Time for this week’s Self Care Challenge!
As I had the chance to engage in some international travel, I was able to have some
great conversations from people of different backgrounds and ways of thinking.
One thing that struck me was that regardless of where the message came from (a
doctrine of faith or religion, a mental health professional, a spiritual advisor, or
other medium) one concept consistently stands out as a human experience that
causes long term mental and physical pain and suffering. This concept is referred to
as being “stuck”, “blocked”, “stagnant”, and a myriad of other synonyms that
describe the same thing. As humans, we hold on to suffering for so many reasons,
but we only truly heal and move forward when we can do one of two things:
1. Take action
2. Let it go
There are always reasons that people feel that they can’t do either of those two
things. One is that they feel obligated to continue suffering because of social
expectations (I have to expose myself to this toxic person because they are family),
another is because they feel that they deserve better (If I let go and move on, they
won’t learn their lesson and see that they are wrong). Others carry burdens placed
on them from childhood, and still others feel that they don’t deserve better because
they have done “wrong” things in their lives.
Being stuck in a situation that feels that it has no end in sight leaves us riding a
constant emotional roller coaster. This is when our emotional burdens become
intolerable and leave us feeling as though we can’t go on this way anymore. That is
when we reach out for help.
True healing is found when we learn through practice who we are and why we dwell
on these things, why we find ourselves in the same patterns of emotional
decompensation over and over again, and where we want to go. Then we can use
this knowledge to:
1. Take action – do something about it. Find a new job, leave the relationship,
give up substance abuse, move on. Make a change plan and do it.
2. Let it go – if you are powerless to change something, especially something that
happened in the past, you have to let it go. Many of you have heard me use the
visualization of tying whatever you are stuck on from the past to a balloon and
watching it float away. I am often asked how you can truly let something go,
and the answer is to practice visualizing letting go, actively let it go (do not
engage the situation or set clear and strong boundaries around it), and release
yourself from the desire to think about it any further. It is no longer part of
Speaking of journeys, we need to remember also to be kind to ourselves. We are all
humans trying to do the best we can with what we know and what we are given. We
get one chance on Earth and we can’t waste it on unnecessary emotional pain and
suffering. We all do bad things, and think bad thoughts. We all do great things and
show kindness and love in amazing ways. We deal with things all the time that are
unfair and hurt so deeply. Everyone I talk to has experienced a life that is an
amazing tapestry of wonderful experiences, passionate love, deep hurts, terrible
losses, and a journey with no clear trajectory, roadblocks, and the constant feeling of
being behind. The journey is also full of love, moments of joy and ecstasy, and of
course the beauty of nature and unconditional love and regard from our animals.
This Sunday self care challenge is to be kind to yourself and others, and let go of
everything that is emotionally stagnant inside of you, making you feel inadequate,
exhausted, bitter, and hurt.