Love liberates, it doesn’t bind. Love says, I love you. I love if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you, I’d like to have your arms around me, I’d like to have your voice in my ear.
As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.
-Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
Do not be afraid to look within. The ego tells you all is black with guilt within you, and bids you not to look. Instead, it bids you to look upon your brothers, and see the guilt in them. Yet this you cannot do without remaining blind.
Everyone’s had that moment — when you’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and then suddenly someone or something takes you back to that dark place where you began. The drop you feel your stomach makes as your mind thinks, ‘not again’! Now, this moment doesn’t totally discredit all of the progress that you’ve made but it does bring to the surface some mixed emotions and discomfort.
It can make you feel angry, having to be reminded the mess you had to wade through. It can also bring a sense of shame. You think, “shouldn’t I be over this already?” Is this all starting to sound familiar?
I had that experience today and I’ve been working on a method that will help me get through those moments. This experience in particular was a person from my past trying to contact me. For months I have had my mind made up that I will never speak to this person again.
However brash my decision may seem, please know that this decision is based on several months of reflection. The old me would have felt ‘bad or even sad’ and would have tried to appease them. Ugh! That’s the pit in the stomach – the sickening part. Where the old you is battling the new you. Nauseated by the fact that the you could have ever thought any differently than the learned you.
So, how do I continue to move on? I remember these key facts (I suspect they may help you if you find yourself in the same predicament). If you have any other tactics you’ve used, feel free to comment.
I chose to leave for a very good reason
There is nothing I need from this individual
If they really need help they can call their family, friends and/or 9-1-1
My new self doesn’t fit back into the space I left
I am not a martyr and refuse to do things that benefit others at the expense of myself
There are many types of jails. Some people are in the jails of their limited minds. Many people are in the jail of drinking alcohol, taking drugs, working on a job they hate, or living in bad relationships. We are all doing some kind of time. The only difference is that some of us have keys to our cells and others do not. Nobody but you can imprison your mind. Nobody can imprison your spirit.
You know that feeling you get when there’s something that strikes a chord within you but you hold it back? When you’re so angry or sad you could cry but quickly change the subject or walk away?
For years I’ve had no issue being the loud, funny one in the group. The one who makes the group laugh and tries to deflect any subject from turning too emotional. Yup, that’s me.
Now to my friends it may seem that I’m an open book. That I wear my heart on my sleeve and that I’m willing to discuss any topic, but the truth is there are some things that I’ve trembled at the thought of being broached. And my heart on my sleeve? Well, that’s just me being hyper-sensitive.
Singing, laughing, speaking, shouting has never been an issue but crying and expressing my hurt has never been easy and understanding the why has allowed me to begin to work through how to change it for the better.
I’ve noticed that in my family there’s a lot of deflection from raw emotions when difficult times arise. We are afraid to cry, because we were never taught to how to receive a crying person. It was never taught that when someone feels sad, that you comfort them either by soothing words or an embrace that lets you know you’re safe and it’s okay to feel the way you feel.
What ends up happening is that you first, get stared at. Then, if you’re lucky they’re sympathetic and give you a pat on the back with a quick hug and try to bring up the positives (sometimes they’re very far-reaching) so that you don’t have to dwell on whatever thoughts led you to tears.
If you’re not lucky you are told that things are not that bad and that crying is an overreaction to what you’re feeling. I swear I can’t stand that!
The reason for why I want to change it is because I want to create a space for any future relationship/children where anyone can be comfortable to just feel and not be judged.
There are a few rules that I would like to put out into the universe for how to deal with a person that is in a state of sadness/grief. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to comment – I’d love to hear what has worked for you as the cryer or the comforter.
Don’t tell someone not to feel a certain way. They already feel that way — it is not helpful!
Don’t tell someone not to cry. Crying cleanses the soul and allows any pain that’s been dwelling inside to come out.
Don’t assume that someone is only crying about the present situation. Everyone is a complex being and in times of sadness many other memories could be flooding in.
Reassure someone that you are there for them. It’s not always necessary to try and fix the issue. There are often times that certain matters can only be fixed by the one in distress and on their own time.
Ask them if they want to talk about what they’re thinking. Simply listening can do wonders for the other person. Let them let it out without interjecting too much.
Touch. Often times a person who holds in a lot can be triggered to finally release their emotions by a simple hug or a holding of the hand.
Offer them water. Crying and letting out steam can cause shortness of breath. Offer them water to help calm them.