Better: Not Perfect Soul Care Workbook
Chapter #4 School Daze: College and the Onset of Chaos
Lessons From My Heart To Yours
I started off this chapter with a desire for control and ended it with the knowledge that peace for me came when I realized that I couldn’t control everything and that there was a safe place to turn over those things that were way out of my sphere of influence to manage. I learned that it was less about control and more about taking agency for the things that were mine to impact and change, and leaving the things that were not mine, to those with which they belonged. Everything wasn’t mine to experience, wasn’t mine to have, and certainly wasn’t mine to fix. That knowledge was the beginning of my freedom walk.
Get off the fence. Time to let go of the agnosticism and intentionally pursue the answers to your questions about faith. Where you land is where you land but the need to start is integral to the process of getting rid of chaos and lessening the need to control. Love yourself enough to get your vertical relationship in order so that your horizontal relationships can thrive.
No matter where you go, there you are. Sounds confusing but read it again, this time knowing that no matter how many times you try to change your city, apartment, friends, etc. when you realize that your life doesn’t change and you are experiencing the same issues, struggles and challenges in your new city, with your new neighbors and your new friends, it is because everything changed but you. Yes, you left and you went, but ultimately wherever you landed, you brought YOU with you. Until you start doing the work on the inside, you can hop back and forth from location to location like I did, but nothing changes if you don’t change. #itsnotalwaysthem Take the steps to find the scaffolding needed to help you BE healthy.
A Look Inside Your Heart: Journaling Activity
Think back over some of the major crises in your life. Are you a fight, flight, or freeze individual when crisis or conflict arises? How do you self soothe when crisis, conflict, or pressure arises? What’s your go to? Write it down? Would you describe your approach as healthy and sustainable? What can you add to your healthy approach and what might you discard for that which is negative or not sustainable?
A Look Inside Your Head: Getting Clear Exercise
Identifying stressors: Whether you use a post it or the note app in your phone, when stress or conflict arises jot down a few notes. Write down what just happened (i.e., he stood me up again, she skipped me in the line, etc.) and make a note of how you feel in that moment, angry, hurt, sad, afraid? Try to avoid writing what you are thinking and use words instead that describe what you feel. Did you take any action? If so, jot it down too. You will notice patterns after a few instances. What did you learn about your triggers and subsequent actions?
Using the example above of being stood up, let’s try this out together.
Incident: Rob stood me up again.
Feeling: I felt angry and embarrassed because I thought he meant it when he said it would never happen again.
Action: I called and cursed him out and told him to lose my number)
This exercise will help you piece together some patterns that disrupt your peace and help you be in tuned to what you are feeling in those moments. It will also give you content that will be helpful should you decide to take the actual step of seeing a counselor. Not there yet, no worries, review your own notes and find the pattern. Once you identify them, use your resources and your network to find ways to disrupt those things that are disrupting your peace. Using the example above, if cursing someone or telling them off is how you deal with anger, try an alternative solution like deleting Rob’s number, blocking him from your phone, and doing some deep breathing and guided meditation to come down from your anger then call up a friend to see if they want to hang out and do something instead or take a relaxing bubble bath and every time your mind wonders to Rob, don’t fixate, find a distraction or lean in to your feelings, and play it out. Another alternative if write Rob a nastygram email BUT DON’T SEND IT or send it to yourself and be done with it, at least for now.