I am sensing the need to explain "Opposite Action" a little more extensively as I come upon a mega big need for some. Or, maybe I am sensing a need to remind myself???
Today is my nieces birthday... Which is a fabulous event in anyone's life! Especially a 4 year olds!!! And what do you do on such a fabulous day? You have a fantabulous party! And guess who will be there? Everyone!!! Ha...
Now these people that I speak of are all wonderful, supportive, caring folks... otherwise they would not be invited to the party!!! You know what I'm sayin'? The thing is I am absoTOOTly terrified to see "people". I have never been really comfortable in groups. I do better one on one. (notice I said better?) I have SEVERE social anxiety. I am constantly afraid I will say something weird and make someone uncomfortable or act uncomfortable myself and make the situation even worse! Also, I have this lovely fear that I will just plain RUIN the day for whomever the "day" is for. In this case it's LC's big day... I once "RUINED" her moms (my baby sister) big day... But, apparently I was the only one who noticed! It was during A&K's wedding where I read and stuttered through a passage in the Bible AND handed her bouquet to her at the wrong time and had to take it back(!) AND laughed out loud when I thought the preacher made a joke(!)... but, he hadn't(!!!)... (I swear I thought he said something about the rings being "elastic" when he really said "a lasting".) So, after the ceremony I went directly to her and said, "I'm so sorry I ruined your wedding." She had no clue what I was talking about! Thing is, I still haven't been able to shake my guilt... almost a decade later.
One of reasons to use "Opposite Action" is when a painful emotion (which is REAL and VALID! EVEN IF NO ONE ELSE can make sense of it!!!) starts workin' on you and gets WAY out of proportion for the situation... you have an opportunity to decrease the suffering or possibly even replace the emotion with a less distressing or maybe even pleasant emotion.
So, every emotion has a cause (again, EVEN if no one including myself understand that cause!). And every emotion gives a charge of energy to get into action. In the case of fear, it will send you running! Which, in some cases, is totally appropriate! When running isn't the appropriate or effective action??? THAT my friend is when it is high time you practice some "Opposite Action"... Guess how you do that??? (hahaha wink wink) You practice Opposite Action by challenging it and acting OPPOSITE to it! And guess what that means for yours truly today? Going to the party. Celebrating with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. And gettin' down at that par-tay!
I am NOT denying that I am afraid. Or that I have some shame hanging around. I am just going to use this brilliant skill to get through the moments. My emotions may be perfectly valid (possibly the shame is in the wrong spot...) but, they are definitely out of proportion to the situation!
The really really really fun (sarcastic tone being used because that's what I do...) part of this technique/skill IS... I may not see any changes. At least not today. But, if I continue to practice this skill when I am afraid, angry, lonely and depressed, etc. I WILL see changes and I WILL be able to enjoy the fun things in life! And, that IS what I deserve!
So, here I go! I'm taking it moment by moment because I know I can have fun at this party. And I will enjoy getting and giving lots of hugs to the birthday girl AND the lovely people whom I haven't seen in a loooooong (that might be an inappropriate amount of o's for this particular situation... but I'm feelin' it so I'm typing it!) time and mean me absolutely NO harm and ONLY want good things for me. :-)
Your VERY Favorite Oxymoron