Can I tell you a story about how I’m still growing and using the tools even after 20 years?
Feeling the tears welling up in my eyes, I had a choice. I could stuff them down, ignoring what they were telling me, and power through like I had so many times before. Or I could accept that even after 20 years I found myself triggered in a public and inconvenient moment.
I chose the latter. Not only did I choose to go with the mild tearing up, I let the nurse know why I was inordinately emotional about the scheduling snafu and need to come back. Instead of feeling shame or embarrassment, I felt released and supported. I felt empowered by my choice instead of hemmed in by the unexpected wave of memories.
I’m curious…What do you do when you get blindsided by emotions or memories? There are so many options, some of them feel compassionate and safe, others feel almost bullyish (is that a word?!?) to the part of you who is hurting.
Here are 4 ways I’ve found that create internal peace:
- Recognize something is going on, accept it, and breathe into it.
- Write it down and set a time to come back to it when in a safe environment.
- Excuse yourself from the situation to go to the restroom, set a timer for 3 minutes, giving yourself a few minutes to allow the feelings to come forward then take a few deep breaths, splash water on your face and re-engage.
- If, and only if, it feels safe let someone know what’s coming up for you. By verbalizing it, it often releases the stranglehold it has on you.
Grief unfortunately isn’t optional, but fortunately self compassion and growth are. If you’re looking for more tools for lovingly honoring your grief and growing from it, check these out. They are a compilation of journal prompts, tools, resources, videos, and points for connection for you to navigate through your grief your way.