growing pains: expressing hard emotions
"Growing pains" was something I always heard around but never really understood, I guess everyone else was feeling the effects of growing up expect for me. Breakups, work shifts and big decisions were enough to make one grow up and learn a couple life lessons, but I never felt that same friction between me and life responsibilities. Everything was easy breezy...until now.
These days, life lessons are unfolding like nobody’s business; Learning how to deal with telling hard truths even though it makes me nervous, accepting that just because I ignore my responsibilities doesn’t make them disappear and that I can be happy by offering myself forgiveness and surrender daily. But it wouldn’t be life without the sudden twists and turns, now would it? So some lessons are expected and others I am resistant to or completely confused by? “What is the point of this???”. Recently I am learning to leave things alone when they’re over and done with (even if it doesn’t feel like it on my end). I have learned to listen more than I speak (I'm currently reading The Art of Communicating by Thich which talks about compassionate listening), to not take things personally and now validating my anger (which I'm doing in therapy).
A huge part of growing up isn’t just living on your own, it’s about doing the work. The emotional and mental work that is. I feel like I’ve gone so many years of my life not thinking about my mental wellbeing nor being conscious of thoughts, behaviour, reactions and triggers. Up until maybe 3 years ago I was living on autopilot. Day in and day out I was programmed to eat, believe, wear, purchase, the things I did the day before. I never questioned if what I like is really what I like or a projection of people in my environment. How do I actually want to dress? Do I even like this show? Do I like my hair like this? The way I eat? etc. Obviously not, because I cut my hair and went natural, went vegetarian and quit fast fashion shopping. Why is that? Because it doesn’t resonate with my “new found” identity...well she’s always been there.
One thing I’m learning is to sit with my negative emotions. I’m learning to let anxiety, anger, frustration move through me. Just sit with it. Which isn’t easy to say the least. Let me be the one to tell you, it sucks! But it feels soo much better than exerting more energy to combat all the negativity already boiling up. I know that I am a positive and happy person, and that this feeling is just passing through. I trust that I am 90% doing A-okay and 10% bleh, so let’s just let it take it’s course. This is part of the human experience. Believe it or not, but I believe our souls sign up for pain, loss and suffering when we agree to be part of this human experience. So we have to take a little rain with our sunshine. And rain sometimes is feeling anxious out of the blue, spilling coffee on yourself, getting in an argument that you barely even care about or losing a loved one…
We don’t get to pick ‘em folks! That’s the hard part. I asked to learn about myself, to deal with my tough emotions, to be able to let go of pain and suffering and attachment to false love and that’s exactly what I’m reaping! I am dealing with the “consequences” of my 2020 intentions. That’s what I call doing the work. I am learning that this is all part of the journey. I can have 5 really-good-over-the-moon days and then a terrible weekend where I am faced with loneliness, insecurity and insomnia. I am learning to take deep breaths, watch funny videos and sleep through it. Because most of it is untriggered and a trap to overthinking. I’m not going to binge eat at 2am anymore but I will grab an apple, tea and a MadeGood white chocolate bar (which is basically like a smore but it's gluten free so it's healthy??).
I am now aware of what’s going on. I’m not having the worst experience of my life, I am not having a panic attack (I will if I don’t stay on top of my thoughts) nor am I relapsing on my crippling depression. I am feeling lonely, I am feeling bored, I am feeling like I’m not doing enough, I am feeling insecure about my abilities. How can I fix this? I can clean my room, I can eat a warm home cooked meal, I can grab coffee with my mom, I can watch a Christmas movie with my family (we watched Jingle Jangle on Netflix) and I can go to bed just a little earlier. I can do anything and everything but fight my frustrations about politics, my anger about missing therapy and my sadness over everything with more negative emotions. I don’t have to meet my valid emotions guns blazing, they want to be heard so I hear them and let them go. You can do this through meditation (or I used name everything that pissed me off or I didn’t currently want to think about before running on the treadmill, take your pick!). Both are weird and effective. Just know that fighting how it feels to be alive today is just an attack on yourself. It’s you vs you. You asked to be enlighten about your purpose, you asked to heal from past trauma and the only thing I asked for this year is to release pain and suffering. And this is still part of that manifestation coming to light. This is part of the soul contract, This is the human experience. This is doing the work. This is truly growing up.