By Alecia Rice
I’m now starting to do things socially again, but I’m finding that I feel unsure, uptight, and a bit strained in my interactions and I’m an extrovert. How do I bridge these uncomfortable feelings? Uptight and Uncomfortable
Dear Uptight and Uncomfortable~
This is a common theme that I’ve encountered with people lately, even myself. We’ve been through a really weird, globally challenging time. Many people have been in some sort of quarantine, lockdown, or isolation — often staring at screens with horror as to what broadcasts in the news. Even worse has been bearing witness to adults arguing and unfriending people on social media that they’ve been friends with since elementary school — over politics, beliefs around the virus, etc. Family members even have disowned one another. These things have created additional subconscious tensions that weigh on us.
We’ve been through a time like no other. Many of us may feel a tad more sensitive and hesitant than before. It’s really important to check in with ourselves, by paying attention to the more subtle feelings that pass through us as we begin to reconnect in the physical world. These “uncomfortable feelings” are subtle barometers that give us information that can guide us as we step forward into the world.
Whether we realize it or not, this perfect global storm has changed us in many ways — sometimes more than we think. I would recommend not being too anxious to get back to where we were before; instead, let the social rope tentatively extend, to better gauge what feels right for us. Just because we previously did things and hung out with certain people, doesn’t mean that we have to continue on that path. Chances are, not only have we changed, but they’ve changed too…so we’re meeting in unfamiliar territory, which can cause engagements to feel a bit strained.
If it has been a while since we have spent time in social settings, especially with larger crowds, we may find that we’re a bit anxious. Our social nervous systems haven’t been stimulated, so we may get easily overstimulated and overwhelmed. Approaching this arena more slowly can help gently recalibrate the nervous system to more easily process what we’re experiencing. Being mindful with forethought, as well as staying present, will help us to stay connected with what we’re feeling so we can practice conscious self-care choice by choice.
It’s a new world and we’re likely slightly different people than we were pre-pandemic. Social distancing alone has nurtured more energetic sensitivity in us. This may also cause some anxiety to arise as we’re possibly “feeling” the energy of others in new ways, which may be a bit more challenging.
Stay conscious of what you’re feeling, practice self-care, and work those feelings to a place where they’re grounded in understanding and perspective for the best choice-making and balance in future social encounters.
A friend made their life transition. We recently had a big argument and I’m hesitant to go to the funeral because I’m still angry about our interactions. Any perspective you can offer me? Angry and Ashamed
Dear Angry and Ashamed~
It can be devastating when someone leaves us before we could make amends. This can create some inner confusion.
“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”. This speaks to the fact that we often encounter pain physically, mentally, or emotionally that can’t be avoided, but how we choose to think about it will determine how much we actually suffer.
Think of it this way. That person is gone. They’re not thinking or feeling anything about us, but we’re left with unhealed thoughts and feelings about them — which isn’t about them any longer, it’s about us.
Truth is, regardless of what they did, it’s always about us. Ultimately, others are actors in our own personal plays meant to stir up the incomplete parts of us that need conscious attention. If they did something to us, it may seemthat it’s about their thoughtless, hurtful actions, but the truth is that we’re the ones that need to process our thoughts and feelings about what occurred to bring ourselves to balance.
Consider going to the funeral to pay your last respects as a way to honor your friend and bring healing to yourself. Whisper some words to help bring closure, or lovingly tuck something in the casket to symbolize your release for whatever still pains you.
Alecia Rice is a Spiritual Alchemist and a personal advisor for those ready to unravel their issues with conscious choices. She offers grounded perspectives for energy management and sage insights in columns, videos, and podcasts. Visit www.AskAlecia.com for more information. Submit personal questions and quandaries to [email protected].