Do you feel a little crazy in your life right now? Are you telling yourself you are acting crazy and feeling crazy? Maybe you are in a life transition that is making you feel this way?….read on…
What does it feel like to be in transition? Transitions are times in your life when you are going from one identity or definition of yourself to another and you often don’t know where you are going and what that NEW YOU is going to look like. It can be quite scary and emotional because whatever has created your transition is usually creating some pain inside of you and that can leak out anywhere and is hard to control.
Some common transitions in women’s lives happen as early as puberty but then get repeated over and over again at major milestones and developmental stages, like marriage, having your first baby, second or third baby, death or loss of your parents or loved one, periomenopause, menopause, care-taking your parents, empty-nesting when your kids go off to college or leave home, retirement or job changes, or a major medical crisis. Or you can get into a transition because of a major event you hadn’t planned but happens like a divorce, death of loved one, medical challenges—many of these can come when you are not expecting it. Some of these can happen at the same time or closely together, making the symptoms and challenges harder to process through.
Our society, our families, our schools often teach us to control these emotions, so you don’t look “crazy”. But really having emotions is a normal part of being human. The problem is, even when we know that emotions are normal, we all try to push them down because they are uncomfortable, dysregulating, messy and cause people to worry. This can cause us to feel crazy! And look crazy!
By “crazy” I mean messy and maybe we feel a bit out of balance but we usually tell ourselves we are “out of control.” I do not consider this “crazy” at all! This is normal. Let me give you an example:
So imagine that you are getting a divorce and you are feeling so hurt, shameful, sad and downright depressed. These are normal feelings when we feel like we’ve failed in such an important thing as a long term relationship, and we’ve lost a deep connection that was a major part of our life, and we often get stuck in these feelings. Why do we get stuck here?
I have seen it over and over in my work with women in transition, and in my own transitions. We get stuck because we are resisting the big feelings coming up— the sadness and the fear—and we are pushing them away and so they get bigger and we feel stuck in them, unable to find a way out. This is what many experts call “suffering”. It creates negative thinking and self-criticism which feeds the cycle and keeps us recirculating in the painful feelings and thoughts.
The most important thing to remember about transitions is that they can be amazing opportunities to grow yourself into the woman you always wanted to be. Truly! When we learn how to be with ourselves in a kind and caring way when we are in pain, we deepen our ability to be with others in their pain and we deepen our capacity for life and deep love. We learn about our shadows and our struggles and we learn how to be our own best friends. This journey to self-growth awaits you with each transition you learn to move through with resilience and grace along with all the pain.
So what are some tools to help you on this transition path?
1) The first tool is to learn to notice what’s going on inside of you. Learning to be present to yourself and to be mindful takes slowing down and getting enough support to slow down. When you slow down, and I mean sitting still and breathing several times a day, maybe even sitting for 10-15 minutes just paying attention to your breath, you will start feeling some of these big feelings.
2) Get support. Here’s where the need for support comes in. Support means getting someone to be with you as you learn to let out some of these big feelings in the safety and support of a person who can really hear you and listen and not tell you what to do to feel better. Just listen to you quietly.
3) Learn to be self-compassionate, to give yourself kindness instead of criticism & judgment.
Learning how to feel some of these big feelings slowly, allows you to be less afraid of them. So you can probably see that this creates a healthier process inside of you. The log-jam of emotions that were stuck can slowly move through you in tears, breath, movement, etc. and you can begin to feel less tension and pressure inside of you. This will allow you to think more clearly, feel less stressed, and be able to slowly move into some action. The first steps of taking action are a sign that you are moving in a healthy and healing way through your transition. You can begin to feel more like this is a normal experience of life, which it is, but it may take some time to change your attitude about your feelings.
I offer these 3 tools in my next woman’s group coming up in March 2018–THE SELF COMPASSION GROUP.
Or Join my WORKSHOP at 7:00 PM on January 9th, 2018, and learn more about where you are stuck and what tools you might need to help you. TO REGISTER FOR THE FREE WORKSHOP CLICK HERE
Remember, there is no need to suffer when help and tools are available to you right now!!