Emotionally Stuck? Let it Go or Be Dragged
Originally Posted on October 21, 2012 by BJ Howell.
We all have heard the statement that time heals all wounds, however, how true is that when you are emotionally stuck? There are times when we experience a hurt, a loss or some overwhelming catastrophe and instead of feeling it, learning from it and moving on, we stuff it somewhere or form a vice grip on it. We refer back to it, bring it up over and over in conversations or mull over it in our minds. We bully ourselves with “what ifs” or “if onlys” and all those other impossible, none realistic scenarios. We let it cool us down, emotionally building walls with our words or actions. We let it become a living compass that tells where we’ve been and where we are going. Acting as if it is the reason all bad things happen, when in fact it is just life happening. It’s a clue that we are living, breathing, emotional beings who need to be connected to other living, breathing emotional beings. Grieving over the loss of a loved one, whether the loss was from death, divorce or a nasty breakup, is normal. Feeling sadness for our inner child, who may still be wounded, yearning for positive love and attention, is also normal. When an emotional connection has been broken, severed or in some way altered, it is normal to feel lost or confused and maybe even undone (as if we aren’t complete or we have been striped emotionally).
So if these feelings are normal, what’s the problem? The problem is that if these feelings are not processed they can cause us to become stagnant in our emotional and/or social lives; carrying baggage from one relationship to the next or shutting down, avoiding relationships all together.
So, the first step is figuring out if you are stuck. If you put energy into avoiding aspects of the event or thoughts of the people involved, or it your feelings are just as raw now as they were when the event happened, those are indications that you may be negatively holding onto the situation. The next step is figuring out if you need assistance or professional support in understanding your emotions and processing them to move on. Sometimes healing is difficult without assistance and support. Contact a local counselor or therapist if your feelings are overwhelming or if you need help working through them. If you don’t need assistance here are some tips to help you move on.
Embrace it. The energy that you put into avoiding the feelings, remaining angry or consistently feeling emotionally raw, causes more turmoil than owing it and learning from it. We are emotional by design. We need positive emotional connections to thrive. When those connections are broken or non-existent, we suffer. Every connection that we have with another person offers life lessons; even when we lose those connections or if they are negative connections. (The hardest feelings/emotions to embrace surround experiences of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. I would advise therapeutic services in the majority those cases.)
Say Goodbye. This step can be done in several ways. The goal is finding a way to acknowledge and express your feelings, then completing the process with closure. The simplest way is to write a goodbye letter to the person, the feelings or the situation. Express everything that you feel about it, whatever you want that person to know, how they (or the situation) helped you, how it hurt you, how you will be better moving on, etc. Make sure you address a positive that you can take away from the situation. Once you are finished, seal it, file it and be done with it. You also have the option of destroying it. Either way, the goal is to put it down and leave it. This doesn’t necessarily mean never think about it or them but it does mean to change how it affects you and how it fits in your life. You cannot move forward if you are living in the past or stagnant in the present.
Be empowered! This last step is to move into your true existence. Being emotionally healthy allows you to live your life with intent. Take what you learned from the experience and live your life.
What are you holding onto that stops you from moving forward?
Let it go or be dragged ~ Zen Proverb