I always knew I was silly, I didn’t feel silly but people kept telling me that I was so I must be? That and over sensitive.
It’s funny how what you are told you are as a child can haunt you in a different way through adulthood. It’s so confusing when the adults that you go to for direction and confirmation, because basically they are all that matters when you are a child, tell you that you aren’t feeling what you say you are. ‘You’re just being silly’ ‘don’t be silly’ ‘why are you saying silly things?’. It kind of makes you wonder really, if you are being told that the feeling that you think you are feeling isn’t right, then what are you meant to be feeling?
The dictionary meaning of the word “silly” is; having or showing a lack of common sense or judgement; absurd and foolish. Stupid, unintelligent, idiotic, brainless, mindless, witless……..hmmmmm. That’s good to know then!
This is why self care and compassion are so important. It helps you to recognise what YOU need, not what someone else is telling you you should feel or need. It helps to ground you in a way that only YOU know is the best for you.
I’ve always been one for spending time alone. Away from the madding crowd. I remember being about 10 years old and sat on my bedroom windowsill with a handwritten note in my hand that I am about to set free out of the window. The note says simply ‘Please help me, I’m trapped and can’t get out’. In my head I am an orphan who has been trapped in a castle by some evil relatives that have locked me in the highest tower. I then obviously break into a song from the musical Annie, well what else should you do? I don’t throw the note out of the window though just in case someone picks it up and with some miracle works out that I wrote it and tells my mum and dad. Having a vivid imagination and being “over sensitive” meant that I could spend hours wrapped up in my own thoughts going over how I had been wronged and rescued from my angst in a fairy tale way. This was my coping mechanism, my way of being able to self regulate my feelings and make them real to me when I was being told I was being “silly”.
For someone who is comfortable spending time alone social events can feel quite overwhelming so finding 5 or so minutes away from the high energy and excitement of others for some self compassion is just peachy for me. Just enough time to recharge your battery, recentre and back to it. I find it’s quite easy to lose yourself in places where there are so many different people. Having an empathetic personality it can be quite draining. It can be as simple as stepping out of the situation that you are feeling overwhelmed in and allowing yourself to recognise how you are feeling; name it. Acknowledge it as a true representation of what many people would feel in this moment, it makes you completely human, then let it go. You need to give yourself a break sometimes! Breathing in the fresh air or having a little walk outside to reconnect and ground yourself with nature is always good too but if this isn’t available the loo’s are also an awesome place to be! No one will question why you are away, locked in a little ‘safe space’ cubicle alone for a few minutes, but enough time to recentre. Washing your hands is another good way to replenish. Concentrating on the whole process of using the water to wash away the negative thoughts is a very mindful action and if you need more, repeating a positive affirmation to yourself in the mirror can do wonders for your self esteem. Every one has their own coping mechanism, you need to find what works for you in the moment and not feel guilty for this self regulation.
Self compassion is invaluable in my daily routine. I have little things that like to try and do whenever I can, no pressure but something every day if I can. Writing three things that I am thankful for that day, a meditation or some yoga, even having time alone walking the dog or just sitting taking some mindful breaths drinking some camomile tea. I think that deep in the back of my mind I will continue to, in some way, believe what I was told whilst I was a child that I am “silly” and that for me includes feeling “stupid” and “unintelligent” when I’m in the company of others. My self doubt will still rear it’s ugly head making me feel not worthy to be in other’s company and what I have to say uninteresting and “idiotic”. But I will not let this define me and I will challenge this knowing that I have the safety net of my own self care and compassion techniques to strengthen me.
What I do know is that although apparently being “silly” means that you “lack common sense”, I have this in bundles. My “judgements” are also usually correct, my gut instinct is amazing! And for me being “foolish” is outstandingly positive and part of my personality that I love.
I love that my quirky and “silly” way of looking at things can often be a skill that many people admire about me, and just writing this seems “absurd” in itself but apparently, so I’m told, true!