The "winter" of emotions
Updated: May 9, 2019
“Wait through a painful moment, allow the heart to experience what comes up, feel its way through the darkness into the light…turn it to a powerful source".–Maya Hornbacher
Uneasy emotions can be very difficult to navigate. Many times, we don't know what we are even feeling. We may know something feels "off", yet there are many external pressures to just keep going. What tends to happen:
-We start to judge ourselves for these uneasy emotions. It can sound like, " Why am I feeling frustrated?", "Why do I still care about him! If he doesn't care, I shouldn't care either.", " I can't seem to get out of bed today, why am I like this? Others seem to have it much easier."
-We start to find ways to numb out and escape. Don't we all know this too well. It can be any vice we decide to pick up. Binge watching TV( YouTube or social media), food, alcohol, drugs, over exercising, over spending, day dreaming, sex, etc. I can go on.
-We get angry with others and we isolate. The world can be tough and exhausting. Daily tasks can feel dreadful. We can get angry at others very easily. Blaming them, taking their inventory on what they need to work on. We can do this for HOURS. We also can feel uneasy being around others. We don't feel comfortable sharing with others how we are truly feeling. Maybe we don't even know the words to express it. Better off staying indoors.
We find ways to keep ourselves just above the water, whatever works- we do it. These temporary solutions sometimes work, and other times we are in too deep. We continue to hang on by a thread instead of actually dealing with these emotions.
I was inspired by Laura Markham who explains, "If you’re having a hard day, every day- that's a sign that you need to change something in your life”. Most of us know deep down what is not working for us. We know our truth. In many cases our truth is buried in deep denial, but it is still there.
The beauty in these “uneasy" emotions is the clarity that comes from it. Yes, we need them. They actually do serve us. There is a great deal of necessity from all these emotions we try so desperately to avoid. If we pay attention, it can really guide us in a healthier direction. It can inspire. It can motivate.
If we want a better life for ourselves, we need to get comfortable with feeling the emotions that make us so uncomfortable. Gradually we must find a way to stop the cycle of hurting ourselves because we don't want to feel hurt. It is a process. For many of us, we don't even know where to start because escaping, judging, avoiding- it is all we know!
Some helpful tools:
Re-framing: Get rid of the idea of " good" and "bad" emotions. I know personally, my best artwork was created when I had eyes filled with tears. I produced something beautiful with pain I felt in my heart. Everyone is capable to using these emotions and turning it into a powerful force.
Honesty: Even being honest with ourselves requires a lot of tools that we may not be used to. It often takes a team a healthy support network to help us find the answers within. When the denial starts to slowly lift, we can start to recognize what it truly going on. This will help us know where changes need to be made. Ever heard the saying, "awareness is the first step" ? It really is!
Willingness: For me willingness is the second step after gaining an awareness. Are you willing to make necessary changes in this area? Sometimes, we simply are not ready. That is okay also. In fact, it is really critical we are not judgment with ourselves when we are in this state. It is okay to have awareness and not be ready to make any changes. Change is difficult for most of us. We can use this also as a learning area to explore what change means to us and some of the pros and cons in being willing to change something in our lives.
For those that are ready and willing, usually this is because of that powerful tool of uneasy emotions I wrote about previously. Usually when we are really ready for a change- there is a powerful force motivating us. Now with the willingness to make necessary changes, we can bring that into action.
Into Action: Third step, we start taking action! This means something different for everyone reading this. Different actions are required if we want to start seeing different results in our lives. One of the most helpful tools I use on a daily basis is the idea of taking "the next right action". I used to spend hours dwelling on the past. Today with this saying, it really helps me see the learning lessons from the past and simply, just take the next right action,
It takes a lot of work and a team to help break an unhealthy cycle. Yet, I promise you, with the right support and tools it really is possible to see changes in our daily lives. Dragging ourselves from place to place does not need to be our everyday life anymore. There is hope, there is help. No one is alone in this (despite our minds that tell us we are alone in this).
Reach out. Speak up. Use these uneasy emotions to be a powerful force in your life.