I love my mom.
I really do.
But sometimes, she has a way of making me more anxious than Monk on a good day.
There was the time when I was 15 and she proudly leaned back in her Cadillac (80’s hair in tow) and asked my fellow teen monster and me if we “wash down there.” We then received a detailed lecture on personal hygiene (much to our horror.)
In my 20’s, there were the regular lectures about marriage and stability. Really, marriage was what it was all about. I didn’t want to commit. It made me anxious.
In my early 30’s, it was all about connecting and becoming a part of something greater than myself. This, too, made me anxious. I was still caught up in anxiety itself.
By the time I was 40, the lectures about keeping myself up began to present. I was in the messy bun phase. Life was about doing as little as possible with my appearance because my hay day had come and gone.
Here’s the thing: she’s always right.
Sure, she nags. However, she’s always got my best interest at heart.
And for just reason…
As anxiety sufferers, we get caught up in our own stuff. We lose touch with the big picture in an effort to run from the very nature of anxiety. When someone calls us out, we immediately react.
We get scared, angry, anxious, and even lash out.
This pushes us away from the people we love. Many of us simply can’t listen because anxiety runs the show.
After an anxious encounter with my mom on the way to church on Sunday (comedic, I know), I decided to make a change.
She was harping about my horrible driving, the new bun I’d learned on YouTube, and my inability to listen. I was annoyed!
But as I contemplated the situation, I realized that the problem isn’t her. It’s me.
Yes, she’s pushy and direct. However, if I wasn’t already ramped up, I would take the time to listen. I wouldn’t snap on a dime.
I’d take what I was hearing into account and calmly respond.
Today, my question for you is this. How is anxiety interfering with your reaction to comments from the people you love?
Do you listen; or do you dismiss what they’re saying and listen to anxiety instead?
Take the time to analyze this. I’m 99 percent certain that you’ll be surprised at what you discover. I know I am!
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