I am both excited and scared to start this new blog writing venture. Excited to be finally doing what I love (writing and sharing what I’ve learnt) and scared because I am ‘putting myself out there’. From a brain chemistry perspective, excitement and fear are the same so it’s understandable to experience both.
Often times the things we fear the most bring us the biggest rewards if we are able to coach ourselves through the uncomfortableness and get the support we need to see things from a different perspective. Fear can either immobilise or propel us forward. Whilst fear is a primal instinct and meant to alert us to danger, often this alarm signal can be activated when there is no real danger or threat. Perceived danger can feel just as real. The fear or anxiety we feel can be a mirage, a ghost triggered by a current event that has its roots in a past negative experience, or when things didn’t go as well as we’d hoped – like my first English essay in high school. The teacher publicly humiliated me by reading out my essay in front of the class as an example of what not to do. Being openly ridiculed in this way evoked raucous laughter from my new peers and deep humiliation and shame for me. Maybe there’s a bit of that left-over in my psyche still.
Traumatic experiences, even ones as comparatively minor on the trauma scale as the one above, have a way of lingering and revisiting us throughout our lives (I’ll talk more about triggers and how to deal with them in future blogs). Sadly, I grew up in a culture where shaming was used as a motivational tactic, and consequently fear of not being good enough, being mocked, or worse still being ignored completely are battles I’ve worked hard at overcoming. I have discovered many tools and ways of coping with these demons and over the course of my blogging life you’ll get the benefits of them as I share some with you.
Having said that, I have enough faith that this urge to write, which has been with me for as long as I can remember, has a purpose. It may not turn out how I envisage it but despite the fears, another part of me is rejoicing that I am acknowledging this urge to write and heeding it. At 62 it’s been a long time coming. This process of learning to honour myself, take myself seriously and give myself permission to be who I am is such a healing journey. I truly believe that our relationship with ourselves is the most important one of all as out of it everything else flows.
If you were to honour yourself in this way, what would you be doing differently? Are there things you are unnecessarily depriving yourself of that would add joy to your life if you gave yourself permission to do, have or be?
I grew up in an alcoholic family, and the unpredictability of this environment caused me to be on the lookout for danger. Later, being a wife and mother, I was again looking outwards to others needs. There was little time or space to think about myself. I feel freer now to give myself permission to be who I really am and do more of what I love. The Inner Critic still pipes up with objections, inviting me to the familiar shame and silence of my childhood, but I have learnt to recognise it now and not let it control me anymore.
So why now? Julia Cameron, one of my favourite authors, offers a helpful analogy about the word ‘God’, using the term “Good-Orderly-Direction”. Although I don’t conform to any organised religion, my spiritual journey is important to me and right now this feels like Good-Orderly-Direction.
I wonder what Good-Orderly-Direction looks like for you?
Wondering what to expect in future posts?
Topics may include:
- How to change harmful people-pleasing behaviour
- Setting self-loving boundaries
- Healing from unmet childhood needs
- Learning to love and accept yourself
- Healing from toxic relationships and how to make more supportive relationship choices
- Loves lost and found
- Simple ways of managing depression and low mood, and improving your mood/life
- Procrastination, friend or foe?
- Healing the Inner Child
- Dealing with the Inner Critic
- Identifying your triggers and how to deal with them
- Attachment and addiction
- Recognising and transforming unhelpful beliefs and self-talk
(c) Karen Lighthouse 2022
Thanks for reading and take care until next time.
Comments and questions are welcome.
Words by Karen Lighthouse.
I also offer –
- One-on-one counselling/coaching via Zoom
- Group facilitation
- Mental health education
- Oracle card readings
Email me at: email@example.com