Do you like surprises? Do you like someone inviting people they think that you might like to have over without your input? Do you like going somewhere that you have no idea what to expect? If so, you are a better person than I! Most of the time, I believe that surprises are for birthdays and Christmas. I really do not like haunted houses - you never know what might jump out at you. I don't like my husband to decide what the dress code for an event might be - usually not on the same page with that! LOL!

So what is it about surprises that give us anxiety? One of the biggest reasons we feel anxiety is the inability to control our situation. Surprises take that control away from us. Knowing that the only thing that we can truly control is ourselves, surprises make it difficult for us to plan or prepare ourselves and therefore control goes right out of the window. If we have had trauma or difficulty in our past our view of surprises tends to be negative. Because of that, most of our surprises in our past would have been negative therefore, we dislike all surprises.

Another reason for much anxiety is expectations. Most of us like to please people and if we are faced with a surprise, we don't know what is expected of us in that situation. The pressure of feeling that we "acted appropriately" or did what was "expected" of us adds to our already increasing anxiety.

There are some surprises, however, that I will concede are actually good surprises and that might actually be healthy for us. A special dinner, a sweet gift, or even a surprise visit can bring joy to the one receiving the surprise and also for the one giving it.

My daughter and her girls surprised us this past weekend with a visit. We had not seen them for some time and we always like spending time with our "girls." At first, I was concerned. I had not made the right preparations - were the beds made, did I have the food that the little girls like, was their room cleaned/vacuumed? However, by remembering the intention of the surprise and by remembering my joy at seeing them I am able to get out of my head. these are the things that help me control the negative thoughts that are beginning to create the anxiety and set it aside.

Surprises. I'm choosing to enjoy them. I'm choosing to see the positive intentions that are in most surprises. For the negative, sad or fearful surprises? I choose to remember that I am a strong person with a supportive system of people around me. Because of that, I can enjoy the fun surprises and get through the disappointing surprises. I can thrive!

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