Have you ever found yourself simply sitting there, tears rolling down your face, with uncontrollable heart wrenching sobs? Have you had a time where you felt so much anger built up you could find no place to put it? How about a time where you just felt numb, and searched for where your feelings were hiding so you could at least name them?
If you are anything like me, there have been times in your life where you experienced all of these and more.
I know, for me, this means I am in the middle of a life change that I may or may not have control over. It means that I have avoided mourning because people see me as a confident and strong person. It means I am hiding from the inevitable and am not yet ready for what I know, on some level, must happen.
I know what I want.
I make my own choices.
I also must accept the intentional, and unintentional, consequences of those choices.
And still, I mourn the passing of what once was.
Crying, for me, is a way to move pent up energy. For example, the day that I divorced my second husband, after a 23-year relationship, I cried uncontrollably for hours. This was something I wanted, in fact, something I needed, and something he needed as well.
And yet, it tore at my heart.
You see, I had not allowed myself to grieve for what was over. I had not allowed myself to navigate my regret for the pain of loss this created for him, my children, our extended family, and me. I had not allowed the healing process to begin for fear that I would not follow through with ending this relationship if I let my resolve down.
And so, when the stress of holding onto so much sorrow, fear, and pain became too much, tears brought the release I needed in order to think about what this meant for me.
My tears released my pain, allowed me to soothe my loss, and gave me the peace of mind I needed in order to begin coping with the changes now coming into my life.
I was able to mourn the loss of this relationship and remember the joy. I accepted the pain as a part of the process and started to look forward to my future. I was able to step into who I was to become and make the conscious choices necessary for where I was heading.
Built Up Anger
This anger I am talking about is something that sneaks up on you. It does not happen often but when it does, you can find yourself confused and emotionally trapped.
This type of expression happens when you have allowed yourself to remain in an unhealthy/unhappy situation way too long and you see no way out.
This has not happened to me frequently in life, but when it has, the confusion was blinding, and the pain was physical.
There was a time in my life where I crewed and supported motivational speakers while I honed my own skills in that area. At one point I worked directly for one leader as a Project Manager to create a much-desired retreat center.
How that played out was both surprising and devastating for me. I never really got to work on this project and found myself doing everything I could to support and satisfy this speaker in other areas of the on-going business.
I was in a situation that did not call on my capabilities. It was a no-win environment. The other staff and I would gather to strategize how to meet the needs of this person, as we all seemed to be failing at it.
I blamed myself for not being good enough and I blamed this speaker for not utilizing me for the purpose I was brough on for.
I was stuck with no place to go. I had no resources to pull on. I had no vision of where to go next.
So, I turned that anger in on myself.
The rage was so great that, one evening, as I lay on the couch, I thought I was having a heart attack. I was ready to call the ambulance when I remembered I had tools. I am a trained coach, I have a masters training in Neurolinguistic Programming, and was certified in multiple modalities for navigating fear, sadness, anger, guilt, shame and trauma. It was time to address both the trauma I was experiencing and the fear of not knowing where to go next.
I walked, I wrote, I drove and screamed, and I allowed the pressure of that anger to release.
And then I wrote my letter of resignation, put my belongings in storage, and left, trusting that my life would unfold in a more meaningful way.
I hope I never get to experience that level of sinking into the abyss again. I learned that I must trust my instincts and make choices that feel right. Although I am a planner and like to know where I am heading, I learned that when the route taken does not pan out, then take another route. I must look at my values, my personal goals, and my mission in life. If what I am doing does not align, then it’s time to make changes before I get angry at someone, something, or me.
Feeling numb, or feeling nothing, happens when part of you has resigned to living and finds no meaning in the moment.
For me, this non-feeling, this emotional detachment, happens when I have given up the battle and am not sure what is next. I am watching, observing, and processing ideas in a clinical way in order to come to a decision I might be resisting.
Let’s go back to that divorce I was talking about earlier and look at what was happening leading up to the final decision to end a 23-year-old relationship.
The first thing I gave up was allowing myself to be vulnerable. After many failed counselling sessions and many attempts to adjust and placate, I was exhausted. I loved this man and the family we built but could no longer live with unresolved issues and domineering. I built a wall of protection, and hid behind it.
I no longer participated in household decisions such as updating the dining room or decorating the den. When I arrived home from my workday, I simply walked in to be present, not really hearing the conversations around me. I spent days alone, out on the deck, so I did not have to engage in conversation. I buried in books, in music, in work, and avoided the life I found myself in.
I spoke to no one about what I was going through. How do you explain nothing?
I finally sought help with an amazing therapist and began the process of releasing.
Anger for the struggle that bore no return.
Anger for the fear around making a decision to go it alone.
Anger about the pain I felt that was never heard and acknowledged.
It felt good to feel again and it felt great to have someone to witness my process who supported whatever decision I was coming to.
I will always feel the loss of what was while celebrating what I now have let into my life.
When change comes and you deeply feel the loss of what once was, it is you, transitioning from living unconsciously into the awareness that it is time for new choices. It is about loss and at some level, resisting change. It is about something unknown and the mystery of what is around the corner.
Remember, you have the power to choose how you respond. The practice of conscious choice and being present in the uniqueness of the moment allows you to take control, accept responsibility, and be aware that your purpose, power, and presence belong to you alone.
Let go and tap into your purpose. If you want to know more, go ahead and schedule a complimentary session with me today at: Complimentary Coaching
If not now, when?