Emotions are tough. At least they can be. Unless of course you were raised in a family where you were encouraged to express your emotions in a healthy way and you were taught skills to manage them. And even then there are challenges. But at least you’ll know that your emotions are a normal part of the human experience. And you’ll know that it’s ok to feel them. So then that means you’ll allow them to be there. You’ll allow them to flow over you and through you. And you won’t feel the need to hide from them. You won’t feel the need to eat them away or drink them down or bury them with work or avoid them with exercise or get rid of them with any other method.
My method of choice has always been to eat them. I numbed them. Over and over. I protected myself. I protected my heart, my mind and my spirit. And have done since I was little.
And here’s the deal with that. At some point, that method of protection no longer works. It’s like you have small torches along the road that is your life, and through your experiences they each alight in turn, and illuminate the pathway that leads you to who you really are. And when that happens, your method of choice becomes something that holds you back and prevents you from living the life you are meant for.
The process of navigating that pathway is full of obstacles and challenges designed to test you. I think I’ve sat enough ‘exams’ in the last little while to take me up and over Mount Everest! Each of them is certainly challenging. And when I am done and they are ‘graded’, they each set off a domino effect of lighting a series of torches that has me galloping down that pathway instead of simply walking.
As you reach each exam it feels like the little brother to Mount Everest. It feels like the biggest thing you’ll ever do. Until you get to the next one! But there are some things you can do to help illuminate the path and ease the way.
- Surround yourself with a trusted support team. Sometimes we feel lost, confused and full of turmoil. Speaking with coaches who are knowledgeable about the area you need can help to clarify the noise in your head.
- Take some time out to care for yourself. Feeling stretched and stressed is not fun! It can feel overwhelming and like you’re going to explode. Find some activities that you love and that will help to release the pressure valve. From running to meditation to gardening to boxing to cooking. The list of options is only limited by your imagination. If you’re unsure what will suit, try out some different things to see which work best.
- Writing is one of my biggest allies. It allows me to sort out the mess in my head and get clarity on which way to travel. But it doesn’t work for everyone, so you might like to tweak it a little. Try colouring in, using random words or symbols, creating collage, drawing or even poetry.
- Take time away from the issue. Completely distract yourself and do something different for a while.
- We can only ever possess knowledge that correlates to the extent of our prior experiences. And those can never cover the breadth of information out there on a particular topic. New, quality information from reputable sources can clarify and help light your path.
- Understand that these emotions are normal and they are ok. They are a signal that something isn’t sitting right. Something is out of sync. Give yourself the time you need to take a step back and look at it from a different perspective.
Even though sometimes it seems like you’re in complete darkness, understand that there is always a spark of light to see by that will direct you to your next step. Taking that one tiny step will ultimately lead you to the light.