On understanding and overcoming myself

We’re in a time of change and transition – it’s not yet clear quite how life will look when that time is over, it may look very similar to the life we lead right now, then again it may look a bit different, at least geographically.

Over the last few days and weeks I have found myself unsettled by this, disturbed by the thought of changes ahead, and their unpredictable nature. At the same time I’ve found myself engaging in some strange activities, compulsively sorting things, filing, alphabetising, doing accounts, sorting CDs and so on.

I’ve kind of run out of things like that to do, my CD’s are all in order, my bookshelves are sorted, my accounts are done, my files are up to date and I’ve done enough shredding to stuff a mattress. So for the last 48 hours I have felt really unsettled, almost panic stricken, and I couldnt see why.

I went out this morning to do some easy jobs, (bank, library etc) and while I was walking home I began to understand. I am someone who likes to feel in control of his surroundings, I am happy in the wilderness if I feel well equipped. I like to be prepared for what is ahead of me, and I prefer, where possible to have a good handle on the circumstances of my life.

That is not where I am at right now – things are unpredictable, I dont feel well prepared, some, perhaps even many of the plans I had for things are probably going to be unworkable. I am having to let go of the ideas I have about the way things should/will be. I must live in uncertainty, and it is that which has been bothering me.

But somehow just knowing that, has helped. Now I can recognise my own desire for control and self determination, I can feel free of it. I can accept the fact that I am not in control, and go with the flow a bit more.

I hadn’t realised about the way I was wired until I read some material about the enneagram, which helped me immensely in understanding my own vices, and in recognising my tendency towards controlling my circumstances. Now that I see my problem, I can feel free of it.

Still wish I knew exactly what was going to happen over the next few months though…

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3 thoughts on “On understanding and overcoming myself

  1. I feel for you. I can’t offer any consolation because I feel I’m in a similar place.

    The other day someone told be that I should be ‘simply’ seeking God in any given situation and doing what he says. I reacted badly because I’ve constantly felt in a sort of ‘meantime’ – waiting for God to do something and getting on with things in the meantime. Generally speaking I’ve just done things because they came along to do. I now find myself in a place where there is no obvious thing to do.

    As you say above, I’m also experiencing regular periods of panic. I vacillate from one fairly-wild idea to the next, randomly testing things to see if they might work and when they don’t, trying something else. I know we’re going into a period of financial insecurity – perhaps disaster – and there appears to be nothing I can do to stop, mediate or change it. I literally have to invent things and structures in my life to do to prevent panic and/or a mental/emotional slippery slope I don’t want to go down.

    I kinda know that I need to let go (and need to keep telling myself that I know this), but still feel the need to try to catch the next potential rubber ring I see. And then have to let that go too.

    I’m not sure I can take this much longer.

    1. I’m glad to say that for me, understanding why I was reacting in that way brought a sense of peace – it’s very much the thing of converting something harmful into something constructive, which is what I admire about the enneagram theory. Thinking of you right now, its only when we’re in the desert that we understand what it means to be really thirsty.

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