Most of the people I know who are honest enough to admit it told me they’ve had an impossibly shitty week. Did you have an impossibly shitty week?
There’s nothing wrong about a stretch of bad days, of course. We all have ’em. No matter what kind of a happy face someone puts on, and however much you think they have their lives all neat and together, they still deal with stuff. We all have bad days.
The trick is to recognize how we react to these bad stretches.
When I felt a black cloud descend over me a few days ago, I got scared and immediately said to myself, “You shouldn’t feel this way. You know better. Don’t give into this.”
Fortunately, I recognized this voice as not very nice, and so I did what I tell my coaching clients all the time. I recognized the tightness in my gut and took a nice deep breath, then another. And then another. I said to myself, “I’m sorry I’m should-ing on you, honey. Tell me, how are you feeling and what do you need?”
A flood of emotions came up. Overwhelmed. Tired. I need a break from the kids. I need to spend some quality time with my husband. My dark cloud feelings had been a signal to tell me that I was out of balance.
When I was able to witness my feelings and needs from a compassionate, sane perspective, the dark cloud lifted. A little.
So I want to ask you this: How are you talking to yourself? How do you relate to your own feelings that you label as difficult? Do you shut them down? Tell yourself you shouldn’t feel this way? Push through them by distracting yourself with food, internet, TV, work? Are you stuffing your feelings, belittling yourself for feeling the way you do, judging yourself harshly?
How’s that working for you?
Probably not very well, at least not in the long term. I’m an expert in this, since pushing through, stuffing down and criticizing myself were my number one coping strategies for most of my life. This way of showing up with myself created depression and adrenal burn-out, and let me tell you: it wasn’t pretty.
Fortunately, I learned to recognize the signs of being mean to myself and what this does to my body, mind and spirit. Although I still go through dark phases, I come through them faster, and they are less severe.
One thing I know: I’m a good mother and a good friend. I’m a Mama Bear, and when I learned to turn that mothering side towards myself, towards the younger self inside of me, things really shifted in a big way. When I take all the compassion I show for others and turn it towards myself, a create a safe container for my feelings – good ones and “bad” ones.
That’s where it’s at, Mama.
If you need help with this, contact me for a free coaching session. You are not alone, you can 100 percent change your old patterns, and you can transform the mean way you talk to yourself. I promise!