Lately there has been a lot coming up for people. It’s as if everyone went to the deepest, oldest struggle without even knowing they were approaching it; then jumped right into it. As you may have guessed, some panic ensued.
I find there are two big reasons old things come up at unexpected times. One is about cognition and the other is about support. During times of transition, the depth at which we shift is correlated with the depth of work we’ve previously done. The more work you do and the more you focus on growth, the more skills you gain and also - the more skills you need to continue to expand. At the time of the old hurt, it is likely we didn’t have the skills needed to fully process all the feelings we were having. At the time, most of us are just trying to survive without losing footing. But now - years later, the cognitive skills and ability needed to process it are all present. And so it begins. Similarly, at the time before we might not have known what feeds our soul. We might not have had loyal or trustworthy friends, or we might not have had the hobbies and community involvement we have now. In other words, we simply didn’t have the stability needed to tackle a big event or life transition (or a small event that ended up having a big impact), and now there is enough stability in the foundation to withstand a wall being knocked down.
And so here we are. Old stuff popping up can look many ways. Many notice anger or fear at inconvenient times (or misplaced anger or fear), unwillingness or sudden lack of interest in fun things, or deep anxiety coming up from seemingly nowhere. All of these are indicators that something has come up and it is bringing discomfort and said discomfort is unwelcome. We are (knowingly or unknowingly) resisting the discomfort.
To get out of a cycle that could easily land you in a depression or leave you circling through old feelings endlessly, this has to be shifted. One of the ways we can help support our efforts in awakening is by consciously bringing comfort, support, compassion, and love into our lives. Often these are the very things we didn’t have the ability to give ourselves before. Few of us understand these concepts because no one we know really understands them either.
Here are some ways to consciously bring more comfort, support, compassion, and love into your life:
- Nurture yourself - self massage, long baths, comforting sensory things
- Validate that version of yourself you were unable to before - “I tried so hard and that effort yielded so much frustration. Now I am so glad I did that work then - it was exactly what I needed to get where I was going. I am proud of myself for not giving up”
- Remind that version of yourself of what you know is true and good - “I know I am imperfect and I know that is what makes me uniquely me and uniquely beautiful”, “It is so much easier now than it would have been then to process this issue. I am grateful I was strong enough to hold onto this until I could.”
- Take breaks - Sleep. Eat. Take care of your body. Take care of your emotional and mental mind. Give yourself regular breaks from your phone, your email, music, podcasts, television, children, work, home duties; give yourself permission to pull your energy back to yourself a few times a day.
- Limit distractions - the fewer distractions, the less resistance you put in place. Things will be easier when there are fewer distractions (we put the distractions in place so we don’t have to feel something uncomfortable - be gentle with yourself as you remove them).
- Notice what nourishes you and do those things - reading a book before bed, fresh fruit, color, certain music or other media (when they aren’t used to distract but rather to enrich, they impact us differently).
- Get enough social time, outside time, time devoted to sexuality - go on walks, take a hike, go to the zoo, call your friend, check in on another, explore yourself (or a partner) sexually in new ways
Do one of these or many, discover your own additions and add them to the list. Do these things for yourself. Allow yourself safer passage through rocky times.
And remind your friends too. They probably need a little help just like you.
We're all in this together,
PS I recommend Overcoming Grief during these times - it really does help.
PPS Do you have a question you'd like me to answer? Submit a question and it will be addressed in future newsletter.