Welcome, my beautiful, courageous, colorful, curious being! I am so happy you took the moment to honor yourself and begin to change your world. I have so many things to show you that I know you will find deeply meaningful for your growth and emotional well-being. So, if this is something new for you, be brave! Come to this space with openness, patience, and a genuine desire to grow. I see you; the you that is burning within you to be seen. Let this be the time you find internal freedom: to love you, to understand you, to be kind to you, to simply BE YOU!! If this is not new for you, then I invite you to come to this space with curiosity and willingness to tap into under examined corners of your unrealized potential. Let us learn from each other, let us connect, and let us grow together!
Now, that we’ve made each other’s acquaintances let’s jump in. It's difficult to really state out loud that we are being bullied by our feelings but, if you are reading this blog then chances are this is something you've experienced firsthand, or you have witnessed a loved one struggle to overcome.
Our feelings can come in many forms: thoughts, words, images, strong emotions, memories and if we aren’t aware of them they can heighten our mental unease and make situations seem more intense and hurtful. But simply “getting rid” of these feelings (understood as thoughts and the emotions they trigger) is not often easy.
I bet you’ve tried a lot of creative ways to get rid of those feelings. Perhaps you over indulge with food and sweets, finding solace in this activity but, also maybe finding shame and guilt at the bottom of another empty pint of ice cream….
But, this is okay you’re just starting out on your journey to seeking freedom. Besides, you are not alone, at some point in our lives we have all tried to push away the worry, hide from the fear, or shrink from the sadness. As an adolescent, I often found myself isolating to avoid the fear I held of being rejected by my peers even though this “rejection” never occurred.
I am wondering, have you tried to free yourself from these thoughts by distracting yourself? Maybe you isolate yourself from family, friends, and the world in general. Or maybe you’ve ended up in the endless cycle of mentally beating yourself to keep the unwanted feelings at bay. But, maybe for you, the pain has been so great that you’ve turned to substances and alcohol to numb it to push it away or even to protect yourself?
BUT WHY do we do this when it often leads to greater hurt and pain?
Well, I would like to offer two reasons. We want to avoid and we want to feel better! It’s that simple. Painful emotions are just that, painful. Most people don’t enjoy this type of pain. A broken heart hurts. When we are faced with the raw emotions from our past, our shortcomings, our traumas, our failed relationships, our dreams deferred, it can be exceptionally overwhelming. We find ourselves caught up in a sea of self-criticism, doubt, depression, anxiety or even rage.
We are fearful that feeling those feelings while they are happening will be so devastating that we cannot imagine “sitting with” them for any more time than we must. So, avoiding becomes the most logical step: I can’t feel what I don’t acknowledge, right? Maybe, but most likely this approach won’t work for long. Right now, think back to a time where you employed this strategy. Did it work indefinitely? Emotions and thoughts stay, fester, linger, multiply, intensify, and overwhelm you even if you don’t recognize what your experiencing and ignoring them or avoiding them will likely backfire.
"Change your thoughts and you change your world". Norman Vincent Peale
So here we are, the five first crucial steps to begin to change your world.
1. Cut yourself some slack. Yep, that’s right. You are an imperfect being, being perfect at doing just that! And as such, you can make mistakes, you get to not know, and you are allowed to do better in the future.
2. Acknowledge the emotions you’re are feeling. It’s okay. Feeling jealous? Label, it. Feeling weak? Own it. Whatever you do, don’t sweep it under the rug like forgotten debris. Your emotions are special, and they belong to you.
3. Don’t simply act because it feels difficult, uncomfortable, or unnerving. Instead take a deep breath and give gratitude for the experience. Sounds weird huh? But your emotions play such an essential role in your life. They teach about the world around us, they shape our experience, they help to give meaning to everyday moments. So, it’s okay to be grateful for the ability to feel. This doesn’t mean you have to let it take over how you act or who you are in the moment.
4. Tell yourself that you; as a perfect thread in this fabric of humanity are ENTITLED to feel the entire spectrum of human emotions. This is very difficult because for many of us have been cultured to believe that emotions are either good or bad. And that we are good or bad just because we felt the way we did. This is not true. Even unpleasant emotions like envy and anger are a part of our human experience but, it’s how we allow these emotions to shape our behaviors, impact the lives of others, or dictate who we are that makes the difference.
5. Make the commitment to become a freedom seeker. Choose to begin the process of seeking internal freedom from the struggle you have with your thoughts and emotions to actualize the fullness of you! That means coming to this work with openness and curiosity about yourself and those around you. It means finding how to be free from the struggles within.
Try this process throughout the week. Keep a journal of how it felt to start this process. Write out how it felt to not simply act on your urges to avoid, escape, or hide from the thoughts and emotions that you are experiencing. What did you notice about yourself?
Okay freedom seekers, I have two hopes for you this week. First, I hope that at the end of the week you start to see things differently. You notice that the uncomfortable emotions and thoughts you were struggling with don’t last forever when you stop working so hard to avoid them. And my other hope for you is that as you start this journey to your own inner peace that you begin to feel better, that you find more moments of clarity and happiness. Remember this is your journey and you can take it at your own pace. Drop me a line or two in the box below and share your journey.