Have you found yourself thinking any thoughts like these?
He is so difficult sometimes!
I want my life back… is that selfish of me?
I have no time for myself…
How We React To Our Negative Thoughts
Usually when we have these types of negative thoughts we respond in a couple different ways.
- We vent to others or to our online group. This helps us to justify our feelings. Others may agree with us or validate our feelings and this helps us to not feel so alone.
- Conversely, we may just internalize our thoughts because we feel guilty for having them. We think them, and then try to shut them down or deny them by telling ourselves that we shouldn’t think like that.
- Or, we may turn around and blame the one we’re caring for. We’ll find all the ways that they truly are difficult. We’ll get angry that no one is helping us. We tell ourselves that they don’t appreciate all we are doing for them.
Feeling More Awful
All these reactions don’t make us feel any better. In fact, we usually feel worse! When we vent, we feel justified and this can build up to real anger. When we judge ourselves for our negative thinking, we end up feeling terribly guilty. When we blame, we become resentful.
It all leads to more negative emotions. We end up miserable about our misery. We may feel trapped, resentful… Like there is nothing we can do. We think our feelings are just our reality, beyond our control. We become the victim of our own emotions.
There is another way. A way that will lighten some of the misery.
The Story You Are In
Think about a story. In a story, the heroine has struggles and successes. There is the part where she doubts herself. There’s the part where she blames someone else. There is the part where she really struggles. Finally, there is the part where she overcomes these obstacles and grows. We expect the heroine to struggle before she succeeds.
This Is The Part Where…
Your life right now is the story you are telling. In a story, no one questions the ups and downs. We know it’s just part of the story, the journey the heroine is on. Yet, in our own lives, we think something has gone wrong when we feel bad. We want to argue with it, or deny it, or blame someone else or our situation for it.
There is no story where the heroine doesn’t struggle. Just like there is no human life where we don’t have negative emotions.
When you find these negative emotions come up, remind yourself of the story.
Ahhh, this is the part where I judge myself.
This is the part where I want to blame them.
This is the part where I feel guilty.
This is the part where I’m angry.
When we do this, we are reminding ourselves that the ups and downs are all part of our human story and nothing to resist, or judge, or blame others for. It is supposed to be this way. Remind yourself that while your caregiving story may have anger and frustration, it will also have love and connection. It may have fear and guilt, but it will also have joy and peace.
Allow your story to be what it is.
Does this make sense to you, but you aren’t sure exactly how to apply it in your own life? I can help you see and understand your story. Click here for a free consult.
You’ve got nothing to loose!