps telling me, and stay positive.