The Bait: Do Not Take It!

Perhaps, like me, with the start of a new year, you begin going through a list of stuff that you “should” or “shouldn’t” do.  For example, I should clear out the clutter of random and unnecessary papers that have been occupying my bookshelf for the most part of the last year; or I shouldn’t spend so much time online looking at the random and unnecessary aspects of online life.

Well, I think you get my meaning.  Either way, the start of a new year, oftentimes, means a break with the old and an incorporation of the new.

So, what have I decided to keep or to let go this year?

First, I decided to keep my spirits up. 🙂  How?  By continuing the new part of self-care journey that I started towards the end of 2013.  That is, I am going to continue to work on achieving holistic self-balance.

Why?  Because I realize that I have a tendency to abandon my self-care when something or someone “more important” comes along.  As therapist, I know that this is a big no-no.  Still, in my personal life, it has not always been easy to practice what I preach.  Thus, it leads to my second decision.

"Not the self-destruct button" found at http://www.connectedprincipals.com/archives/4100.  I had to include this image... It was just too funny not to do so.

“Not the self-destruct button” found at http://www.connectedprincipals.com/archives/4100. I had to include this image… It was just too funny not to do so.

I have decided to let go of the bait(s).  Nope, really, I won’t take them, no matter the form.  Not interested. Zero percent, nada, niente, zip, zilch.  None of it!

Now, you might be wondering what I mean by bait.  It’s very simple:  it’s anything that depletes you emotionally, physically (in a negative way), mentally, or spiritually.  So, how can you spot it?  Well, here are four examples:

  • Always being a “yes” or people-pleasing person.  Think about it.  Are you the type of person, who when asked to do x, y, and/or z, you immediately say “yes”?
UnderPressure

“Under Pressure” photography by Dolores Juhas, 2008. Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

If so, STOP…or, at the very least, decrease that action.  Why?

Well, I like putting it this way:  if you are saying “yes” to someone, then you are, oftentimes, saying “no” to yourself.  And just why would you do that?  So, the next time someone calls you up and asks you to sit through a 10 hour back-to-back special of a watching grass grow nature show just say “no”…unless you are into that sort of thing.

  • Always being a “fixer”. Yes, really.  Do people (friends/family/acquaintances/random strangers) like to come to you with their problems?  And if they do, does your mind transform into a Mr. or Ms. Fix-It mentality.

 

"Zed" photography by Dolores Juhas, 2008. Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

“Zed” photography by Dolores Juhas, 2008. Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

If so, STOP…or, at the very least, decrease that action.  Why?

Because the reality is listening might just be what that person is seeking, rather than your intervention.   Or better still, ask yourself this question:  Do you have the emotional space to manage listening/dealing with someone else’s issues?

If the answer is “no”, politely back up and say, “You know, I am really sorry to hear about that, but I am not in the best (emotional/mental/physical) space to listen/discuss that with you.”

It may seem callous.  It isn’t.  The reality is that there are times when things are beyond our capabilities to manage them, and it is better that we acknowledge or limitations rather than jumping blindly into fixing someone else’s life (before they ask), especially when we have our own lives to manage.

  • Always being “right” or coming out on top.  You know what I mean. 😉 Were you ever in the debate club in high school or really enjoy being contrary just for the heck of it…or rather for the thrill of being “right” in the end?
"The Revenge of Pride," photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

“The Revenge of Pride,” photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

 

If so, STOP…or, at the very least, decrease that action.  Why?

Do you have any idea of how much mental and emotional energy (read: capital) goes into making an argument?  Seriously, picture it!

Now, imagine using all of that energy to plan your future rather than arguing over whether something is black or white.  Find the grey already and move on with your life already!

  • Always being the “victim” or “martyr”.   It happens to all of us at some point in our lives.  You look around you and your life feels empty and desolate.  Or perhaps you are in a relationship or job that is sucking the very life out of you.  Do you find yourself looking at your life and asking yourself or anyone available questions like “why me?” or “why does my life have to go this way?” Seriously?
Breaking the Circle: Failure, Photography by Dolores Juhas ( http://www.dolores-juhas.tk)

Breaking the Circle: Failure, Photography by Dolores Juhas ( http://www.dolores-juhas.tk)

If so, STOP…or, at the very least, decrease that action.  Why?

Because it is time for a reality check.  Yes, your life may not be what you want it to be in the moment.  But you know what?  Asking those types of questions won’t get you out of the place you are in!

Instead, challenge yourself to pick up the phone and call for professional help if necessary (therapist and/or life coach).  If you believe that you don’t need that, then grab a planner and start writing down the ways in which you are in control of your life…and then what steps you would like to take next.

So, that’s my start for the New Year:  taking care of myself and not taking the bait.  After all, it is when you are most true to yourself that you can be most authentically available to everyone else.

"Black Health Is..." Found: http://cdn.madamenoire.com

“Black Health Is…” Found: http://cdn.madamenoire.com

Also, please, remember that you are never alone.  Someone out there is walking a similar path or has walked it.  Someone out there is willing and available to help you.  You simply have to want it and reach out to accept it.

Until Next Time,

D.

Self-portrait by Dolores Juhas. Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

Self-portrait by Dolores Juhas. Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

Photographs are by Croatian photographer, Dolores Juhas, whose work has been featured in such magazines as Italian Vogue. 

You can visit her website at http://www.dolores-juhas.tk or email her:d_juhas@yahoo.co.uk.  She has her own blog athttp://themax.bloger.hr

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