Feeling your pain can be a gift.
Throughout my years as a psychotherapist, I have noticed most people are afraid to spend time with themselves and feel their emotions. We all have unprocessed emotions and old painful wounds from the past. Many of us don’t make the time to feel our pain and understand it. Such avoidance is easy, especially in a busy world.
Even on this weekend, people continue to pack their weekend with seeing friends, going places and keeping up with their social agendas. It’s almost as if as soon as they begin to feel something emotional, they make plans with a friend or go for a run, put on a movie, pour a drink – anything but be with themselves.
The simple answer to running away from yourself is to create a tiny bit of space. Sit down by yourself and breathe. Breathe into your heart. Grab a pen and paper. Write what is bothering you – maybe it’s a deep loneliness you just can’t shake, old wounds from a breakup, your parents’ divorce, your emotions toward your boss, your constant financial stress, etc. There’s so much going on in our lives yet we rarely take the time to feel the fear, the sadness, the loneliness and the guilt that can plague us. When you take the time to be still and allow your emotions to be, you will be able to process them and they’ll begin to dissolve.
Bottling up our emotions sometimes leads to panic attacks. Such attacks are due to emotion-filled anxiety. Under most of my clients’ anxiety, there is often sadness.
So, I suggest spending time with yourself instead of visiting the local bar for a drink, trying to fill up your schedule to keep busy or reach for the pantry. I think we all fear, deep down, that if we really let go and cry, we may not stop crying. We may not be able to pick ourselves back up. Taking off the armour and being vulnerable is too scary and it can feel like losing control.
If you trust that the opposite is true; that by slowing down and starting to be with yourself you’ll actually begin to feel more alive. If you take a moment to breathe deep and engage in calming, slowing-down activities like yoga or journaling to connect with your body – since this is where we hold our emotions – you will begin to let go of the past and all the toxic emotions that come with it.
I suggest doing these calming routines as much as possible to better deal with emotional pain. Once you begin to release and let go, you will attract people into your life and feel happier and less empty. This will allow you to go out and enjoy your life but not in a frantic manner, as if you’re running from something.
A lot of people choose to run away from themselves when instead all they have to do is be with themselves to feel less lonely. Our biggest lesson seems to be figuring out how to have a relationship with ourselves. Only then can you get that promotion or quit that unfulfilling job, since you will have better connected with yourself, your centre, your needs and your purpose. Start now – take a deep breath, notice how you feel and sit with that feeling. Going through the uncomfortable emotions will get you to the other side – always.