This week, I’d watched an entire series of “The Crown” in two days, overeating alongside it, and the sh***y feeling I was trying to escape still didn’t go away.
Last night, it mercifully dissolved thanks to a little help from a friend.
It got me thinking about the uncomfortable feelings other sensitive people are experiencing in December.
What’s difficult emotionally for YOU this week?
Let’s acknowledge December IS difficult
This time of year generously provides extra opportunities for emotional discomfort and the strong pressure to be generous and merry makes it harder to pause to consider your options.
There just seems no time for that at all.
I needed a friend to help me pause to dissolve my discomfort. Everything has been simpler and kinder since.
Now, I’d like to be a friend to you in turn to help you with your discomfort.
And the first step is to acknowledge that the discomfort is THERE.
Maybe you are getting overwhelmed trying to sift through the soooooo many to-do’s this month.
Maybe tension and things like guilt, shame or a sense of obligation are surfacing just thinking about doing enough by your loved ones.
Maybe you’re worried about the consequences of doing too much, spending too much, stressing too much even as you can’t see a way not to. “It’s Christmaaaaaas, Everybody!”
It’s so so painful and it’s hard to broach the subject because everybody is too busy already. And anyway, how do you admit to feeling unhappy when the order of the season is providing “comfort and joy”?
How we try to cope
So we don’t stop to acknowledge our emotional discomfort and try to cope best we can.
Anything to keep going and for sure the general culture provides unlimited ways to distracting attention away from discomfort.
Binging online or on TV.
Binge task chasing.
And we almost get away with it.
We get through it year after year. After all December passes too in the end.
The more sensitive you are, the more you do register the health and sanity cost of it all. And the more you can’t relax knowing that cost.
I suspect that, like me, you know when you are running from things rather than dealing with them and that’s the most painful thing of all.
What you can do instead
You get the picture: at this super busy time we fall prey to familiar ways of just coping instead of… living, feeling, breathing.
The way out of the predicament may not be news to you but, like me, you may need help to use it.
I’m here to hold your hand.
The alternative to having to keep distracting yourself from emotional discomfort is to pause
in order to dissolve it.
Keep distracting yourself from discomfort and you’ll keep worrying deep down about the (energy, money, health) cost of doing it.
Do the courageous (but relatively quick) thing of FEELING your discomfort, and you will dissolve it.
When you hear the message, the messenger can stop shouting and it relaxes. When its job is done.
Take 10 minutes now to feel whole again
Let me help you go there, the way my friend helped me last night. It will only take a few minutes.
Don’t stop at knowing what needs to be done: that won’t help you do it.
I knew that if I felt my feelings instead of running from them, they would dissolve but I couldn’t start feeling them until my friend’s encouragement.
So please do lean into my companionship with you, here and now, to be with and dissolve your inner discomfort.
Let me say to you what my friend texted to me last night: I stand with you as you stand with your inner reality.
(It absolutely works by written companionship too).
Take a deep, slow breath.
And once more.
Allow yourself to register what you are feeling RIGHT NOW.
What are the sensations in your body?
I’m here, with you as you check in with yourself.
Notice what you notice in the body and then with your emotions and be with that.
Nothing to do, nothing to explain, nothing to understand or change. Just check in and allow. Feel and be with that.
I promise you, it will be easier than running from it even if your thoughts are likely to tell you otherwise.
It’s okay. They are just trying to protect you.
Be with what you are feeling, be with your body’s sensations and your system will start receiving your feelings’ communication.
The pain will start dissolving into what Marshall Rosenberg called “sweet pain”.
It will start integrating, making room for you to enquire into what you are needing in order to remember and experience inner peace.
Seal the deal by quenching your thirst
If you allow your discomfort to deliver its message, you’ll begin to hear what it’s showing you that you need.
Like pangs of hunger or thirst, your uncomfortable emotions are signalling about what you are needing.
The last step in the process of dissolving discomfort is to understand and quench your emotional need.
Your Monkey Mind will argue that your situational need is a priority, that there is no time because you need to do x,y, z.
Topping up your emotional need, such as safety, stillness or sacredness takes only moments and makes ALL the difference to your ability to do what you need to do.
Otherwise, you’ll try and fail to meet the emotional need by doing stuff or by buying stuff. Or hoping that somebody will do stuff to fulfill you.
Can I invite you to name what you’re thirsty for and drink that quality right now?
What is your heart needing most right now?
Whether it’s peace, or compassion, love or spaciousness, how could you attune to that quality for the next few minutes?
What could be your “tuning fork” or your portal to being connected with and fill your being with that quality?
As I’m finishing being with you, my thirst is for the quality of spaciousness and as a portal to it I light and gaze at a tealight.
As I do so, I’d like to send you a blessing of spaciousness and gentleness as you prepare for and go through the holiday.
Standing with your sensitivity,