The Force be with you!

Yup, I’m aware that every star wars fan who crosses paths with this title will be reading my blog, including my sci-fi loving brother – hi Donald 👋😁. Nope, this is not a blog about how to master the jedi force and defeat the resistance. Hopefully you will stick around though and maybe, just maybe, you will develop a force to be reckoned with in your own life.

With our current circumstances, most of us have been thrust into a world of cyber communication like nothing we have ever experienced – working via zoom, family gatherings on house party, everything from exercise classes to a pub quiz online and a lot more time on our hands to sift through social media looking for a bit of soulfood or connection. Most of us know social media can be a harsh territory, but for some there has been a rude awakening to a world where inner demons are allowed to let rip with no social filters. Love and kindness has also peaked, which is beautiful, however, you dont need to look far to find judgement and brokenness.

What if we could develop a force in our life that stopped the impact of fiery words that offend us? We could have a voice without others opinions leaving us hurt, offended or bruised. We could happily socialise online without the sudden need for a facebook fast to protect our mental health.

As parents and carers, the force would help us respond to our children’s fear-based anxiety, meltdowns and tantrums without reacting erratically or being hurt when they say hurtful words. Our little people dont have the brain function to control emotions or filter what they feel, especially those effected by asn or asd. As parents, we need to take control of our emotions, creating a safe space for them to express. It isn’t easy! My son has autism and right now he is struggling as he tries to make sense of the sudden departure of usual routines. Meltdowns that were previously managed and almost non existent are occurring several times a day. How can we control our emotions when our child is screaming very hard for 30 minutes solid or when they repeatedly ask for chocolate and cant accept no as an answer because for them it’s the only thing in that moment that can bring them comfort and normality. Today I lost control and ironically screamed ‘you HAVE to stop screaming!!’ Hey, I’m a work in progress 🙂

The force could help us put emotional fires out quickly, with minimal damage – how much do we need this right now 🙋‍♀️.

Which mighty force, I speak of? (Written in the voice of Yoda!). The force we need is ‘resilience’ – the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or you could say the ability to resist offence. Most of us know what that means, but how do we grow in resilience? To grow in resilience we must first recognise why we have low resilience.

Our resilience may be low because our internal value has become dependent on external validation, meaning we need the opinions and encouragement of others in order to feel valued. It’s nice to get a bit if encouragement but when we place our value in others hands, we put our self at risk of becoming devalued when the encouragement is absent.

Maybe we rely on external encouragement because our internal world is so negative and discouraging. Remember your internal world isn’t just you – it’s your history, your life experiences and people throughout your life who have impacted you both positively and negatively.

Take five minutes, sit down, close your eyes and listen to your internal world. Start to tell yourself what your qualities and achievements are and listen to the whispering thoughts that follow. Who is that telling you to stop being so full of yourself? Who is telling you to get off your high horse? Who is reminding you of when you got it wrong? Are you being told you could do better? What do you hear?

Once you have taken stock of your internal world, you can start to invest and input what is needed to build resilience. It starts by being kind to yourself, accepting yourself, loving yourself and being quick to forgive yourself when you get it wrong. Borrow my mantra “no beating up of self”.

Others opinions can only hurt you if your internal story agrees that their opinion is true. If you know a tree is a tree, you’re not going to change your mind if someone comes along and says ‘nah, that’s never a tree. It’s not good enough to be a tree. In fact, I think it’s just a weed.’ You might think they are a bit bonkers but they wont change your opinion of the identity of the tree. The same goes for you! Know who you are and decide to be unwavering in your positive opinion of yourself, even in spite of your own internal doubts or the opinions of others.

The next time your opinion is shot down on facebook, remember they are likely firing darts from their own place of hurt and discouragment. You are not the target and you certainly dont need to take the hit.

The next time your child lashes out or shouts ‘I hate you’, remember they have no filter for emotions, so you have to filter it. There is no need to take it personally once you recognise they are just feeling pain and dont have the emotional vocabulary to describe it or the capacity to control it.

Tip: If you do react and flip into your amygdala (the emotional centre of your brain, ie fight or flight!), start counting slowly. You can’t count from that part of your brain so you should feel almost immediate release from the over-powering emotion.

If you are a Christian, believe who God says you are! Here are a couple of chapters you can look up in the bible to meditate on:

Psalm 139 “…For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well…”

Roman’s 8 “…Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life…”

May the force of resilience be with you!

Published by thehopefulcarer

Wife.Mum.Carer Blogger #Caringforcarers #mentalhealth #Faith #Hope #Love #Believe

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