Avoid the Avoiding & Feel the Feels

Once you come to terms with your true emotions and feelings, holding them as valid, your job is to feel the feels. And hold on to your hats cause this is where the ride gets wild and sometimes scary, which makes it easy to avoid feeling. We tell ourselves we’re just putting it off for today or this week, while we binge watch our favorite Netflix series. But this week turns into a month…you get the idea.

And it is so easy to do this. Our society encourages us to power through, to get better, to heal, to move on. Everyone around you wants you to feel better so however well meaning, more often than not you are being supported in avoiding.

I’m here to tell you the best thing you can do for yourself, the quickest way to get into a truly comfortable place of loving your life again, is leaning into those feelings. Don’t try to short circuit the experience to remove the tension coursing through you. It’ll just come back. So you might as well get comfortable with it. Avoid the avoiding.

The more energy you put towards avoiding, the more you end up with what you’re trying to avoid. And I get it, you can say, “Well, I don’t want my loss to overrun my life, I’m in control not the grief.” And I’ll talk more about that later, but today I invite you to consider this…

When you decide, consciously or subconsciously there is an area you aren’t willing to go, that area IS defining you, IS controlling you. It’s directing the traffic of your thoughts and life. It’s blocking out whole areas you can’t step into and rerouting the paths you travel around the restricted area. That’s not freedom from grief. That’s being controlled by it. Just in a different way. When the feelings and thoughts come, simply acknowledge and allow them to move through and around you…let yourself feel the feels.

The hard work comes with the facing the uncomfortable and painful memories, thoughts and feelings. For me journaling almost daily was key to processing those thoughts. Journaling also served as a way of releasing feelings. I figured if I recorded them on paper they were somewhere if I ever needed to find them again, which allowed me to let go of my stranglehold on them.

Sure, there are times when you feel the tears welling up unexpectedly while you’re sitting at your desk at work. I agree, bursting into a ball of tears there isn’t going to work out so well. There are ways to manage those moments. In addition to using the tools I shared in the Getting Comfortable post, Monday I’ll share what I call the Be Right Back list.

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This is the fifh installment in a series of articles based on, “Good Grief – Embracing Life and Giving Good Support” a talk I gave on May 22, 2019. You can get caught up by starting with the introductory article here.

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