When we are being challenged from all directions, it’s tempting to distract ourselves away from the problem or try and numb it out. We might try and pretend it didn’t happen or rush ourselves into feeling better.
This is especially the case when some friends – even professionals – tell you that “all you have to do is ‘think positive’”, or focus on “being grateful” or say trite things like “you just need to let it go”. They may even tell you they know just what you need. (I’m not one of those people).
The truth is, you feel what you feel, and all feelings are valid – it’s what we do with them that counts. But when we try and push them away, ironically they linger anyway (even if under the surface).
Emotion has its own intelligence, so it has the potential to enlighten us once we know what we’re really dealing with. We know for example that sometimes anger is actually fear or expectation wearing a mask. The key sometimes is to put the light on it, to bring it out of the darkness and see it – and feel it – for what it is, so you know how best to consciously manage it.
The same could be said for decisions or if, say, forgiveness is the goal, it’s not something that usually happens overnight (forgiveness is more of a process than a task you can tick off your to-do list). Like most things that matter, it takes time to process what’s happened, recognise the impact and then do something that will manage the feelings – and your well-being – effectively.
So here’s where I suggest people start:
This week, set the intention to Take Your Time. Give yourself permission not to rush through what you’re feeling or a decision that needs to be made; and don’t let others tell you what to do or how you should be feeling it. Sometimes the most important thing to acknowledge is that you feel something, even if others don’t get it or you don’t do anything with it. In your own time and at your own pace, see if you can give it a name (like guilt, anger or joy) but without attaching any narrative to it. If it’s helpful give the feeling a colour or a shape, or identify where you’re feeling it in your body for a moment, breathing naturally as you do this (more on this in this video). Reach out to a friend or a professional if it might help. Because when you can feel it without the weight of the storyline, then it becomes easier to release when you’re ready.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020 A link to a third party website or video does not mean we endorse the content, just that you might find it interesting.