letting go; it is a process

Written by Amie on March 26, 2014 – 3:14 am -

bypassing old protective programming

It seems as though there are endless opportunities to practice letting go of the things that can’t be the way I want them to be. It is so interesting to me when I *know* something intellectually, but it isn’t quite resonating with me in my body emotionally. For example, in my life right now there are a few people who I really wish would *wake up*. I am not saying this in a judgmental way. Not at all. I’m saying that I wish they would have that “a-ha” moment when they realize how much they have hurt people they love, including me. The moment when their heart bypasses their old protective programming and their  human vulnerability comes  forward. I find myself wanting to tell them how hurtful their words and actions have been, but I know my feelings will be dismissed and I will be told I am angry and hateful. It is frustrating and very sad that we can’t have a conversation as people who, on some deep level, care about each other. On some deep level, beyond the defensiveness and the conditioned beliefs we have learned, lie two souls who just want to be loved and connected.

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 I was closed up tight

It sounds so simple when I look at it from this point of view. I honestly believe it could be simple, but only if all parties are willing to put aside their armor, and just express their truth. Instead, I have to keep my boundaries, otherwise I continually get hurt. I understand exactly where they are coming from. I remember wearing my armor so tight that nothing could get in. I couldn’t admit to a mistake, I couldn’t admit I needed something, I couldn’t admit I was hurting. I was closed up tight. And this is why it is so difficult for me. I understand exactly where they are coming from, and at the same time, I crave an authentic connection with them that will never be unless they become conscious of their own wounds and begin to heal. It is contrast at every turn for me. I am not the same person they used to know. I am who I was born to be now. So I don’t relate in the same ways to people anymore. It is difficult to be around the old behaviors. It is difficult to be around the dysfunction, that in the past, had intensified my self hate.

focus on *how I feel* in a situation

I used to think something was terribly wrong with me because I felt one thing in my body, while at the same time, I was told a completely different truth. (It was a way to keep the facade going that everything was perfect and wonderful) I couldn’t figure out the inconsistent feelings for a very long time. I have since learned to focus on *how I feel* in a situation, not what someone else tells me is true. Trusting how I feel has been, and still is a difficult practice for me. Some days it clicks and I trust without a problem. Other times I question every single thing people say and do, and I doubt my gut feelings. I’m getting there, albeit slowly. It is a re-learning, it is a process. It is still tricky for me sometimes when someone sends me a note with words that, years ago I would have thought, “this is nice’. (While also feeling crappy inside, and assuming its just me,  something is wrong with *me* if I can’t see that this person is being nice) I received a birthday card the other day, that appeared to be a birthday card, but was really an attempt at guilting me. To some, it may have been considered “nice”. However, I am able to translate, or decode words from people now. I know the patterns.

 unresolved emotional wounds

I always come back to this: why do I want to spend time with people who can only see themselves as victims. By this I mean no matter what is said, they turn it around as though they are being attacked. They reach out in the same manner  that  worked on me in the past. Guilt and shame got me every time. I would feel so guilty that I would never question the behavior of these people, and I would go back every single time. I would go back to living the dysfunction I felt familiar with. Until I started waking up and realizing my true self was completely buried. And slowly, I had to distance myself. Then a year ago, I had to draw even deeper boundaries. Here we are over a year later, and they not willing to look within themselves to see how their actions have hurt. Hurt deeply. Had I not begun the process of waking up, I would be hurt over and over again. Because each time they ignore the needs of others, the hurt is compounded. Each time they twist the truth, they cause deeper hurt. Each time they use guilt to try to persuade, they cut deeper. This is the part I have a hard time letting go of. The fact that they refuse to truly accept how their behavior affects those they claim to love. I am no longer a victim to this behavior. Yes, it is difficult to understand, but I also know its not about me. They are acting and speaking from their unresolved emotional wounds.

I know for sure

It gets easier for me to let go when I am reminded of just how dysfunctional this situation is. At the very beginning of this situation, when someone very close to me was hurt, nobody came to her to see how she was doing. Instead, they ran to the side of the person who did the hurting. This is when I know for sure I am doing the right thing. This is when I know for sure I am breaking the cycle, at least for my own family. And still, it is difficult to let go of the hope that things will ever be healthy. It is a process…..

Great clip with Brene Brown about having the courage to be vulnerable.

