By: Theresa Lode, Life Coach, public speaker and humorist at http://www.theresalode.com
I recently started seeing a therapist to help me deal with some recurring issues. (BTW – I have long held the belief that EVERYONE can use a good therapist at some time in their life.) While I am a huge fan of life coaching, (I work with a coach regularly,) sometimes one needs the expertise and training of a licensed counselor. Actually, it was my coach who suggested working with a therapist for a few sessions. A good coach recognizes the scope of their practice and refers out when necessary.
In my case, sometimes my “git ‘er done” drive crosses a line over into anxiety. I love how my therapist refers to anxiety: It’s like having Navy Seals in your head. These bad boys are on heightened alert all.the.time.
Being a word picture sort of gal, I love this analogy. It gets even better. When I came home and told my husband, Jay, about the Navy Seals thing, he told me that he had just started watching a documentary series on the Seals. So of course, I had to watch it.
Here’s a few of the things I learned that helped me better understand the dynamics of anxiety via a Navy Seals analogy.
- Navy Seals maintain a hair-on-fire sense of urgency (minus any hand flapping, ha) when they are on duty. They are FOCUSED big time. This is good for military operations. Living at Def Con 5 is not a good way to live on a daily basis.
- Stealth is everything. These guys can move through a jungle with the quietude of a mouse peeing on a cotton ball. Unfortunately, when we humans are in pain – and I find this especially so for mental/emotional pain, we tend to go quiet and withdraw. No bueno.
- They strike hard and fast. Again, good for rescuing prisoners or stealing a cookie from the cookie jar. NOT good when a trip to the store triggers a panic attack.
Having been married for nearly 30 years and having raised three kids – two boys and one girl, I am aware of how damaging the “macho” culture is to males. I mean, is there anything more “manly” than a Navy Seal, our culture says?
This sort of ideal may work well for extracting a prisoner from a terrorist nest but they are destructive when held as a standard for manhood. Being ever vigilant and keeping emotions under lock and key is a surefire way to end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
I long for a day where our boys are raised with a different view of what it means to be male. And when men can see their value in humility, kindness and grace – three qualities you will not find in describing a deployed Navy Seal.
If you’ve got Navy Seals calling the shots in your head – I encourage you to have them stand down and re-evaluate their role in your life. It’s probably past time for them to be discharged from service.
Theresa Lode is “The Zany Sage.” She’s a Certified Life Coach, public speaker and humorist. She loves helping people create a new life – without having to go into witness protection. You may out more about her at: www.theresalode.com