There are three types of survival methods. Flight, Fight or Freeze. These are designed to help us save ourselves from a perceived threat. I am stuck in “freeze” mode and didn’t even realize it until two days ago. In “freeze mode” I appear unbothered. On the outside it looks like I have my collective shit together. But on the inside… I am a massive wreck of pent up questions, emotions and more.
My back aches. My neck is knotted. I’m gaining weight when I look at food. Despite what I may tell you, my stress level is high. My anxiety is only under control due to medication. Bottom line: inside, I’m ill. Sick. Sore. Tired. My body is screaming at me to notice. It’s telling me:
YOU ARE OUT OF BALANCE.
Freeze — you’re surviving.
Stress, anxiety and chronic pain shouldn’t be ignored. I’m in “freeze” mode because at this time, don’t have the mental fortitude, to “fight” or rather, confront, the bother that I perceive to surround me. I also don’t want to run (flee) from my current circumstances. That is a cognizant choice I’m making. Instead, I freeze. I stay. I keep my head down. Avoid any sort of conflict. Keep my mouth shut. Shove the bother down, inside, and let my body take the brunt. BUT I am now, more than ever, fully aware, that I can’t do this forever.
If 2020 has taught me anything its that’s sometimes, the only good we can do is offer a smile, a hug, a kind word. I think it’s also shown us that there are some terribly hateful people in the world. Sometimes, in order to do our best work, to do good for others, to help them in their lives, we have to take a beat and get ourselves back in “balance” before we can truly “do good”.
I often tell struggling people this very thing — we have to be whole, to do our best work.
We have a sign in our kitchen that reads:
Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. At what cost comes with “doing good”? If doing good costs our physical health, mental health, or balance, should we continue? Or should we step back, do what we can with what we have and the energy we are able to muster? If all we can muster, for example, is our wisdom, can we call that enough?
Control is only a perception
Many things in life are only temporary. We will never be rid of Covid, but the current state of our life, due to the ‘Rona, is temporary. Some things things don’t feel temporary, yet they are. Many of the bothersome things I’m shoving down, will likely, at some point, go away on their own without the need to “fight”. Yet some of the bother, that will require confidence I do not yet own.
I am not solely responsible for ALL the circumstances surrounding my perceived angst, but I am responsible for me, and my reaction(s) to the bother.
I’m not yet mentally strong enough to confront the bother I’ve internalized, but I can take steps to get there. I can do things that make me feel good about myself. Things that make me happier: ride, run, continue my Yoga Journey, journal my thoughts, as I’m doing here, and change my priorities to better help my mind and body. I can quietly, and thoughtfully engage in conversation with those around me as a way to build my mental confidence and shred my anxiety.
My 2021 Word
I shared a lot of very personal things here — personal thoughts from my first journal entry of 2021. Was it too personal? I don’t know. If it helps someone else figure out why they’re frozen, then it was a win, in my book.
My goal for 2021 is to find Balance.
Balance in my life, my body, my heart, my mind, my soul, my relationships. I’m going to learn to balance the good with the bad. The sad with the happy. It’s okay to cry. Sometimes our body needs that to get back in balance. The release is good for us. It’s okay to laugh at ourselves. It’s not okay to tell ourselves we’re worthless, or dumb, or useless, or not good enough.
Balance. Everything in life is about balance.
Here’s to finding the balance in 2021. Will you join me in this journey?