“Any suggestions on opening my mind’s eye? I just feel like I am missing something in this rut I’m stuck in. I get to the red light and breathe and look for why I am empowering that trapped feeling and turning it into panic. In my self analysis I also wonder about self esteem and if there is a self-help technique for strong self esteem. My reasoning is that if I felt good about myself I wouldn’t care what others think or do, and that would touch upon the red light trapped panic attacks and the social drinking needs.”
That’s a portion of an email I received a few days ago from “Warren.” And, yes, his “rutness” is bringing him a ton of frustration. He went on to share he’s been having issues with panic, avoidance, social discomfort, heart palpitations, headaches, and the occasional take-the-edge-off social cocktail.
Warren has endured anxiety and subsequent sub-par mood for many years. Like most of us, he’s earned his mood and anxiety chops, but he has difficulty bringing his vast amount of knowledge to his life for purposes of relief.
Obviously, Warren has several fires burning here, but I believe he’s found a very significant common-thread as he supposes low self-esteem may be something he needs to address. In fact, I believe the self-esteem issue may be so foundational in his suffering that when he begins to make progress with it, he can expect to feel a whole lot better in so many ways.
The endurance of poor self-esteem, like so many of the things to which we subject ourselves, is nourished by our traditional patterns of thought. More to the point, our warped thinking.
Don’t know about you, but over the decades, most everything in my mind revolved around my anxiety, mood, and alcohol issues; as well as the warped way in which I viewed myself and my disorder-tainted world.
But the fact of the matter is, when we’re having a tough time of it, I don’t believe we see ourselves, and our world, as we are, and as it is.
Now, you may be thinking…
“Well – hey – if this mess isn’t my world, whose is it? Furthermore, why don’t they take it back?”
Boy, can I understand that. However, I still say the hell in which we so often live is not our real world. Oh, we may perceive it to be destined reality; and we, or someone else, may have assigned it to our psyche and personal identity – but it really isn’t us.
It’s simply a matter of knowing no other way of thinking or being. And, as a result, we’ve separated ourselves from our true identity and our world as it really really is – and as it could be.
But as much as we talk about tough times in the past and present, let’s not forget about the future….
We can’t do ourselves the injustice of viewing tomorrow based upon how we think, feel, and behave at this particular juncture in our lives.
Remember, we’ve been introduced to (and accepted) so much false identity. And we’ve taught ourselves so many self-deceptive coping skills. But we had to. Had we not, one aspect or another of our very survival would have been in jeopardy – or so we thought.
Warren’s come to the conclusion one of his major issues is low self-esteem. For you, or me, something else may be sticking in our craws.
Regardless, all I’m suggesting is our view of self and our world – and our subsequent reactions – are a little goofy when we’re in the midst of tough times. And that’s really good news if you can just imagine all the new strength and power with which we’ll be endowed when we get our thinking, feeling, behavior, and identity straightened out.
Take your current perspective, thinking, feeling, and behavior with a huge grain of salt. Don’t let them influence your vision of what today really is – and what the future can be.
Your feelings and thoughts, chipur readers? We’d all appreciate your comments. Won’t you?