Sometimes the Universe hits you hard with an opportunity to learn. It gave me that gift recently.

Over the weekend, I had a bad reaction to a medication. I’m not one to take medicine, so I was reluctant to try it to begin with.

It made me very sick, and on top of that my husband was out of town. It was scary.

Looking back I gained some insights from the situation.

Okay, I’m tempted (half tempted) to joke that insight number one is to never trust medicine. But that’s my baggage…

More seriously, it really pointed out to me a deep aversion to appearing vulnerable. Can anyone out there relate to that??

I guess I’m being vulnerable typing it here for the world to see, but that doesn’t bother me.

It’s a different sort of vulnerability that terrified me that day. What if I got so bad I needed to call someone for help? Embracing that was so damn hard.

I became subject to my thoughts circling the drain and pulling me down.

I was gripped by “what if” thoughts. What if it doesn’t stop? What if it gets worse? What if I have to go to the hospital?

I had to get a handle on those thoughts right away.

I’ll write more about this in another post another day, but I use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for my clients, and I use it on myself when thoughts begin to spiral.

The EFT helped considerably. As my anxiety decreased, I actually physically felt better.

I also felt vulnerable to appearing physically weak or an ugly mess.

Weakness wasn’t allowed when I was growing up. The only emotion expressed in my family was anger.

Appearing needy, sad, or vulnerable was ignored. I learned to depend on myself.

I grew up to have disdain for weakness. I’m still working to root that out completely.

Ultimately there was a sense of being small.

Too many requests for help went unnoticed in our home growing up, so I guess that left me with an impression that I don’t deserve to ask for help.

As an adult, that translates into not wanting to “bother” anyone, and feeling like it’s best if I just “do it myself”.

A humble opportunity to grow.

The growing process never stops.

I’m in a state of gratitude that I have a dozen people I could call if I got in trouble.

With no doubt, I would drop what I was doing to help any of them if they needed me.

I’m reminding myself they’d do the same for me.

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Originally published at Change Your Mind Change Your Life.