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     Today was not a very good day.  It began with low level anxiety – I mean, right when I woke up I felt like I needed to stay in my safe little cocoon.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) I was scheduled to volunteer at the library this afternoon.  I spent the morning reading and trying to decide if I should give in, make some excuse, and stay home or gather myself and just go, knowing that people were counting on me and it would all be okay.  My logical, responsible brain argued with my anxious spirit and body…The best metaphor I could come up with to explain this feeling to “normal” people is this:  All day today I felt like a hermit crab moving between shells.  My soft parts were exposed, I didn’t feel safe.  I didn’t have the protection of a shell, but I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  Anxious!

     Well, I talked myself into ignoring the fear because it was irrational.  I bet I looked just fine to other people.  I did my hair, put on make up, put on a cute outfit – the armor of the modern woman.  I thought if I looked better maybe I would feel better.  Sadly, I really didn’t.  I sat at my desk zoning out on the computer, trying to hold it together for my designated 3 hour shift.  Then I made a mistake – no biggie, really, just something I didn’t know that I really should have know, but really not a big deal at all.  I mean, I didn’t know the rule.  Now I do.  If someone else had made this little error, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.  But I sat and thought about it for the next two hours, all the while feeling the tension in my neck and shoulders increasing until I was wearing my shoulders for earrings.  They still hurt several hours later!

     By the time I got home I was exhausted from the stress of it all, but I felt I had to write this up.  The hermit crab metaphor comes in handy here again.  That Brene Brown book I’m reading?  Well, she called her own “breakdown” a “spiritual awakening” instead. (actually, her therapist did, but Brene ran with it, and I’m glad!)  So, in looking for some meaning in all of this madness, I’ve decided to embrace that concept.  Spiritual growth certainly can cause you  to be open and vulnerable, it feels unsafe/strange/unusual.  It could even make you feel anxious…like a hermit crab who has to change shells because it has outgrown the old one. (See what I did there?)

     So, with that more inspiring, less down on myself thought in mind, maybe tomorrow will be better.  All I can do is keep trying….

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