Seeking Inner Help
God? Higher Power? Someone? Are you out there?
Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone. At times sometimes it’s hard understanding what type of God would let everything happen the way it has happened in the world. How could a God let you suffer like this? This was a huge question that I had for myself. However, in order to get out of anxiety it is important that you question whether there is a greater power in this world. A greater power is something that you can tap into every time with you feel any social anxiety or agoraphobia.
If your current idea of God is bad from what you grew up with and you keep having visions of an angry God then, well … fire that one! Make up your own. That’s right! For the longest time, I was angry at God when I started praying. I grew up in a Jewish household and had this vision of God as this angry man in the sky with a white beard. But I realized after months of praying that this vision of God wasn’t helping me at all. So I fired that God and got a new one. The one I found, which I have today is loving, gentle, kind and warm.
If connecting with a God isn’t going to work for you, then there are other possibilities you might consider. Try the following exercises.
The key to this exercise is to look at people and realize that we are all connected on an energetic level. The goal is to look beyond the physical and to expand your awareness of the world.
- Start recognizing that everything around you is made of energy and cells. In fact, the chair you are sitting in is made up of millions of cells.
- Next, center your attention to the area surrounding the chair. This chair is just one of many objects which take up a part of the house or space you are in.
- Then, draw your attention outward from your home and realize that your home is just one out of thousands of other houses around you within a certain radius.
- Next, envision this community around you and that it is just one out of hundreds and thousands of other communities in your state.
- Then from here, center your thoughts on the earth. The earth is one of many planets. Then from that is a galaxy and stars. Then from the stars there are millions of galaxies and so on.
Try it! It can be cool. Go out and start looking at things as billions and billions of cells!
For more information about this exercise, visit these links:
Exercise: Hire your own Personal Universe Assistant
Okay let’s start looking at the resumes! It’s time to hire your own personal universe assistant (PUA). In the movie Cast Away, we see Tom Hanks, who is lost and alone on a deserted island, find a ball and name it Wilson. Do you think he would have made it through without Wilson? Well I am asking you to find your own Wilson (whether it be a ball, a small rock, or something else that you can carry with you).
When I was ill with depersonalization and immense social anxiety I used to carry a seashell with me. I imagined this seashell as a living creature whose soul was with me at any moment that I was talking to people. I know it sounds crazy, but it works!
Having a “personal assistant” is something you can build on. Over time it’s power will become greater as you strengthen the muscle or the thoughts that something or someone else is with you in those moments when you are talking with people. Your personal assistant can even be someone special who passed away, but you must ask them first to be there with you at those times when you feel scare and your thoughts are going around and around.
Once you have a PUA, living with depersonalization, anxiety and any other illness gets a little easier. Make sure you talk to your PUA every night before you go to bed. Talk to it, him or her like a regular person. Over time this will get easier and soon you’ll be able to tap into your own inner wisdom.
Am I Self-Obsessed? But I’m such a good person!
Yes you are! Before you freak out and kick and scream and say, “Heather, I’m such a nice person!” let’s look at the definition of Self-Obsession.
Self-Obsession: A person who is chiefly concerned with him or herself.
That’s it! That’s all the definition is! It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! In fact, you are a great person, but at some point in your life your thoughts became less about happiness and more about survival – and therefore all of your thoughts started to center around you. For instance, are you a people pleaser? Did you know that being a people-pleaser is actually considered being self-centered. How? Well, you’re so concerned with what people think about YOU — not THEM — but YOU!
Once your thoughts are in survival mode they go around and around and it is very hard to get out of this. At the center of your anxiety is self-centeredness, where you became chiefly concerned with how to get out of your situation. Slowly, the self-centered thoughts take you away from things you love and enjoy, and eventually overshadow all the precious moments of your life.
Soon this mummy-like web where you have been focused on yourself takes you more and more away from the world. There begins to be emptiness inside and the outside world becomes more and more distant. Resentments, anger and fear begin to take over, a fright or flight takes place. This spiral or vortex is the pinnacle of depersonalization. It’s the dark abyss of emotional numbness that slowly takes you away from the world.
