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Slow Down: Life Is Not A Race

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My name is Tim, and I’m addicted to time.

I’m so freaking impatient I take the stairs instead of the escalator because I can’t stand for 10.5 seconds in silence. I’m not sure what I did with this 10.5 seconds I gained back, but most likely I wasted it on one of those messenger apps.

While I don’t believe that we should waste time, I do believe we shouldn’t become obsessed with it. Time is more important than money. It’s the clock that never stops and it will end one day.

With that said, we can’t keep being obsessed with time. This obsession has become a disease for the new breed of high achievers. All this motivational content we can now consume makes us feel like we have to achieve so much more than we really do.

Our reality sabotages us

Our life feels like a race because we look at what everyone else is doing and then compare it with our own results. When I look at my friends I see:

– They’re married
– They own a house (or two)
– They have kids
– They have perhaps found their dream job
– They’re very fit
– They have more followers than me

Who says that this is what success looks like? Who puts a timeline on when or even why you need to do all of these things?

One of my friends told me the other day that he doesn’t want kids. I thought it was odd until I saw how happy he was with knowing what he wants. All of our success is different.

Certainty

I once dated this girl who always had to be certain. She told me that she needed to be certain about: marriage, kids, owning a house, investments, holidays, etc. I thought about this for a while and realized that it’s impossible to guarantee anything in life.

Just last week, this idea came up again. I was reading this book called “Tiny Beautiful Things.” The book is a collection of letters to a writer called “Sugar.”

Sugar posts each letter on her online column and then posts the response to the question in the letter. The questions range from how to: deal with: divorce, children, cheating, pregnancy, miscarriage, rape and almost any challenge you could think of in life.

After reading all the letters, I saw a familiar pattern: there are no guarantees. You have to be prepared that tragedy or pain could strike at any time. The problem each of the authors of these letters suffered from was that they thought once you have a plan in place, nothing gets in the way.

Once you’re married, supposedly you’re secure. Yet, what I’ve learned is that security is a myth.

“You have to live with the confidence that anything could happen at any time and that you have the power to overcome any adversity”

If you don’t live with that power, then when life knocks you flat on your ass, you’re going to experience extreme pain. That could then be followed by drugs, alcohol, out of control sex (the bad kind), mental illness, sickness and unemployment.

Your timeline is a myth, sorry

So if we have no real certainty then how does that affect how we think about time? It means that the race we think of as life, with all of these time indicators, is a total myth! If we take it a step further, it means that your timeline for this whole achievement race is a waste.

When you think you are falling behind because of a setback, at another point in time, you will catch up and progress one hundred miles in front of where you thought you would be. There will be moments of massive momentum, and then moments of incredible failure. It’s all gravy.

What you think you want, you don’t

You’re running this race against time because of the things you think you want. Someone said something to me the other day that was profound. They said:

“Tim, single people want to be married, and married people want to be single.”

We’re always chasing the next sunset because we think that’s what we want. When we finally get it, we want the opposite. It’s easy to obsess over something you don’t have. It’s not hard to feel like you’ve been lazy with your time.

The truth is your wants will change and so will the timeline. Embrace this uncertainty and know that surprises are fun. Life is going to throw things at you and that’s what makes it worth living.

“Reading the same story over and over, when you know the ending, is boring. Life is the same”

Slow down

The point of this post is that you are racing ahead trying to win a race that doesn’t exist. So now that we know this race is a myth, we can slow down.

By slowing down, we can enjoy where we are right now. We can be happy with all the things we’ve accomplished rather than dwelling on what we think we should have already completed. By slowing down, we get to be truly happy again.

We can sit by the beach and watch a sunset. We can hang out with friends and be fully present without a phone in sight. We can eat an incredible meal and enjoy every bite. Why can we slow down and do these things? Because we’ve quit the race we thought we were running.

By seeing the truth, we’ve created possibility in our lives. We’ve become open to whatever life throws at us and we’re equipped to deal with the different seasons of life. I’m sitting here drinking Chinese tea right now and it tastes delicious. I’m enjoying it because today I’ve decided to slow down.

I’ve decided to quit the race, and enjoy myself instead. I’ve decided to see things differently and I encourage you to do the same.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Life

The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.

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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.

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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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