I have always had insecurities.
From a young age, I learned to read the room–facial expressions, sighs (these were a big one), body language.
This skill helped me predict. Did I need to leave the room? Did I need to smooth over a potential problem? Did I need to apologize for my existence? This skill was needed. It was necessary.
At the time, it ensured my relative safety.
I became hyper-vigilant.
As a child, life required that the switch–the switch that made me pay attention, protect myself, and perfect myself– be turned “on.”
But I never learned how to turn that switch off.
To this day, I read the room. Some might argue that this is a good skill to have–and I do not disagree. I wish more people could look at someone’s face and know that they are struggling. I wish that more people could develop the skill of empathy.
…My problem, though?
I have always imagined that, whatever is causing the facial expressions, the sighs, the body language…it is my fault.
If a situation got out of control, if a person got mad at me…these are all things I failed to control.
….or, at least, that is what I have always thought.
Lately, I am beginning to feel differently.
I am learning to trust my relationships.
If for example, I send a text message to a friend, and she does not immediately respond back, I am learning not to panic. In the past, I would assume I had done something wrong…I would worry, and worry, and overthink, asking myself: What could you have done to make her mad?!!
I still have this thought…but, immediately responding is another, more logical and gentle part of self that says, You didn’t do anything. People are busy. She isn’t mad at you.
And, I am learning to believe this.
I am learning, despite all of the fear and worry, to simply trust in the process. To trust the relationships…to go with the flow, without always over analyzing and overthinking the situation.
I am learning to be more authentic–I am sharing my real feelings, without fear. If I love a friend? Guess what?
I tell them.
If I feel upset, I share. If I feel overwhelmed by anxiety or melancholy, I am learning to say, I am overwhelmed. I am not struggling in silence…but I am not feeling the need to constantly over-share, either.
I am learning, in a lot of ways, balance.
But, more importantly, I am simply learning to trust in myself. In my judgment. In my ability to love and form relationships. In my friendships. In my thoughts, words, and actions.
And, I am learning to trust the actions of others. If they show that they care for me, I am learning not to doubt it. I am learning to trust that, perhaps, this person can love me for who I am.
This doesn’t mean that doubt and the inner, critical part of my self don’t enter the picture. They do.
On a regular basis.
I am learning, however, to trust in the inner, gentle part of self. I am learning to call the other thoughts lies.
…And this trust? It feels a lot like growth. ❤