I have often thought that people find it easy to make decisions and take control of their own life but without asking everybody I don’t actually know. I know that generally speaking I am an indecisive person (although I am getting better at being more decisive) and hate making decisions especially when they are not easy ones.
As I sit here writing this, I can hear people telling me that I have taken control of situations in the past including incredibly difficult ones…the main one being fleeing domestic abuse. However, although I did do this and I made the choice on my own, I still feel that the only reason that I did was because I felt I was in a position where I didn’t really have a choice anymore. I had been ignoring my own thoughts and what my body, head and heart had been telling me for more than a year.
One of the main reasons that I found it so difficult was fear of hurting or upsetting others as well as hoping that the situation would change or that it wasn’t as bad as it was.
I feel that when it comes to taking control of situations, I still go back to my default which is worrying about others and struggling to listen to my own needs. I find it extremely uncomfortable and naturally would rather ‘keep the peace’ than say or do anything that could potentially ruffle feathers.
I wish I were more like those who find it easier to say it how it is and put themselves first.
However, in recent weeks I have taken control of certain situations in my life rather than stew on them, ignore how I am feeling or the impact the situation is having on my emotional and physical health and acted fairly quickly.
That is not to say that I found it easy, I would say that ending my surrogacy journey was probably the 2nd hardest decision I have had to make in my life.
Fear of the unknown including people’s reactions or what the future holds can be scary and cause a great deal of stress and anxiety and I know that I am someone who likes to be sure of a decision first rather than make a decision on a whim. I often seek others’ opinions as a source of reassurance too as I often struggle to trust my own thoughts or instincts.
Rather than seeing taking control of your own life as positive and healthy it is something that I have historically seen as selfish particularly if it involves putting myself first or risks upsetting others. However, I have now learned that although I care about others, I also need to consider myself and the recent decisions I have made have proved to me that listening to our own needs is important.
Our bodies are clever at sending us messages and so listening to our guts or noticing how we are thinking are feeling is important. There may be times when it is obvious what has caused our bodies to send us a warning but equally there may be times when it isn’t as obvious. I felt like that with the surrogacy as I had had a miscarriage so I kept pushing aside how I was feeling as I told myself it was purely down to that, and I would get over it so carry on regardless. Despite being devastated to end something so important to me and not being sure of how I would feel afterwards I was surprised to be able to feel a difference fairly quickly.
My anxiety levels decreased, and I generally felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
This proved to me that I had made the right decision for me and that although the thought of upsetting others and putting myself first doesn’t sit right with me that taking control of the situation was the best thing to do.
There is something quite empowering about taking control of a situation rather than feeling like a puppet on a string, not knowing what is going to happen and it taking over your life whilst you feel helpless in a situation.
Taking control could be about the big things in life but equally it could be about the little things such as what you want to eat for tea!
I feel as though the lesson to be taken from all this is to listen to ourselves and notice what our minds and bodies are trying to tell us. We are important. We live with ourselves 24/7…it is easy to put ourselves at the bottom of the ladder, but we need to look after ourselves in order to be able to look after others.