Once you realize the ways in which you have been self-obsessed with fear, it’s so important to constantly take the focus OFF of yourself. I know this is hard, but IT WAS the way I got out of chronic anxiety and depersonalization.
Start asking yourself the following questions: When was the last time I really asked someone how THEY were doing? Have I really been listening to this other person? Can I see things from his or her perspective?
Moving out of Anxiety
The first way to unravel this heavy mummy-like web of anxiety is to begin asking people how they are doing and start looking at things from their perspective.
For example, if you are going to see a friend, bring your Personal Universe Assistant with you. Ask your personal assistant to be there with you when you are talking to your friend.
Next, as the person is talking, start thinking about their trials and tribulations and what they must be going through in their lives. This will put those nervous social anxiety thoughts to bed!
If this is impossible for you and you still find yourself anxious, you can try one of David Simon’s reflection exercises (see below).
One great way of overcoming social anxiety that was really helpful for me comes from David Simon of the Chopra Center. He claimed that the whole is contained in every bit. Every aspect of the universe is in each of us. In fact your mind contains every thought that will be expressed. It is the entryway to freedom. You contain everything you see in others. So it is important to find and embrace everything we love and hate in other people. When we reclaim these disowned aspects of ourselves we make peace with the world. We can stop pretending that we are not everything.
Visit this link to learn more about David Simon and his reflection exercises:
Debbie Ford’s shadow process was a great way for me to start overcoming social anxiety. It is based on the fact that our lives are molded by judgments. These judgments say, “I am not like you.” Our culture teaches us to believe that we are different from the rest, and as a result, this has created internal and external barriers. Debbie ways that there is nothing we can see that we are not. In other words, basically whatever you see is a reflection of you!
Step One: If you see someone that is bothering you or you don’t like something about that person. Ask yourself: what kind of person does that? If say the person is cheap. Ask yourself what kind of person would be cheap? Maybe someone who doesn’t care about other people? Someone who is insensitive?
Step Two: Then ask yourself have I ever displayed that quality? Where in my life have I been insensitive?
The point of this exercise is not to demean you, but rather to look at these traits in others so you can own them in yourself. We typically judge people when they display a quality we cannot accept in ourselves. Basically about it is the old saying what you resist persists! Ever notice when you point a finger you have three pointing back at yourself?!
Reverse Reflection Exercise: If the person isn’t treating you the way you should be treated or if this person doesn’t understand. Note the quality he or she doesn’t like about you and then ask yourself if this is just a quality he/she just doesn’t accept in him or herself. Feel sorry for them and move on! You’re becoming a better person!
Small Child Exercise: Depending on the person you are talking to, if there are certain qualities that are causing you to be scared, it might be important to look at the other person as a small child. That person had a parent that might or might not have taught them how to act as a civil person.
Visit this link for more information about these exercises:
Going out there and talking to other people
Putting it all together…
Step one: Approach the person and ask your personal assistant to please be there for you when you are talking to this person.
Step two: If you continue to feel nervous, say to yourself: “Calm down ____________, you are just thinking of yourself right now and you are in self-centered fear. Try to think of this person. He or she might be having their own problems.
Step Three: Ask yourself if they have any problems and how they might be feeling.
Step Four: Do the Reverse Reflection Exercise. Whatever they are thinking about you is a reflection of what they can’t accept in themselves.
Step Five: Do the Reflection Exercise. Don’t like a quality in them? Ask yourself what type of person would do that and ask yourself when you displayed that quality.
Step Six: Do the Small Child Exercise. Look at them as a small child.
Step Seven: Thank your personal assistant when you leave this person! Remember, don’t just “use” your personal assistant. Establish a real relationship with this invisible lifesaver!
Related Recovery Pages:
Do you need a health and wellness coach to help you through this process? I can help! To learn more, visit my site www.naturalpureliving.com