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Falling Into an Familiar Trap

Wednesday I felt sad. Just so very sad and low. Some of it was probably physical and the rest was a sadness  I chose to indulge.

I say indulge because I chose to believe the thoughts I was having … around fear, around things (people) not changing (“I’ve been here before … it doesn’t change”). When I believed those thoughts, I felt hurt, helplessness, a victim and powerlessness. It was excruciating. 

Thinking back on it days later, I feel sadness and shame: sadness for me that I chose the path of believing those thoughts; shame that I've been here before.

When I look at the beliefs I was indulging, I can honestly say, with some exploration and questioning, that I don’t know whether the thoughts are true or not. They were just thoughts I was having... and only believing made them so.

In believing those unhelpful thoughts as IF they were true, I began to behave accordingly.

I expended a huge amount of energy, drama, words, and emotion in justifying my sadness (justifying my choosing to believe the thoughts!). I ranted, explained, cross-referenced. I implored my listener to believe me and see it my way. I teared up and paused dramatically. I shrugged my shoulders and sighed. I did a great job of turning my belief in those thoughts into something that may have looked a lot like a great case for being sad.

But on the inside I started to get an uneasy feeling that I was using too many words, creating too much of a story … my heart wasn’t in it. I stopped.

The shame came up when I realised I had fallen into an old trap: this is not new territory, but I am so very bored with myself for continuing to go there!!!

Yes, I stopped.

Yes I can see the pattern.

And yes I am working on understanding how it happens so that I don't have to choose that path again.

But for now I am sitting in the shame ... and looking for ways I avoid doing that, ways I try to escape by distracting myself, or starting a new round of justifying, or tripping off into victim-land.

Just sitting in the shame and hugging myself while I sit there. 

Sitting in the discomfort and feeling it ... without running away. 

What do you think you are feeling now as you read this? Name the feelings that are coming up for you. 

Sarah xx


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    Falling Into an Familiar Trap - Blog - Sarah Waldin: therapist, counsellor, values coach, trainer
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