I feel you.
PTA meetings and other school functions, dinners for my husband’s business, even just socializing with friends or other couples has, in the past (and sometimes even now) sent me into such anxious state that I spend an afternoon agonizing over whether I’ll go or not.
I am happy to report: it gets better.
(Psst! Are you a small business owner and want to read a version of this article meant just for you? You can find it here.)
You will do so much damage to yourself.
To move forward when your hearts screams “No!” is to invalidate your own emotions. And those emotions, though often annoying, are really just in it for what they see as your highest good. Your heart is protecting itself from the pain of possible rejection and failure.
When you take Nike’s advice and plow on ahead in spite of your reservations, you disregard the needs of your tender heart, including its need to feel safe. That tender heart is the core of everything that makes you unique. Respect it. Protect it.
So don’t “Just do it.”
Good. I'm glad we've gotten that we’ve got that out of the way so now we can take a look at the Do’s because living life from home all on your own is damned lonesome. There are good people out there, and good interactions waiting for you.
Still, you don’t want to just run out there when you’re feeling trepidatious.
So what’s a tender-hearted soul to do?
What you do need is to consciously choose how to protect your tender heart so that it doesn’t do it for you by sabotaging you.
A simple solution is to put up “warders” – a bubble of energetic protection that you imagine around yourself. Just encase yourself in white light. Putting up a warder keeps other peoples’ energies from encroaching on you, while still allowing your energy to pass out to connect with other people.
Journal, do rituals, talk to a therapist. Whatever works for you – just make sure you’re making time to do that work.
Being seen takes practice. It takes practice to do it. It takes practice to remember to do it. It takes practice to get comfortable with it.
Practice takes time. So. Much. Time. But put in your time and it’ll get easier.
Put in the time and you’ll begin to recognize your own patterns.
Put in the time and you’ll uncover your own personal do’s and don’ts.
Put in the time, and then put in some more.
(Did I mention, so much time??)
My own talisman for protection is a quartz crystal, a gift from a dear friend who does wonderful things for my self-esteem. When I wear the necklace it hangs over my heart, shielding it. I wear it when I’ll be in social situations where I feel I may be judged or misunderstood.
It reminds me that I am accepted and understood in other places in my life, which gives me the hope that I can do the same in this new situation. (And if I can’t, it doesn’t matter because even if these folks don’t get me – others do. There’s a whole lot of breathing room in that realization.)
If you’d like to make a really powerful talisman for being seen, you can make one with me on the night of February 4th when I’ll be hosting a virtual Boast in honor of Imbolc.
The Boast itself is a fabulous way to practice being seen in a safe and strongly-held environment. Not to mention loads of fun. To learn what's involved and to sign up, click the button below.