It is hard to express myself.
Because of a combination of my shyness and low self-esteem, I find it hard to express myself. It is have to tell people how I feel or talk about problems and needs. When I have an opinion, thought or need I feel that my opinions are worthless and no one would be interested in what I have to say.
Support groups have let me listen to others thoughts and feelings. As I listen I realize that others feel the same way I do and that I’m not alone or worthless. When I see that others are not reprimanded I can practice sharing my thoughts and feelings without fear of reprisal. I’ve gained self-esteem and courage and healing from being able to communicate. This has given me courage to express myself in other areas of my life.
After having gained some experience in expressing myself, I might be tempted to impose my will on others. I’m learning humility as I balance between silence and dominance. When I communicate I can choose to express myself without expectation of how others should react.
Isolate = Self-Destruct
Communication and relationships are important for emotional, spiritual, social and even physical health. We are social beings. We learned from others, taught and communicated with others, and had relationships before we came here. When I isolate and depend on my own thinking I can spiral downward into worry, fear, anxiety, anger, helplessness and hopelessness. It is a recipe for self-destruction.
Support groups provide a place where I feel at home. I know I am not alone when I hear others express feelings that I also have. I can share and express myself without fear that there will be gossip about me or that others will look down on me for saying something or telling the truth about my feelings. As I say things out loud I can often see where my thinking is illogical or not quite right. As I hear others express their feelings it helps me to feel connected, to recognize how much I’ve grown and where I used to be, to feel compassion and empathy.
Church is another place where we come together to grow and learn. This should also be a place where we feel at home. But, it is easy to isolate and turn inward and feel alone at church. When I recognize that I need others, it is easier to reach out. Even those who seem to have it all together and have nothing wrong in their lives need other people. I should never judge my insides with another’s outsides. If I could walk in their shoes even for a minute I would see that we are more alike than different. I can reach out, find friends and support and love others and in so doing I will find love and support.
Isolating causes me to head in a downward spiral of self-destruction. Relating and connecting with others helps me to be healthy emotionally, spiritually, socially and physically.
Communication is good!
Communication is so important for work, families, relationships, everything! When people get upset or anxious or fearful they react in different ways. Many times they communicate in an unproductive, unhealthy way. Some people might stuff everything inside and become quiet and fearful. They may get angry and loud and argumentative. They might try and control everyone and everything around them. One of my defects is that I stuff everything inside and become quiet and fearful.
I am learning to quiet my fears, think about things and then practice communicating in more healthy ways. In doing so, I learn that sometimes I have jumped to the wrong conclusion, or that things are really not as bad as I had imagined. Even when something is as bad as I had imagined, communication opens up new paths, new ideas, or a change in thinking or behavior that would never have happened if I had remained silent. I can ask about what happened. I can talk about how I’m feeling and about what I want and about what I’m doing and learning.
As I express myself and model healthy communication I will be happier and my relationships will be better. My defects of being quiet and fearful can turn into strengths over time as I practice communicating.
I am shy and to speak and communicate has always been hard for me. Instead of speaking up for myself when needed to I would hide by leaving the room or reading a book – by not being present. Instead of reaching out to others and making new friends I would sit in the corner or leave parties or gatherings as soon as I could.
Today I am learning to share my thoughts and feelings openly, directly and honestly. I am learning to do this by going to meetings and talking with people I trust. When I tell others that I used to not be able to share openly, they are often amazed.
In support meetings I listened to others share with honesty about their experiences, thoughts and feelings. I identified with so many others. No one cut them down or expressed disapproval at what they said. I gradually gained the courage to speak and try to express myself. I was very awkward and uncomfortable at first, but no one cut me down or expressed disapproval at what I said, so I continued to practice expressing myself. Gradually I gained courage and more confidence in talking and speaking up.
There are still times when I wonder if I should talk or when I am afraid to speak. At these times I can ask God if I should speak up, if there is anything I should say and ask for His direction. It is never long before I am given guidance. There are times when I say the wrong thing, or say it too loudly. At these times I can make amends quickly and try again. I am learning how to communicate. I am learning how to be a friend.
I can be gentle with the words I say.
I am slowly learning to be gentle with the things I say. I’m learning that it’s OK to not say anything, to think about it, to pause, to check in with God, to see what I think about things, to listen, to ask questions, to say “I’ll get back to you”, to say “you could be right”, to say “I’ll think about that”, or to say “maybe so”.
When I get emotional, things come out of my mouth that I wish I had not said, or they come out loudly, or I cannot think what to say, or I say mean things. I can be gentle with others and with myself when I take some time to “THINK”. I can even go back and amend something I’ve said if I make a decision under duress or have said something I wish I had not.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t say it mean”.
Will my words be:
Serenity = the space between impulse and action