Updated: May 18, 2022
often dread people coming to visit. I’m such an extreme introvert that it is a struggle having people invade my safe space with their noise and activity.
I’m always exhausted afterwards but I’m feeling that this time I used the visit usefully in observations.
Pema Chodron talks about how valuable the space of discomfort is. That it really grounds us in that moment and not to run away from that discomfort but to sit with it.
So here I am, post visit, reflecting back on myself and how it all felt.
I noticed a strong drive to comfort myself with food. I knew that I wasn’t actually hungry but had an intense longing to “fill my empty space” with sweet, buttery things (OK hot cross buns if you must know!) and yes I did over eat a bit. I tried hard not to shame myself about it (thereby exacerbating the stress) but to recognise that once I’m back in my routine my body settles down again and those uncomfortable cravings disappear.
For the first time I was able to recognise within one of the visitors a strong fear of rejection. I have struggled to get on with this particular individual before but in recognising THEIR fear of rejection, I was able to get beyond my OWN hypersensitivity to rejection and feel warmth towards them. It was a win-win, with my own barriers lowered, theirs inched downwards too. We’re not new best friends but it is the warmest we have managed in YEARS.
Another observation was how threatening my inner child found real children coming into my space. I think I struggle with interacting with actual children because “bringing out your inner child!” to me means a very fearful, shy person emerges who didn’t play with others. This is a work in progress. I interacted very little with the yelling, competitive, war obsessed boys. I tried to find some common ground but it was uphill work. (My husband says they are normal boys by the way). Note to self: find more strategies other than avoidance! This remains a work in progress.