I’m learning and I’m growing all the time. Some things I’ve been learning and practicing and learning and putting into practice for years now. Every once in awhile though, something will happen that makes me realize I am achieving success! And it’s sweeeet.
I was unsure on how to share this because I don’t want it to come off like I’m bragging or that what I’m going to share is easy. It’s something I’ve been working on, literally, for years. And it’s something I’ll always be working on because it will be easy to lose. Not a one and done learned lesson.
What I want to share today ties two of my big messages together: Be in the Moment and Feelings Come and Go.
It’s about meeting each moment for what it is, accepting the moment, and if it’s not a good moment – trusting that the feelings in that moment will go soon – because nothing ever lasts forever.
Ok, I’m going to use two examples and it’s funny because the one I got more upset over is so silly and the one that showed me I was growing was a way bigger deal!
A couple of years ago, on Valentine’s day, I ordered heart shaped pizza for myself and my daughter. I took a picture of the pizza and myself and made a quote collage and put text on it that said “Feed me pizza and tell me I’m pretty.” It was supposed to be silly and cute and I had a message to go with it about healthy eating but balance and loving yourself. I posted it on Facebook.
Someone commented on it and said, “You’re OK.”
Like, not pretty… just OK. It was someone who is not mean or anything, perhaps they meant it as a joke but it hurt me! Like that’s my insecurity, you know?! To put that out there in the first place….
Well, so, in that moment I was hurt and sad. The feelings were legit – we often cannot control the feelings and we certainly cannot control other people… but here’s the thing. I deleted the comment and should have moved on, right? I mean a bit later, the feelings were gone and all should be good? But… no. I picked the story back up, tied those sad and hurt emotions to it and sat with it again later that day.
And that night when I went back to sleep. I picked up the story and emotions and was sad and hurt again. And when I told a friend about it, I got sad and hurt again. And again. And probably a few more times.
I read in a book that feelings come and go but emotions are feelings with a story attached and the emotions last for as long as we feed the story.
Now, I don’t know if this is the ideal description of emotions but it really hit me as the difference between sitting with our feelings as we meet the moment… or holding onto the hurt story and reliving it over and over and over again. As long as we hold onto that story with those emotions, we will continue to feel the pain of it. Over and over and over again. If we keep feeding the story, we keep feeling the pain.
It is up to us, and with God’s help, to let go of the story! Yes, bad things happen to us, yes we face pain – big and small – in our lives. And there is a time and a place to meet those moments and sit with those feelings. But the feelings will eventually go. As humans, when the feelings go, we tend to grab on and pull them back. We retell the story, relive the story, feed the story, and keep those emotions attached to them and we keep ourselves in a dark, sad, hurt place.
It’s not necessary. We don’t have to feed the story anymore. We don’t ever have to feed the story.
My second event is about applying for a mortgage loan just this month. I’d like to buy a house or a condo. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time and it’s a big deal. I applied, knowing my credit is not the best, knowing I’ve made those choices myself, but I still prayed about it and applied. When I got the denial, I was sad. Teary. For about twenty minutes. I met the moment head on. I sat with the feelings and the feelings were valid.
But feelings come and go, friends. When the feelings left, that was it. It was done. I did not write a story to go with this event. I did not create a narrative that said I got denied because I’m a failure and I suck. I did not pick the story back up later that day, or evening, or when I told my friends and I did not continue to be sad about it. I gave the moment the time it needed, and then I moved on. I will take the next steps, move forward, continue to pray, and life is still good. I don’t need to take a sad moment, turn it into a story with sad emotions, and then reread it for the next month. No thanks.
I also realized that I can now look back on my marriage without pain and torment. It was an awful time in my life, but I no longer have the emotions tied to the story. I can tell you that I am divorced and that my husband was a terrible person… without pain. Now that’s taken years to get to, but it’s possible to do. It’s possible to rewrite the devastating stories that we’ve held onto for years. It took years to write those stories, so it may take months or years to rewrite them, but it is possible.
The next time something makes you sad, hurt, or angry, meet the moment. Sit with the feelings for a bit and then let them go. The feelings will go on their own. So don’t write a story and attach those emotions to them. And certainly don’t feed that story and relive it for the next few months or years. Just let it go and get on with your life. It’s much better that way.
Happy FriYAY, my friends!!