Do you sometimes feel that you are caught between two conflicting sets of morals and values?
Do you feel tugged and pulled with having to make simple decisions?
I met someone recently who had to “not invite” her parents to a significant celebration because the parents ” from the old country” would take over the way the party “should be done” and the celebration would then become all about ” what our culture expects” and none of what would create true happiness for the newer generation.
If this sounds even remotely familiar, do I have a solution for you!
What if you could step in both worlds and be happy with both sets of rules? Sound like fantasy world?
It is so very possible. The trick is ( ah you knew there would be a trick) that YOU KNOW WHO YOU WANT TO BE!
Ok, so maybe that’s a little too tricky. How can you know who you want to be, if you have been brought up in a world that has little value for an individual ( think ” I ” ) and huge amounts of value on “WE”. You have to be very vigilant with observing your thoughts.
Ok, so now I see you rolling your eyes, just hear me out. When you are being pulled between, do you feel like you MUST please everybody?
Do you feel like “people” will hate you if you do not do exactly as they wish?
Will you hate yourself if you continue to please everyone at the expense of your own happiness? Do you believe that your happiness is important? Can you accept that there can be balance between what others expect and what you want?
There is a way to straddle both your worlds and still be true o your own values and mores.
The simple answer is to allow yourself to observe yourself and others when you are in the midst of making decisions. Notice what your think, how you hold your body, what tone of voice you use, if you feel attacked?
That does not sound so simple you say, well maybe it’s not always simple, but it is always doable. It is always possible to “step” out of the situation and to become the detached observer.
The detached observer does not have to “believe” all the thoughts that pop into their heads. We think thousands of thoughts every day and most of them we let go, but some thoughts stick around to nag you until you feel like your head will explode.
So, here is a simple challenge for you. The next time you have to choose between two worlds, be it a cultural situation, a religious situation or a social situation, notice what you are thinking and see if you can give yourself a “thinking” break.
A “thinking” break means to try to distance yourself from the words in your head.
Try these simple steps:
1. Take 5 DEEP BREATHS
2. Take five more
3. Pretend that you can see the words forming in your head. What kind of font is it, how big are the words? Do they run together like a jumbled mess or it is like a well structured sentence? Do you also see punctuation marks? The trick here is to help your mind take a break from the thoughts that are all consuming.
4. Notice if you were able to take a “break” from the thoughts that are causing stress.
Try this little exercise for one full week on the thoughts that cause you the most stress. Thoughts like ” I should be a better Mom, Wife, Employee, Friend, Daughter ” etc.
I hope you give it a try and also try to give yourself a well deserved break.