This was a blog post about valentines day, it ended up being about dead people.
This morning on my very short, very cold and extremely terrifying walk with the dogs over what was a path of black ice, I was listening to my morning Ted talk.
But the point of my blog post this morning is not my terrifying walk with the dogs, but the talk by Susan David called the gift and power of emotional courage. One of the things she said was that “we have the goals of dead people”.
OMG she is so right!
I have been struggling the last couple of weeks with my emotions, and my internal battle with how I should be feeling to how I am feeling.
I just want these feeling to go away!
Have you ever said that? Perhaps words like “I don’t want to try because I don’t want to feel disappointed” or “what if I fail again”?
Only dead people NEVER get broken hearts, feel unwanted, are inconvenienced by their feelings. It is only dead people who never get stressed or experience the disappointment that comes with failure.
Tough emotions are part of our life and discomfort is the price you need to pay to have a meaningful one. Now I am not saying you have to suffer to be a good human, far from it but I want you to take a look at your emotions, and how you ‘feel’ you should ‘control’ them in order to ‘be happy’.
Susan says – that “we own our emotions, they don’t own us”.
But so often we push aside normal emotions, ignore them and pop a “be positive” or “stay strong” plaster over them so that we can continue along our happy medium.
Have you ever felt the uncontrollable pull towards the last slice of yummy chocolate cake in the fridge or the final glass of wine in the bottle, you know is hiding in the cupboard on the other side of the room. The pull towards something you’re trying to push aside, because it will make you fat, or it is a school night is amplified the more you deny yourself.
You see just like emotions which are pushed aside, or placated and ignored, the feelings just get stronger – they get amplified. THEY RETURN again and again and again, but with a different backstory or a different subject matter.
Being in control of our unwanted messy emotions is a lie we tell ourselves. But you can’t fix negative emotions with “stay positive” thoughts or “stop being angry about it” responses.
Accepting your sticky messy emotions are part of who you are, and part of your strength. It is what defines us as a person, and shapes our journey.
When you feel a tough emotion, don’t race towards the obviously exits, to the solutions that society tells you are the things to ‘feel better’.
The way to conquer messy emotions is to own them. Accept that your feeling the way you feel, don’t try to get better until you understand where they are coming from.
You’re probably thinking by now, should I carry on reading this, it is getting way too deep and meaningful and slightly above my head space right now. I know it is a little deeper than I had planned to go. This was a blog post about valentines day, it ended up being about dead people.
I won’t keep you much longer I promise, but I started with the sentence, I am struggling with my emotions…in fact every one I have spoken to the last couple of weeks I have mentioned;
- my health
- my age
- my weight
- my past, and what I used to look like and be able to do.
Perhaps not so interesting topics of conversation for my friends and family. You see I am consumed with the confused messages I am telling myself, I am getting old, my body is failing, I am sad about what I lost, I wish I was younger, if I had known back then I wouldn’t have eaten that damn chocolate cake.
The emotions of loss, helplessness, depression, and failure is swirling around my body like a tornado, and every time I am “positive” or focused about my weight” or “accepting about my health” the next day I am knocked off course and right back in the middle of this mind F*&K.
DON’T PANIC – I am not off to the funny farm just yet, in fact I am probably the sanest, clear headed person you know…you see for all this pulling away from the feelings, and denying them, I am fighting against myself…that is why I am failing to conquer these emotions of mine.
I DON’T HAVE TO ACCEPT ANYTHING, I don’t have to understand my process and damn it you can go screw being positive.
I have to take how I feel and carve a new reality, a new way of working and maybe a whole new career? Those feelings are my golden tickets to a new way forward.
Again I am getting the sense that your thinking, where do I fit in, how does this relate to me….
The next time you feel one of those messy emotions, don’t wash them away with the same old solutions. “feel them” try and figure out where they are coming from. Injustice, passion, denial….
Imagine your emotion like a child, barely able to string a few words into a sentence but trying to tell you through sobs that their friend had taken away their favourite toy and wouldn’t give it back. The racking heartbreaking hiccupping sobs shuddering through their body as you try and figure out what they are telling you.
You hold on tight and listen! That is what you need to do that the next time a messy emotion comes up, close your eyes and try and figure out where it is really coming from.
IT IS NOT A REACTION TO AN ACTION, it is a opportunity to find a new way of solving an old problem.
A deep and meaningful post today! This was not the blog post I intended to write…trust me….it went way off topic, but that’s how good things happen, when you least expect it, right? I shall now go write the Valentines themed blog post…