When you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), being triggered into a panic attack is almost as innate as blinking, couple this with living among the complicated creation known as humans and you have a recipe for potential disaster. If you are like me, you have grown tired of riding the roller coaster of emotions where others are operating the controls and you long for a life of balance, mental clarity, and peace. You find yourself looking at those around you and even those whom you love, wondering if balanced living is possible in a constantly moving environment. When you have multiple responsibilities and you give of yourself in diverse ways to individuals who need you for one reason or another, living a life of evenness can seem like an unattainable ambition. When it seems like the more you give, the more people take and nothing you do is satisfactory enough, it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel victimized by your circumstances. Fortunately, all hope is not lost, with an enlightened understanding of people and the method behind their madness, you can move from a space of martyr to maverick.
I am a highly sensitive person, I feel things with an intensity that can be consuming. For years, because I was labeled as too emotional, I attempted to hide my feelings under my aggression and assertiveness. Masking my feelings as toughness only compounded them. I was created to feel and no matter what I do or how I run, I am going to feel. Realizing that I didn’t have to carry shame for being who I was created to be was the beginning of my dive into self-discovery. Now, I am extremely proud of who I am and how I function but with this self-awareness comes responsibility that requires accountability. No longer can I put my emotional care in the charge of others and neither can you.
The only thing that any of us can control when it comes to others is how we allow them to affect us. Humans are evolving beings, whether they are becoming better or not isn’t as important as understanding that we are all dealing with our stuff and fighting individual battles. An ironic result of becoming aware of myself is that I became keenly aware of others, thanks, Coach. Through healing my traumas and wounds, I’m able to see the hurts and struggles of others, I view them with eyes of empathy. As a result of the healing work that I have done, my ability to live a balanced life is obtainable because it is no longer dependent upon others, it is completely up to me.
Recognizing that the way people act has more to do with them than it has to do with me was empowering. No longer am I subject to the behavior of others and I have learned that trying to please people is a prison sentence with no parole. To live a life that isn’t controlled by triggers, I had to learn to accept people for who they are and take ownership of my interactions. Most times people’s intentions aren’t to hurt us and even on those occasions when we are let down by the malicious ways of another, it’s still a projection of them and not you nor I. The next time someone does something to you that is hurtful, before you react think about that person and what they are experiencing in their life, you will see that it’s not you, it’s them and their stuff. This awakening doesn’t mean that you’ve become a rug for folks to walk on. It is a shift in your thinking that changes how you allow yourself to be impacted by others, it is holding people accountable for how they treat you and establishing boundaries that minimize triggers. I can’t promise you that our days of hurt feelings and being triggered are over but I can assure that when you accept that what people do has very little to do with you, your days of living from one emotional extreme to the next will end, you will find yourself living that life of balance that was once so elusive.