As I drove into the city I noticed that I was shifting back and forth in my seat. I was feeling anxious. My hands became clammy and I felt my chest tighten. I told my husband that I didn’t really care for big cities, that they make me uncomfortable and nervous. He asked, “why?”
Initially, I couldn’t answer his question. This is what I knew:
- I felt like I might be in danger.
- I was paying very close attention to my surroundings.
- I was nervous, almost jumpy.
So what was going on?
Do you have fear about things and you are not sure where the fear came from?
Slowing things down
I have been working on being aware of my physical response to things for 3 years now. It is the quickest way for me to know something is off. The fact that I was now feeling so anxious was an indication to me that I need to slow down my thinking and figure out what is going on for me.
I went inside myself for a minute. Why am I anxious and worried?
I laughed a little, and I was finally able to respond to his question. I said, “I think it is because my mom doesn’t like big cities.” We were able to talk about it a little. I took a few deep breaths. I realized that I was not in danger and I could relax.
It didn’t stop there
During the course of the next few hours, I had two more experiences similar to the one above.
The next incident happened while sitting at a red light. A homeless guy that was glazed over passed in front of the car. I was again very anxious and I wanted to make sure all the car doors were locked.
Then I felt nervous again when he pulled up to our hotel. It was about 10 stories high. The first thought that went through my head was this, “I hope we get a floor close to the bottom in case there is a fire.”
What??? Where did that come from? Yep, you guessed it, it came from my mother. She would request to be on the first or second floor of every hotel.
Yep, you guessed it, it came from my mother. She would request to be on the first or second floor of every hotel.
Believing our caregivers
After we checked in and we were settled in our room I was trying to think of other fears and anxiety that I have. How many of my fears are from my own experience, and how many aren’t mine at all? As small children, our minds are not developed enough to know if what we are being told is true or not. We are vulnerable and our caregivers should make choices to keep us safe. I know my mother was trying to keep me safe. In keeping me “safe” she created unneeded fear and anxiety that I have today.
Other Fears my mother shared:
- Fear of flying: I love to fly, but I get anxious every time.
- Fear of Abandonment: I had fear of abandonment even before my ex-husband left me.
Sifting through my past and choosing the future
With this experience fresh in my mind, I decided that maybe it was time for me to sift through my past. Time for me to dig up the untruths that I was taught and see what thoughts are actually mine, and what thoughts were put there when I was young and my mind was so pliable. I don’t want to be in bondage to unneeded fear. I know that I need to dig up some stuff from early childhood, and I still think I need to dig up things from my former marriage. Do you have any untruths to dig up and work through? What fears do you have because of something you were told as a child? If we sift through the lies of the past we can choose a beautiful future.