I was recently working in my office when my daughter came home from school. As soon as she walked in the door I could hear her sobbing. I turned off the computer and made myself available to her. When she finally made it down the stairs, I asked “what happened?” She lifted her arm to show me a very large, bloody scrape. “I was running.” Sob, sob, sob “and I fell down.” Sob, sob, sob. I held her for a few minutes and let her talk. “My friends wanted to go back to school but I just wanted to come home.” I told her, “Well, it’s because love always makes you feel better.” She responded “I tried to get to my happy place, mom, but I just couldn’t!” Poor kid! I said, “Yeah, sometimes the pain is so big that it’s hard to find the happy place.”
So this got me thinking about other people who have pain so big that they can’t find their happy place. Prior to my daughter coming home from school I had the privilege and honor to be a guest speaker on a conference call that my friend was hosting. We talked about the # 1 mistake people make in dealing with their emotional pain. Drum roll, please…… They don’t allow themselves to FEEL! We spend so much time and energy trying to avoid “negative” emotions. We do things like eat a pan of brownies, get high or drunk, go for some retail therapy, etc. to numb out the pain. We are always longing to find the “Happy Place” but never really find it. Well, maybe we find it for a moment or two, but it never really lasts long.
As I was writing this my friend just posted on Facebook “I do not understand people that are so miserable every day, if I ever turn into one of those people I hope somebody slaps me and puts me in my place.” So everyone starts making comments about why people are like this. One person said that it’s probably because of the way their mama talked to them when they were little. I say it’s because their emotional pain is too great. And, at some point you have to take accountability for yourself in this life and stop blaming others.
So, how do you take accountability for the way you feel? Well, you feel and you own those feelings. When you think of something from the past that has hurt you, you honor whatever emotions come up with it. What people don’t realize is that it only takes a very short amount of time to feel through something bad, a few minutes or a few days, for instance, rather than a lifetime of pain from trying to stuff or numb the emotion.
So how do you honor your emotions? Think about a two or three year old. They are very honest and open about expressing how they truly feel. When they’re angry, they throw a fit. When they’re sad, they cry. When they’re happy, they laugh with their heart and soul. When they feel loving, they give big squeezy hugs and smoochy kisses!
So when you’re mad, have a temper-tantrum. Not necessarily in front of everyone, but privately scream into your pillow, throw some wadded up socks or hit your pillow with a plastic bat. It’s irresponsible to do this kind of screaming in front of others because there is a lot of toxicity that comes with it, so do this by yourself. If you feel like you’re ready to explode on the people you love then really schedule some time to be alone and do this.
If you feel sad, allow yourself to cry. I had a client that thought she would be a bad mom if she cried. I told her that she would be a bad mom if she DIDN’T allow herself to cry and let go of her emotion. Women especially need this emotional release when their emotional pain gets to be too much. If you don’t allow yourself to cry, your body WILL find another way to try and deal with this pain, particularly by creating dis-ease for itself.
If you are working through some big emotional stuff, keep a journal. Write about the issue and how it has affected your life and the story you have created surrounding it. I like to burn this type of journaling because burning is disintegrating (please do this safely though). If you don’t feel comfortable lighting a fire then you can shred the journaling and bury it in some dirt where it will decompose. When you are finished writing about the bad stuff and letting it go, write about the good stuff and what you want to create in place of that old story. Stay positive and write about what you want. Make it about you and what you have the power to create, not someone else. This journaling is great to keep if you choose to.
If you get to a place where you feel stuck and these simple things aren’t quite enough, get some help. Find a coach or healing facilitator to assist you in your journey. Your happy place will miraculously make its way back to you!
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