Jarring Aspects of Reality, Emotional Conflict & Reality-Checking

I’ve not done my nails. Plain green nails for almost a week. Time to analyse..

I do my nails somewhat obsessively when I’m anxious. It’s a natural way to focus on the here-and-now, while still being able to allow your thoughts to drift a bit. To stray, but not too far. Manageable emotional excursions.

Are my plain nails a sign that life is smooth sailing at the moment? Not necessarily. I have this thing where I sometimes simply tip over into don’t care, can’t be bothered-mode. This tends to happen when there is a lot of anxiety, but I’m working hard to suppress it.

So, what is it I am suppressing this time? Well.. I’m flying home next week. [Airport snow clearing team permitting]. I’ve been home twice already this year, and – on the whole – it’s been fine. Yet, as noted in previous entries, it’s not that simple. Because although these last two times have been essentially fine, there’s a psychological and emotional history to take into account.

There have been times in the past where things have been far from fine. And, as we all know, us humans have a tendency to be ruled more easily by negative experiences than positive ones. A bad experience is by no means cancelled out by a good one. Psychologically, a good one just means that it was OK this time. It leaves no guarantee that the less pleasant events won’t be repeated later. And thus, anxiety bubbles within, contrary to recent experience.

How can we master this? Well – if I had an absolute solution to that I would be a very very rich woman. But, there are things a person can do, reality-checking coming up quite high on the list. And by reality-checking I don’t mean a straight forward last time was fine so don’t worry about this time, because, although it is factually true that last time was OK, telling yourself that there is no reason at all to worry is in fact taking a step away from the reality of the situation.

I think it is far more helpful to say that Last time was fine, but I’m still worried because X-Y-Z.. To allow yourself to look at the reasons for feeling the things you are, to feel that it’s not wrong to feel that way, but to at the same time acknowledge that there have also been some changes to the experiences that makes you feel that way.

Aspects of reality don’t necessarily have to go neatly together. It’s a hard one to get your head around, emotionally – but, it is nonetheless true.

I could write for hours about the psychological conflict the different realities creates, but – sadly – it’s time to get off to work.

And tonight I may do my nails with no element of over-analysing whatsoever.

It could happen!

All the very best to you all,

xx

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