We live in a world where we seem to always be busy. Working, socialising, sport, playing on our phones, watching Netflix, shopping, exercising or whatever else keeps us from actually “feeling and dealing”. Now our current new life in hibernation has really changed things. Many of the usual things we would do to occupy ourselves we cannot currently do and many of us are working from home in isolation if we live alone, or with our spouse or kids who we would never usually spend this much time with.
On my own recent journey I have read many books, watched many self-help type documentaries, listened to pod-casts, meditated and a myriad of other things to support improving myself and I continue to do these things. It’s very easy to get caught up in the positive thinking mantra and that we need to continually be positive and push down any negative type feelings. Don’t get me wrong I agree with doing all that you can to be positive and improving your mindset BUT there is a risk here and that risk is, we are so busy doing all of these things to avoid and push down any feelings that are not positive, we do not DEAL WITH THEM. Meditation, being present in the moment and mindfulness are amazing tools and there are so many benefits of adding these to your daily life and they absolutely help with stress, anxiety and of course help you to remain calm, bring clarity and put things into perspective.
So what are the pitfalls? The pitfalls are that we can easily busy ourselves with doing all the things necessary to remain positive. We actually need to allow ourselves to feel the pain, to feel the sadness or whatever other negative emotion that may present itself, so we can deal with it and heal it. Of course, we do not want these negative emotions to linger and we do want to try to improve how we are feeling, however, it is a process we need to go through. We need to cry. To feel anger. To grieve. The same way we feel happy and joyous. These are processes we need to go through and by continually burying them, we never really deal, therefore they will continually fester or worse still we bury them for long enough we end up exploding.
I have recently started seeing a hypnotherapist to support me in my journey and she has provided great clarity on this. She advocates all the self-help practises and has meditated daily herself since she was young. She knows of the authors I mentioned and agrees with positive affirmations and all the other bits and pieces we do. She also explained that when we have emotions we have not dealt with or issues throughout our lives that we have not addressed, we may need professional support to unearth them and assist in addressing them. If we continue to mask and bury what’s happening at some point we will be triggered. We also need to be completely honest with ourselves and anyone that is trying to help us.
She explained we need to allow ourselves to feel. We need to sit with those feelings and not automatically do something to distract from actually feeling and actually dealing. Grief for example is a 5 step process and when something happens in life we need to grieve and if we don’t allow ourselves to do that, we will just carry around a host of unhealed pain that will boil over at the most unexpected time and way. Grief is caused by so many things from death of a loved one to the end of a relationship or job, yet we put on that happy face and pretend everything is just great! We tell everyone we are fine. We write and speak our positive affirmations and what we are grateful for but sadly at times we are not fully open and honest even with ourselves, so how can we ever really heal?
We are so good at wearing masks so we don’t have to talk about our feelings and that’s really bloody sad. Meditation can help with clarity and stress reduction and also it gives us that much needed time BUT addressing things in our subconscious can be difficult, if we are uncertain of what they are. The mentors, books and positive speakers are going to give us tools to support us and they provide us with hope and and a box of goodies that will definitely aid us in feeling better either short term or in conjunction with professional help where required.
Human beings are incredible and we have the ability to change ourselves as our brain has this phenomenal capacity. I am overall a positive person and will always try and see the positive in others and I am a huge believer in always working on yourself to grow and evolve. On the flip-side we are HUMAN and being human means we feel and that means feeling those negative feelings as well. We are going to feel sad and cry, just like we feel happy and smile. We are going to feel pain when we have a loss, just like we will feel excited at a gain. We shouldn’t mask these feelings and we should not busy ourselves or distract ourselves to try and numb them. Unresolved feelings and emotions that are triggered 5 years down the track in some unexpected way, because they were never dealt with, will be of benefit to nobody.
So we should continue to meditate, do yoga, read and learn, listen to pod-casts and self-help gurus, we should always try to be positive and help others but we should also allow ourselves to truly feel, whatever it is we need to feel. We shouldn’t be afraid to seek professional help and we definitely should not bury and mask the pain and sadness that happens in our life because it will always come back at some point to bite us. Looking deep within ourselves, being completely honest with how we are feeling is not easy. If we are to be the best version of ourselves that means we stop hiding, we stop lying to ourselves and maybe to others in our lives and we admit to how we honestly feel. We remove ourselves if we don’t want to be where we are, we don’t let others judge or control our lives, we seek help when we need it and we do what is going to make us genuinely happy, even if that upsets or hurts others because we will never be our complete authentic selves if we continue to hide behind our masks, pretending that everything is just fine!
Being vulnerable is a beautiful thing. It means we are open and sincere with ourselves and those in our life. It means we are not afraid to do the work on ourselves, the REAL work. Children don’t wear masks, they learn to hide their feelings as they grow older. A young child will show exactly how they are feeling! Now I’m not suggesting we have a tantrum when we don’t get the lolly we want, but allowing yourself to feel an uncomfortable emotion is how we deal and eventually move past it. Going through something painful and banishing the hurt, pain, sadness and grief is only going to manifest in more serious issues down the track. How many times has someone said to you “keep busy”, when you are going through something? Yes definitely having a focus is helpful BUT we still have to go through the stages, we have to allow ourselves to feel and not run away from the hard stuff. It’s not about wallowing it’s about accepting the process because by doing this, we will ultimately come out of the suffering a renewed and reinvigorated person with so much to offer, with the right guidance and professional support.
We don’t tell someone who broke their leg to just busy themselves, take pain killers and tell everyone their leg is just fine, do we? We encourage them to get professional help and the correct treatment to fix the leg and we know sometimes, it’s going to take time but we have to do the work on that leg to ensure it’s healed properly. We do the work. We are honest about the pain because we know that if we don’t do the REAL work and address the pain thoroughly, in 6 months, a year or maybe 5 years time we are going to have issues with that leg and now these issues maybe more difficult to address than the original break and cause us all sorts problems.
So when something happens in your life, allow yourself to feel and deal, so that you can heal. Accept the process because so often out of trauma, sadness, grief and pain you emerge a stronger person, a better version of yourself. It can be life-changing if we deal with these things how they need to be dealt with. I have always said the best people to help others are those who have lived and suffered the hardships and really dealt with them for the betterment of themselves. They’ve looked in the mirror. They’ve seen their pain and brokenness. They’ve sobbed in a ball on the floor of the shower. They’ve thought their heart would never recover. They’ve felt all those emotions and addressed them as they arose. They were brutal in their honesty with themselves and with others so they had the necessary support to heal. Then and only then did they become whole again and have the tools to help someone else and an incredible new found inner strength and resilience.
Take your mask off. Be real with yourself and those in your life. Feel and deal, so you can emerge out of the rubble like the Goddess that you are!