There is so much to do – and not to do – in life’s ‘Beyond’ space…as a totally uncharted territory it has endless new roads yet to be built. Regardless of why we found ourselves in the ‘Beyond’, there is a very important first step in this space. If we get it right, then new roads will gradually reveal themselves. If we don’t…we are unknowingly taking the very first step…. to creating a future ‘beyond’. Life’s very creative in teaching us necessary lessons, even though as humans we tend to dislike and avoid the pain often attached to them. This first step is called simply and unassumingly ‘acceptance’. Our life brought us to a point of the ‘beyond’ as a sum total of our past choices and chance events. All we need is to put down a sign: “We Are Here”.
That is to feel the moment – all of it: the confusion, the anxiety, the pain, the anticipation, the excitement. Just feel, totally – feel all this big confused mess full of promise. Making a point of stopping to feel and acknowledge the essence of the moment is vital – otherwise, we can’t make our ‘next right step’. Usually, in the ‘beyond’ space all we want is to get out of there and into the familiar, the predictable, as soon as possible. And then – may be – take a breath, look back and see what that was all about. But then life tends to get in the way, we get all consumed by our new situations and we simply forget – there is a little incentive to go back to review and there is a desire to forget. Magnificent as it is, a spiritual desert isn’t lending itself readily to a buoyant life.
Indulgence and Denial
Indulgence into any emotional state – including that of a situational victimhood – needs no introduction. We simply get stuck in our Victim role as for whatever reason we have some intangible ‘secondary gains’ attached to it. May be we get the support which we usually don’t. May be we feel justified to get a little break from making decisions and taking actions. Most of the time – and I saw this really well with patients with heavy diseases – we just get stuck in victimhood because suddenly we are getting a lot of LOVE. This is a story for later…
Indulging into “I’m not the same anymore”; “Life won’t be the same after this” is familiar and we all know somebody who having survived a severe life’s storm, eventually resigned from any intent and efforts of rebuilding their life totally anew. I’ll give an example of denial.
Denial doesn’t just happens, it’s a habit…typically, once upon a time and probably some years ago we faced a situation when we couldn’t/shouldn’t/didn’t know how to feel the pain of the situation in the moment. May be we were too little. May be the situation was too much for us. May be we didn’t have support or encouragement or tools to face it. May be we were trained to dismiss life’s hardships and just man/ (woman??) up and carry on as if nothing has happened. May be this heroic stoicism was praised by people important to us. Whatever our individual conditioning at the time of our first or most significant traumatic stress was, we didn’t have the space and time to feel our feelings. That doesn’t mean that these feelings just dissolved with time. They didn’t. They condensed and hid under the surface, and just ended up sitting there stuck and simmering deep under our Everyday – waiting to get out and be acknowledged, understood and resolved. And an experience of denying our feelings took a deep root to grow into a habit.
So any new life situation which causes a similar emotional stress will trigger both the suppressed feelings about the past and the habit (and the resulting aspect of our personality/behaviour formed because of this experience). This is the irony of it and this is why it’s a situation where we do need some professional help. It’s hard to DIY the process even if you are a therapist. Simply because we tend to immediately create an emotional bridge into that old situation and, frazzled by our now double-intense emotional response we can’t see the whole picture or any important details. At the same time, this is an excellent opportunity to address 1) our current stressful situation; 2) an old, original situation which shaped up our response and 3) our habit of suppressing our feelings instead of feelings them freely in the moment to then fully re-emerge on the other end of this experience fresher, stronger, wiser, better able to see a bigger picture in every situation; kinder to ourselves – and others who might have similar challenges.
- Where are you in this moment of time? Is your life sunny and quiet? Are you navigating the desert of the ‘beyond’? What support you may need? Let me know!
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