May 14th, 2012
Last week, I found myself on the floor, crying. Err, I dunno, maybe sobbing…a little. And it was after receiving a text. And amazingly nice and sweet text from the Bird I talked about in my last post. After receiving it, all my feelings came rushing to the surface and I couldn’t control myself. Tears happened.
And as I sat there crying, judging myself (but trying not to), feeling like an idiot, I wondered to myself, “geesuz…when am I going to get over it?” I thought “It’s been long enough dammit, I know there are lessons here, I get it, but bloody hell, when am I going to stop letting it affect me?” And then I realized, that I had just had a session with someone who saying the same thing about her emotions. “When am I going to stop being scared?” and then “I just need to get over it.”
And in this moment, my words to her were something like: “Lady, you’ll NEVER get over it. You’ll NEVER stop being scared. But it’s ok because that’s not the point. The point isn’t to eliminate fear or doubt, but rather, the point is to be aware of it, and move forward anyway. Elimination should not be the end goal, because you’ll be disappointed.”
Rather smart, for a girl about 15 minutes away from crying over the same exact phrase.
But then I realized that this is, actually, one of the greatest secrets to life. One of those things that if you TRULY understand it, everything in your life will be better. Because what happens is we’ve created a faulty system. One in which the very thing we want (not feeling affected by an emotion), is the very thing we’re absolutely preventing from happening with the system we’ve set up (resist, avoid, judge).
We all hate being uncomfortable, so much, that we’ll do anything to avoid it. To resist it. But the problem with this is that what we “resist persists” so simply by trying to make it to go away, we’re creating more of it. And then it goes on longer and stronger and has more of an affect on us than we can possibly imagine.
I truly believe that it is not our job in life to correct all the hurt that has happened in the past. To eliminate the bad experiences. Because no matter how hard I try, the experiences will have happened. I can’t change that. So wishing it was different is not the point. The questions shouldn’t be “when will I get over it,” but rather “what can I do so that when it shows up, it doesn’t ruin my life?”
And the answer is simple: What I CAN do, is fully be in my own experience of it. Not try to push it away, not try to distract myself when it shows up (with texting, Facebook, alcohol, friends, food). Not try to run like hell from the first sign of discomfort. What I CAN do is feel what I’m feeling. Fully. Simple as that.
People always want to get somewhere. They want to be done with chapters in their life. They strive to not have doubts or fear in life. The “it’s the destination, not the journey” way of living. And we have it ALL wrong. The point ISN’T to eliminate hard feelings or experiences (as we’ve learned…you can’t anyway, so it’s a futile effort) but rather to be WITH them when they show up. That’ll be the closest thing to elimination that you’ll ever find.
I’m really glad Hawk sent me that text. Not only did I feel appreciated and seen, validated, and loved, but I learned some very valuable lessons: Uncomfortableness is a sign of growth. Emotions don’t have as much of a hold on you when you truly let yourself experience them. And again…it all boils down to love. Loving and being kind to yourself, and loving and appreciating others.
And so after I was done crying. When the last teardrop fell. The last nasty message I was replaying in my head stopped. I was calm. Appreciative. Ready to face the day. I put on my shoes, went to the range, and didn’t think about it again.
All of that is worth 30 minutes of discomfort, don’t you think?
So my advice to you is to stop trying to “get over it.” It’s not going to happen. And there is nothing wrong with that. Your emotion might show up once a day or once a year, and that’s ok. Just let it be there. Pay attention to what is happening for you (in your body and in your mind) when it shows up. Invite it in, rather than push it away. I swear. Try this for at least ten minutes, and your life will forever change. Money back guaranteed.
What emotions have YOU been resisting lately? Ever feel like “I should be over it by now?” Leave a comment and share your story. And share this with anyone you think needs to hear it.