I’m so happy for two lovely girl friends I know who are getting married this year. The lead-up to their big life moments has included some celebrations and I was at a hen party (bachelorette party for you non-Brits) last weekend in Bristol and when I post this blog to you, dear one, I’ll be at another hen party in Barcelona!
It’s such a happy time for these friends and I’m so glad to be sharing in their celebrations…but I have to admit that I have been feeling a bit nervous in the lead-up to the festivities.
I don’t know why, but something in me is angst-y and has been for a few weeks. I have fretted about whether other people will have a good time, what will happen if I want to go to bed earlier than other people and, most importantly, whether I’ll be accepted by the group. To be honest, these feelings of mine are not just reserved for hen parties – I often feel this anxiety in advance of being in a big group.
I’ve even stepped away from some events in the past because I’ve felt sick with nerves.
I don’t know why I feel like this. But I do and it doesn’t help me to deny feeling like I do.
As I’ve started to become more comfortable in my own skin, I’m able to rationalise my way out of my anxiety more often than not. I can calm myself down by reminding myself that:
- whether other people enjoy themselves is not my responsibility to shoulder
- I’m a grown-up and can leave/go home early if I’m tired or not having a good time
- I’m a nice, kind, fun person and, although I’m not the most out-going/crazy person in the world, I’m generally liked by people, so chances are that people in the group will accept me
Still, these feelings persist. I’m not able to make them go away. And it makes me feel pretty shitty to be honest.
It was during a meditation by Gabrielle Bernstein that I had a bit of an Aha! moment about how I feel. A line she said that went like this:
“See things from a place of love, not a place of fear”
It hasn’t solved anything or totally shifted my nerves but it has helped a bit. It was her words that helped me to see how I’ve been approaching these big group events from a place of fear.
Putting on my scaredy-specs, I’ve been picturing the worst – that everyone will be disappointed, mostly in me and how lacking I am. However, when I stop, still my mind and pause for a moment to think of the up-coming weekend from a place of love, I feel completely different. I feel:
- joy for my friends who are taking this huge step in their lives to get married
- optimism for the weekend – a chance to get to know new people on a personal level and share my true self with them
- a security in myself that I am ok just as I am and that I am enough
This is the feeling that I want to hold onto as the weekend unfolds – a feeling I can get by seeing things through love.