Do you sometimes wish things would just go away? Feeling crappy, feeling tired, feeling sad, feeling angry, you name it?
Do you just want to feel happy and content, a sense of ease and peace?
Do you believe that’s possible?
What if these feelings are your gateway into empowerment and freedom?
Difficult emotions can guide us to change something that’s not working.
I hear it all the time and have felt it myself, “I want it gone. Now.” It’s totally normal and is part of the human condition. We want to avoid suffering, and yet somehow ironically we increase suffering through wishing things away.
Let me explain.
When we shut down parts of ourselves that may feel unacceptable or hard to deal with, we then lose connection to the so called “good’ emotions as well.
This wishing things away can lead in different directions. It can lead you to find ways to distract and even sidetrack yourself through things like busyness, drinking alcohol or taking drugs, overeating, over-exercising, over-anything.
This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression, feeling a victim to your surroundings and to life. When you feel like you don’t have a way out, that you’re at the bottom of a pit and can’t get out, it can lead to feeling stuck, scared and depressed.
Or the disruptive feelings can motivate you to make a change and find a new way or new story to believe in, a new direction to go in.
When I was in medical school before I started my journey of self discovery, I remember saying to myself over and over again in challenging times: “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.” I didn’t even know what a mantra was then, but I was using it like one.
I had internalized the phrase “you’re too sensitive.” So at the time it felt like distancing my feelings through the phrase “it doesn’t matter” helped me because I didn’t have to feel the pain of what I was experiencing. It was a form of numbing and seemed to help me move through things.
In retrospect, my struggles became my guide and anchor to get on the path of searching for solutions.
I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I felt like I was on a mission. I wanted to feel better and I wanted to feel successful. I knew it was there and it was possible.
This searching brought me in contact with so many interesting people who were also on their own journey of searching. I read different books, tried therapy, got my palm read, and explored many different healing modalities trying to find some relief, a way to feel better.
It’s totally normal to not want to feel pain.
I see now that through my mantra of “It doesn’t matter,” that I was numbing myself. It was all I knew to do at that point. I didn’t have the tools to recognize what it was or to find a solution. So I did the best I could.
In the IST process I use with clients, one thing I often see is a numbness in their energetic body. It’s like a thick layer that has been protective at some point. The protection allows them to not feel the pain, but the problem is that it gets left in place.
It creates an energetic blockage and the numbness persists so it’s not just the pain they don’t feel.
Clients come to work with me because they feel some things are out of balance in their life or that something is missing. They want to feel happier and more fulfilled, that they have a purpose. But as a consequence of numbing and disconnection, even if they’re not aware of it, they also don’t feel a sense of balance, peace, confidence or joy.
This pain or struggle can point you in a direction of healing or addressing what needs to change. When you recognize that you are wishing things away or are numbing yourself in some way, or don’t want to feel something, or if you even feel frustrated, irritable and tired, try the following:
- Ask yourself “What am I feeling?” Ask yourself “Am I allowing myself to feel it or do I judge it and stop it?” See if you can sit with it, and at least acknowledge that there’s something uncomfortable there. Give yourself some time to ponder these questions.
2. What happens if you let yourself feel your feelings? Will you cry and let it move on? Will you punch a pillow or go for a run and give an outlet to your anger? Will you eat a couple cookies and stuff it down? Will you hop on social media and forget what happened?
Pay close attention to see your patterns, your fear of what might happen, but most importantly try staying with what you feel, being gentle like you would with a friend or child.
3. I invite you to feel the part of you that wants something other than the flatness or numbness or irritability, etc.
What is it you want that you’re not feeling right now?-intimacy with your partner? Times of laughing and fun with your kids? Feeling confident and enthusiastic about your self?
4. As you bring more awareness to yourself and the situation, ask “What are the ways I distract myself or numb myself when I’m in an uncomfortable situation? Do you check your phone, get irritable and yell, go to the bathroom and hide, eat something, have a glass of wine? Again, be gentle and curious.
5. As you see how you check out or have certain habits, see if you can stay present in the moment when you start to feel triggered. See if you can remember at those moments what you really want and what you came up with in Step 3.
6. Remember this is a journey and as you start to know your inner landscape more, it becomes easier to navigate and lead yourself into greater alignment with the life you want. The more you can allow yourself to explore, be curious and let any judgement fall to the side, the more you will find your path forward.
7. The things that are causing you pain and stress are actually pointing you in the direction of something new, with a new potential.
The next time you find yourself feeling down or irritable or angry, remember that it’s a signpost that something wants to change. Do your best to stay with it, let it move and re-connect with what you really want. This will help you react less to those around you and allows you to be more fluid in situations rather than feeling rigid and stuck.
With love and compassion,
Remember, be gentle and be curious.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
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