Recently I was alone for five days which was very unusual. The first couple days I wandered around the house, not quite knowing what to do with myself. On the third day I could feel my whole being settle into a rhythm that was peaceful and calm. I did very little out of the house and spoke with hardly anyone. In those three days I felt my self going deeper into an ease I rarely feel or have felt in my life. I was at peace, which is very rare for me.
At the end of the 5 days I could feel my nervous system get excited and uncomfortable energy started to flow through me. So, like a good German Lutheran, I got busy with non-consequential tasks. Anything that would occupy my mind and keep me away from feeling the nervousness was what I was doing. Running a vacuum sweeper is great for that. Cleaning, I mean really cleaning the counters is another good one.
It was the contrast in how my nervous system felt when I was alone to when I was with others that allowed me to sense how easily I get triggered and the adrenals kick in filling me with nervous energy. Mind you, these others were the folks I love most in the world, my family. They weren’t some firing squad or monsters ready to explode me into a gazillion pieces. It was safe, really safe to be with them. My nervous system however decided I needed to protect myself and get busy because the fear that was creeping in was too uncomfortable.
Crazy. This is totally crazy. I know. And I bet you get this.
So where does the Up come in? It’s in the choice. How you want to feel and respond and live in your self is up to you. It’s totally up to you. While I wish someone would regularly insist that I go to adult time-out and go be alone in the quiet till I settle down, so far in my adult life no one has made me do that. I have to do that for myself. And no one will probably send you to adult time-out either. It’s up to you to do that for yourself.
The really important task is to notice when your nervous system gets spiked. It feels like a zing of energy that is not quite safe. If, and this is a big if, you can notice this zing, then you have a choice in how to respond to the spike of adrenalin that is flowing through you. You can get really busy with nervous energy, which is how I have lived most of my life or, you could make a different choice. You could choose peace. You could choose to be calm, to slow down and listen to your family AND yourself. What a choice huh? It seems so easy and it’s so not.
Nurturing, protecting and honoring your soul is the most important thing you can do in your life. Don’t be like me and wait until you’re 63 to figure this out. Start earlier. Start now. It really is up to you.