This weekend was an intensely emotional time for me.
It felt like my inner child, or the part of me that just sometimes doesn’t want to do the parenting (of myself) or “adulting,” was throwing a big ol' tantrum.
Mini-me just wanted to be held, run away to a strong masculine energy, and not deal with any of it.
Typically, my reaction when I feel hurt or triggered is to shut down, put up my walls, retract all my love back to me, and blame the other person.
Meanwhile, what I really feel myself craving in those moments is someone to come along, save me, fix it, provide, protect, and make me feel happy again – essentially, to extinguish the unfavorable emotions so I don’t have to experience or actually deal with them.
I don’t think that this reaction is uncommon, but what I know to be true is that it doesn’t serve me in becoming the woman I want to be, and this reaction is not in integrity with who I’m becoming.
And I’m really freaking proud of myself for NOT doing that this past weekend.
Instead of giving into my old icky pattern, I gave myself permission, space, and resources to work out a new way to handle the tough and painful shit that inevitably comes up.
For me, it’s always been challenging to REALLY allow myself to feel everything.
Growing up in my family, I gathered and learned from an early age that showing negative emotions was bad and hurt other people.
Often times, when we have been on the receiving end of something that has been hurtful to us, we do the exact opposite. It’s only after the awareness comes in that we can learn to find balance and the “gray area” between the black-and-white thinking that hurt and pain can cause us.
My conditioning has been, instead of feeling the negative emotions and giving myself space to experience them, to “get rid of them” or “hide them” so that it doesn’t hurt someone else.
Because what I learned through my experiences growing up was that if I did feel negatively, it was something to be “fixed” or “quieted”… and it was potentially dangerous or harmful to feel those emotions.
This emotional expression of fear, sadness, hurt, guilt, pain, anxiety, worry, and all the other “negative” emotions has been a point of intense deepening and healing throughout the past two-ish years. And although I’ve healed A TON, thanks to coaching, sisterhood, yoga, EFT, studying psychology, and so much more, it’s still an old wound that runs deep – it doesn’t go away overnight.
We can’t deeply re-program our minds to react differently overnight when we’ve been unconsciously reacting to situations in a certain way for the majority of our lives.
But what we can do is to view each trigger, or tantrum, or conflict, or painful experience as an opportunity for deeper healing and expansive growth.
So, what our tantrums can teach us is that we have a need for deeper healing, or awareness around the fact that there’s something we need that we’re not getting in this moment.
They can also show us what we do want by presenting us with what we don’t want – aka what would feel good based on what doesn’t.
Here was my process to deal with feeling hurt, in lieu of my old pattern of shutting down and erecting some protective walls:
1. Talked about the trigger in a coaching call with my sister, Cara – thank you for holding space for me, if you’re reading this
2. Went to the gym to move the icky energy out of my body – at least a little bit!
3. Cancelled a date so that I could have some time to myself to process + take responsibility for my own “stuff” – figured I’d spare him the word vomit and low vibes that I would have been bringing to the experience and also resist the temptation to think he could “save me” or “fix it” because that’s not his job in any way
4. Took a shower and put on some super comfy cozy clothes
5. Watched an episode of RHOBH – brain candy
6. Set a boundary for myself and decided that I wouldn’t speak to the person I felt hurt by until I had fully processed my emotions and could come into the conversation constructively, and not passionately feeling “wronged” and judgmental
7. Called one of my best girlfriends, and asked her to come be with me and have tea in my home and just let me vent – thank you for fully hearing me and witnessing me, if you’re reading this
8. Listened to some great music
9. Went to sleep … early
1. Went about my normal plans in the morning
2. Came home, put on some comfy clothes, sneakers, re-did my makeup, gathered up my laptop and some books, and headed out
3. Went to my favorite store (Anthropologie) to feel the ambiance and be reminded of how I do want to feel. Tried on some beautiful things. Didn’t buy anything.
4. Bought a lacey red dress at Free People that I felt hot, sexy, seductive, sensual, beautiful, and powerful in -- my old pattern would have been to just go out and buy STUFF that I didn't need and that didn't actually make me feel any better or serve a purpose
5. Bought new journals and a few bonus surprises for the women in my new sisterhood program – feels good to give
6. Went to a coffee shop to get some work done – ordered a BIG hot chocolate. “Would you like whipped cream on that?” You know it. Sat in a comfy chair by the warm fireplace.
7. Opened my new journal and prompted myself with “My inner child wants…” and “My inner child feels…” – the lists were LONG.
8. Worked on getting things set up for the sisterhood program, and designed some new graphics for my Inspired Goddess Sisterhood program.
9. Got a call from one of my best friends, sharing that she just had something amazing happen in her career, and celebrated her! Shared my emotional conundrum with her, and she walked me through step-by-step how to approach it constructively.
10. Came home, ate dinner, took a shower, wrote in my journal, went to bed … early.
1. Woke up early with the sunrise, immediately rolled over and opened my journal. Made three separate lists: “On the agenda today,” “Would would make me feel most ALIVE today?,” and “How I’m feeling.”
2. Did my hair and make-up and put on an outfit I felt amazing in.
3. Straightened up my room. Created space.
4. Made a cup of my favorite tea and lit some candles in my room.
5. