Thursday, August 30, 2007

suck it up....

View of Spencer's Island from the beach....July, 2007

Mind over matter, right? It's something I try to convey to my clients who have big hills to climb and firey dragons to slay. It's a practise I try to teach my children when they are faced with a fear or a sense of apprehension that has the potential to grow out of proportion. I encourage my friends and family by offering motivating words, by listening to their fears. To overcome the feeling of dread.....when there is a sense of foreboding permeating ones thinking, turn your thinking around. Put a positive spin on it. Use self-talk to pump yourself up. You can do it! It's simply mind over matter.
Yeah, right.



I'm having a tough time walking my own talk today. Dread seems to be winning. The storm clouds hover. Dread is feeding my expectations with distorting serum. It has the capacity to make a self-fulfilling prophecy come true. So, here I am writing about it.....my attempt to shrink the monster.

When does it rear it's ugly head?


When...........
  • You don't have enough information about a situation or event

  • You don't feel like you have any control over said situation or event

  • Someone has a history of being unpredictable when you see them

  • You've had numerous previous experiences when a situation, or an event turned out horribly

  • You can't predict at all how something is going to turn out.


Sometimes a vivid imagination is a friend......and sometimes? Well, it just about does you in.




Many examples come to mind.....starting a new job, preparing to write a final exam, waiting for a big personal event to happen, opening an unknown door, riding a new roller coaster, living in the midst of alcoholism, abuse, mental illness, or physical illness, addictions.............even attending a party where you don't know anyone.......oh, the list is endless and it can just about drive you batty. I remember how dreadfully terrified I was when one of my children had a high fever, or when my son would have a bout of croup......I was fine and functioning on all cylinders during the day, but when twilight hit? Dread would settle into the pit of my stomach and would send out pulsing pangs of fear as I struggled with my foreboding thoughts.



Dread is kind of like a fever now that I think about it...........you never know what follows it, or when it will break.



Do you think that a person who lives in an unpredicable environment gets used to the feeling of dread or do they become numb to it, protecting themselves by setting up an emotional cocooning shield of some kind? Is that how a person growing up in an alcoholic family copes with a permanently unwielding feeling of dread hanging over like a storm cloud.




This weekend, we return to Spencer's Island to attend a memorial service for my in-laws. It fills my thoughts with dread because of the unpredicability of the situation and the lack of information and control I have over the service, over our reception, etc, etc..... Alcohol is a factor too.


Though I am not a control freak (well maybe my family thinks otherwise, but I'm going with not being a control freak) I am an organizer. I also like to be involved. I am neither. The service has been hanging over this family's heads all summer long.....and it's now about to happen. Don't know how it's going to unfold.......don't know if the tension will be manageable or will it spill over in front of us all? I hope not.


OK...........I have to interupt this post with an aside...........as I am typing this, Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp is singing "I Have Confidence" I KID YOU NOT! I mean what are the odds of that song, written and sung in 1965 being played on the CBC in 2007, RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT?? It is sung during the scene when she is making her way to the Von Trapp mansion to take on the role of Nanny for 7 snotty kids and a whistle blowing anal retentive Captain whom she eventually falls in love with and escapes Austria during the Nazi regime.



Well, that just lifted the mood around here...........how fickle am I that I can be assuaged by a song from my childhood? You don't have to answer, really.....

Gee...........you know what I think is the kicker for evicting dread from the pit of your stomach? Humour, especially the absurdist kind. Music and lots of it. ......how about cranking that wonderful Proclaimers song.........I'm on my Way..........? Meeting it head on.................with the strength of a smile. AND..........watching this..........you ready??



I'm off to pack my suitcase so I can swing it wildly while I sing my confidence song......thank you Maria.........I think I just had a wink from the cosmos. Good thing because I had no idea how I was going to end this post.
ah, life.......sometimes it can do it's very best to suck all of the positive light right out of you one minute and the next......? It offers you a "put it in perspective" laugh.

10 comments:

Mad Mac said...

Mind Over Matter - If you don't Mind, It doesn't matter.

No need to suck it up, rather just let it go.

Have a Great Day Dana.

Awareness said...

you're right.....thank you Scott. Enjoy the long weekend. I'm off to buy 3 dozen corn from Mr. Potato Man....we're having ourselves a corn boil on the beach Sat. night. bring it on!

Caroline said...

Thanks, Dana - this echoed for me tonight, and it always helps to know we are not alone in our fears / determination / anxieties etc, doesn't it. Hanging on to that Sound of Music image for myself right now...

Rainbow dreams said...

can we dread without anticipation?... I hate that build up to something which might not be as bad as we think, but we know we have to go through it to find out...
will be thinking of you Dana, know you'll get through to the beach scene and let your hair down...
and what a great song to come from nowhere at just the right time.
Sometimes it happens and I am grateful it does, look forward to your return, x

Carmi said...

I found myself nodding throughout this entry. I go through periods where I feel as if the Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head. For all the good things in my life, I can be easily waylaid by a seemingly insurmountable challenge - an event, a setback, something that ends up occupying a large chunk of my daily thoughts.

It's hard to push through the self-doubt. But after I do, I always feel stronger than I did previously. When the clouds clear and the sun comes out, the brightness on my face seems to feel more intense and comforting.

Thinking of you as you head off to the memorial service, the divine Ms. Andrews's voice in your head.

Matthew said...

Hi Awareness,
Your post would be perfect for last week's Sunday Scribblings! I do think that you received a nod from the universe. I find that my ups and downs are often answered by the reciprocal extreme. I hope that the universe grants you support in your time at the service.

One more thing...I love how your mood uplifted by the end of the post. Blogging is good for mental health!

Anonymous Boxer said...

"A wink from the Cosmos" I love that.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Julie Andrews singing is a wonderful tonic for what ails. I'm glad that music found you when you needed it. Much peace & love, JP/deb

Gypsy said...

I've often found it strange that you can go to bed at night feeling perfectly fine and when you wake up in the morning, you feel inexplicably out of sorts emotionally. It's so draining and exhausting.

You drag yourself through the day, sometimes not even knowing what it is that has cast a black cloud over your thoughts. You can't get motivated and can't shake that doom and gloom feeling. I often think that's worse than knowing what you are worrying about. At least the knowing gives you a place to start to move past it.

Good luck with the Memorial Service. Hopefully all your worries will be in vain and everything will turn out fine.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

hey, I once read (somewhere) that through self doubt, we lose our sense of self worth. Or as Nina Simone once said (thanks to Pip) The worst thing about that kind of prejudice... is that while you feel hurt and angry and all the rest of it, it feeds you self-doubt. You start thinking, perhaps I am not good enough.


hope all is well out there across the pond....