Hi Everyone and Happy Wednesday! I thought I would share a little about what has been heavily on my mind lately and get a little more personal with you all.
Have you ever felt stuck in the past? Felt like you couldn’t move on because of something that has been pulling you back? I had been feeling this way a lot recently. Coming from divorced parents, I never really got to see the love every child should be exposed to. Sadly, the majority of marriages end in divorce so I’m sure several of you can relate. Divorce is such a heart wrenching and terrible thing to go through; one that I plan to never put my future children through. Unfortunately, my parents went through a nasty divorce my senior year. I thought I handled it extremely well at the time… everyone would ask if I was okay and I wouldn’t even hesitate to say, “Of course!” Rather than listening to my emotions and understanding them, I shoved them under the rug and ignored how I was feeling. I put up the biggest emotional wall I could build. Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever even cried when they were going through this. I thought I just needed to be tough and believed that what my parents were going through was “normal”.
Unfortunately, my emotions finally caught up to me. I realized that because I never listened to them and never had the opportunity to process what I went through, I was still hurting from it. I started reading different articles on how to “move on” and get unstuck, which is what lead me to reading the book, Emotional Agility, that I mentioned in my previous post. The book helped me understand my emotions and that it is okay to be hurt from the past, but it is not okay to let those feelings control your future. It taught me to recognize when something is bothering me, but not to dwell on it and instead understand those feelings, process them, and move on.
I am sharing this with you all because I know what it feels like to hurt and be stuck on a past experience and I don’t want any of you to feel the same way. While it may seem difficult to move on, learning to forgive and move on is really your only option. I also don’t want any of you to feel weak because something is affecting your emotional happiness. Just about everyone on this planet is going through something behind closed doors that is affecting them. You are only weak if you let those emotions take over your whole life… You are strong when you choose to not let those emotions control you any more. You are strong when you realize that those past experiences are out of your control and it’s time for you to be happy again.
I chose to recognize the hurt I was going through, understand the feelings, and get on living the happiest life I could. Ever since the day I decided to let go and move on from the past, I have felt an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders.
If any of you are going through something that is bothering you or that is affecting your emotional happiness, please read the following tips I have listed that might help you over come those feelings and help you get unstuck.
1. Keep a daily journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings at the end of each day will help you understand what is on your mind. Writing is such a powerful thing and you never know where your thoughts might lead you.
2. Write an email to whoever has hurt you (but don’t send it). This is what helped me the most. I chose to write an open letter, originally with the intent to send it, but the whole process of getting my feelings on paper and seeing just exactly what was hurting me was extremely healing. If you want answers and feel that sending it would help you, then go for it. Just keep in mind the response that you might get.
3. Read Emotional Agility. This book was the other thing that really helped me get unstuck. It teaches readers how to have flexible emotions and literally “get unstuck”. Other personal growth books likely have great information in them as well!
4. Counseling. While I never went to counseling, I know many who have and they have never regretted it. Counseling is great if you are looking for someone to talk to without a bias opinion. It also could never hurt to try!
5. Exercise. Exercising does wonders for your mind and body. Working out releases “happy” endorphins, so if you ever feel like you are in a slump, go for a run and I promise you will feel at least a little better.
6. Spend time with your loved ones. Surrounding yourself with people that make you happy and that you know you are guaranteed to have a good time with is such an amazing form of therapy. These are the people that know you best and know how to keep your positivity high.
7. Meditation. Meditating has proven to be so powerful for ones mind. Setting aside even 10 minutes every day to just sit down and allow yourself to comprehend your feelings will do wonders for you. Yoga is also a great way to get in touch with your inner thoughts as well. (This is what I have been doing!)
8. Forgive. This was the hardest step for me until I realized if I didn’t choose to forgive, I was letting that experience win. If you don’t forgive, you are letting your past poison you. You need to realize that those past feelings are just that, the past. It is up to you to not let those feelings bother you any more.
While this post was mainly focused on my personal feelings, I know there are countless others out there going through their own battles. The biggest advice I can give you is to be open to your emotions and really listen to them, don’t shove them under the rug. I’m what Emotional Agility refers to as a “bottler”, which is where I bottle my feelings up until I feel like I’m going to explode. Once I realized that this wasn’t a healthy way to process my emotions and learned how to handle them in a healthy way, I felt so much more free.
If any of you are going through a personal battle of any sort or just struggling emotionally, my email is always open to talk (:
xo, Heather Marie