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Self hate, Self-love | No Comments »

“think positive” can be a phrase used to dismiss feelings

Written by Amie on March 3, 2014 – 3:23 pm -

 it would bring their pain to the surface

The very popular phrase “think positive” triggers me when it is used to encourage one to avoid feeling their feelings. Maybe it reminds me of a child falling down and an adult around them saying, “oh get up, you are fine”.  When someone is feeling strong emotions (or any emotions, for that matter) and someone tells them they are fine or tells them to just think positive, this is a way to dismiss their feelings. Think about a time when you were upset and you really needed to be heard and you really needed comforted. If someone said to you, “it will be okay, just think positive”, how did you feel? I know from my experience, I felt angry and I felt dismissed. I immediately shut down and stopped talking about my feelings. I made the decision that this person is not a safe person to talk to about my true feelings. I believe people mean well when they say this, and if they could get in touch with why they say it, it could bring great healing to them. I believe people do this because they are in emotional pain themselves, and by allowing someone else to express their emotions, it would bring their pain to the surface and that would be too difficult to face. So, telling someone to, “think positive”, is a way to shut the person down while feeling as though they have shown compassion.

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we must face our emotional pain in order to heal

People today are walking through life in a great deal of pain. They are also attempting to hide this pain. There is so much emphasis on focusing on the positive right now. I believe this hinders people from feeling safe to express their truth. The whole idea of focusing on the positive just rubs me the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should focus on the negative or stay in our stories so much that we are depressed most of the time. What I am saying is we must face our emotional pain in order to heal. Trying to “stay positive” when you are in deep emotional pain is just one more thing to make you feel like you failed. I remember a time when I thought I would never feel better because I kept hearing “just focus on the positive”, and I truly couldn’t do that. I felt so deeply depressed I wanted to curl up in a ball and escape from life. So how in the world could I “just think positive” when my body was screaming to me that something is wrong! And it wasn’t that I was focusing on the negative. I was suffering. I was in deep emotional pain. Thinking positive wasn’t even an option. It just made me feel worse because “I couldn’t even do that right”. I would say something positive to myself and then I would feel so angry! Then I would proceed to beat myself up because it didn’t work, which kept the cycle going.

 It doesn’t mean you are too needy, too clingy, or too sensitive

So I am saying all of this to say, feel your pain, feel your emotions, feel your aliveness. If you are depressed, allow yourself to feel the pain. Invite it in. Allow it to have a voice. Write about it, express it to a trusted friend or therapist or family member. If you express your truth to someone and you feel dismissed, TRUST THAT FEELING!!!! It is NOT YOU, it is them. They may be in too deep of emotional pain themselves to be able to hear you, be there for you, support you. Its okay, just find someone else. But, please please please do not beat yourself up if you feel dismissed by someone. It doesn’t mean you are too needy, too clingy, or too sensitive. It just means they are not the right person for you to trust with your innermost thoughts.

is like beating yourself up emotionally

The journey to your truth begins with becoming aware of yourself. Becoming aware of your body sensations, your thoughts, your beliefs. All of your feelings are valid. Don’t let anyone dismiss your feelings. If they need to go through life telling others to “just think positive”, then let them. It has nothing to do with you. We must feel what is true inside us if we want to thrive in our aliveness. Emotions are part of being human. Dismissing them or avoiding them or holding them back in shame are conditioned ways of being in our world. This is not our natural state! Many of us learned to avoid feeling. We were told, “you’re fine”, or “you should feel so lucky”, or “it could be so much worse”, or “just think positive, it will be fine”…..I’m sure you could add to this. Saying these to yourself is like beating yourself up emotionally, it is continuing the conditioned ways in which you were taught. Say one of these phrases to yourself when you are feeling bad, and really focus on how your body reacts when you say it. How does your stomach feel? How about your chest? Or your head? These are all signs from your body to tell you something isn’t feeling right. Question what is going on inside you. How does it feel when you are dismissed?

Start paying close attention to how your body feels in different situations. How it feels when others say certain things to you. You have a right to your feelings. No matter what. It is your job to find the right people to support you. Let the universe know you are ready for people to come into your life who will love you and support you for being exactly *you*. You are worthy of love and you deserve love. If you feel dismissed by someone, it is them, not you. Remember that. There is nothing wrong with you. You are loved.

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Posted in Awareness, Depression, Healing & personal growth, healing from depression, Nurture yourself | 4 Comments »
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