Unlearning fear and anxiety

When I open my front door that morning with gloom on my face and doom in my heart, I am met with an equally disgruntled Bakerman.

“Yes you are right,” Bakerman immediately cuts the chase. “This is a complete rejection of you and all you stand for. Or she might have thought you might want them to keep and give them to your kids one day. They are just collecting dust in her house. Maybe it’s a nice gesture. But I agree with you. You are so deeply buried in this pain and anger it is impossible to see anything else.”

I need some time to recollect my thoughts. I am totally thrown aback that he has picked up the conversation of yesterday. I am shocked to my core that he tells me so bluntly to stop complaining. His reaction stings and I am looking desperately to find an appropriate answer.

“Okay here we go again,” I try the annoyed approach. “Only I am to blame.”

“No. I am not having this conversation,” Bakerman snaps back at me. “Sorry. Go make Wim’s life a misery.”

And that was that. He disappeared into his van, the parcels of fresh bread pushed abruptly into my hands, my face warmed by the rising sun. And here I am on my doorstep, fighting an invisible battle to get rid of my conditioned fear and anxiety, jealously hoping one day to find and conquer the holy grail of self-confidence.

The problem is, anxiety and fear are not a disease, nor a virus, or bacteria or an injury. You can’t catch it from sitting on a toilet. And anxiety and insecurity might be the appropriate reaction in certain situations. In fact, there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes we just have an inappropriate reaction in a normal situation.

It’s our own behavior that causes our anxiety, fear and insecurity. Our emotions are influenced by the way we talk to ourselves. Our emotions drive our behavior. Change the way you talk to yourself will change the way you feel, and will ultimately change your behavior.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.


Who bakes your bread?

The next morning I find myself waiting the Bakerman’s morning delivery with a poignant sense of anxiety. He never answered my Skype call the previous day, nor my text messages. I had turned it over and over in my mind wondering if I had gotten the time wrong, or mistyped the Skype address. I just couldn’t understand. Surely he must have been very excited about the link I had sent him with the full study resources to social media marketing. I know I myself had been riveted at discovering the free online study courses.

“Shall we schedule a new call?” I ask him with unease. I had detected a certain tone of uncertainty in my voice and I hate it when my posture gives me away. Especially in situations where I am feeling uncomfortable or inferior in any way.

Bakerman handed me my usual paper bags with warm bread and fresh buns, his usual complacent mysterious da Vinci smile around his lips. He just nodded at me in response to my question and headed off for his morning delivery tour.

Maybe he is too busy right now, I wondered. Maybe he’s not the self-study type of guy. Maybe he needs me to sit down with him and Mary and talk him through the whole social media landscape. Maybe he needs me to take it all into my own hands and do it for them. Maybe he decided he doesn’t want or need social media marketing at all and he doesn’t know how to tell me he’s not interested in this subject. Maybe…

I stop myself dead in my tracks right there. I can go on like this making assumptions and feeding on my own insecurities think up the worst imaginable scenarios. I would just have to sit with this feeling for a while, deal with it and give it a place. Then let go. If Bakerman really wants help with his social media, he will ask me again. If he doesn’t then he doesn’t. Simple.

Putting my hand on my chest, I feel my heart beat faster and I breathe deeply to bring a sense of clarity back to my thoughts and calmness throughout my body. It’s a fine art to be responsible for your own feelings, accepting them as they come and go as waves pounding on the shore. It’s all in the detail. Take a closer look at what triggers set off each wave of emotion. And marvel at the lavish craftsmanship of your own mind setting you up to fall into the trap of your insecurity.

Enjoying breakfast with my littles that morning, we banter on about which destinations will be part of our next traveling adventures. Dreams start early morning.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.