|Photo from sciencecontrol.com|
Unfortunately, this is how I seem most days.
Between the rudeness of the furry alarm clocks and the inevitable last minute dash to get the kids on the bus, I begin most days in an uproar.
I’m stressed. Holiday stress, grief stress, the uncertainty of the future stress. Around me, people have moved on. When I venture out, I run into a few folks who offer their condolence with their cliched words of encouragement. Then I get a few Captain Hindsights:
who want to tell me how they would do things if it was them.
To those folks:
|Image courtesy of courtneyluv.com|
Unfortunately, I can’t throw shade* and keep it moving. No matter how much I smile through the advice, return a consoling hug, and do my best to keep up a semi positive front, I’m exhausted.
Fannie Lou Hamer said it best:
I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!
My research led me to D B T Self Help where they give instructions on letting go of emotional suffering. The site says that we aren’t to let go of the emotions, but the suffering that comes along with it.
The site is worth a few hours of perusal. There’s a section on mindfulness, distress tolerance, and links to other useful information.
What messed with my head was the portion that gives me permission to embrace the emotions I’m feeling. We get so caught up in trying to keep our composure, make others less uncomfortable, keep a brave front that we don’t allow ourselves to experience the emotions we’re feeling. I know I’ve felt cautiously optimistic when I want to succeed, I’ve run into the bathroom during that three hankie opening to Up, I’ve hurt myself rolling my eyes when someone annoys me, and let’s not even get into the side eye aggravation.
As my acne blotted face, bloated belly, and sleepless nights show by suppressing my emotions I’m hurting myself physically.
D B T Self Help advises four ways to
Observe your emotion.
Try to experience your emotion as a wave, coming and going.
You are not your emotion.
Practice LOVING your emotions.
While I don’t plan to “Pop Off” the next time I get angry, I have the RIGHT to be angry. Or sad if I’m feeling that, or giddy. When an emotion pops up, whether strong or just a prick, I need to embrace and experience that feeling. It serves no purpose to try to swallow the feeling. Rather, I need to acknowledge what I’m feeling. As I do this, I have to keep in mind that I am not this emotion. I FEEL sad, but I’m not sad. I FEEL angry, but I’m not angry. I’m ME, not those feelings. Which leads me to the last one. Love the emotion. Just like I can’t change the number of freckles on my face, the fact that the left side at the nape of my neck won’t grow, that I have a longer second toe, I can’t change my emotions. I can control them, but I need to accept that sad movies make me weepy, injustice annoys me, and I enjoy the sound of the kids being the kids or the cats being the cats.
What’s best about this, is that there’s an app to track how I feel. Since I’m never too far from my mobile device, I can keep track of how and why I felt and be more mindful about how I react to the feelings.
My goal is to feel like this:
|Photo from free-wall-paper.com|
This will be a win-win all around.
* also known as side-eye. This is my inner ratchedness coming out.