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Hi friends. My brother and I were chatting yesterday about being in a “dark place.” Often people don’t know how to respond when you admit you are feeling pretty crappy about something. Guess what? When you’ve been through something pretty awful you will probably feel… awful. And then okay. And then awful. And better. And so on until you finally feel you are ready to move on.

The thing is that most people think that the emotions felt after a stressful event are one and done. You got fired? Okay already, it’s been a week. Lost a relationship somehow? Damn aren’t you over that by now? Friends, there is no timeline FOR ANY EMOTION. Your body wants to process feelings on its own timeline. YOU CANNOT OUTWIT THE PROCESS. You may think you can, but I promise all those emotions (plus more) will come up the next time something shitty happens.

So what to do? I am going to suggest something radical here. EXTREME PATIENCE with yourself. Make a vow to stop beating yourself up for whatever negative emotion you are feeling. No matter what the time frame. Sit down with no distractions and let yourself feel. From the bottom of your toes to the tip of your head. Take your time. Honor yourself enough to let it all out. That’s all your body is asking for. When you feel that dark place again, sit and repeat. If you reach a point where nothing seems to help, reach out for help. Just as you’d want to help someone in need when you are feeling better.

After all, it’s not just about being kind to others, right?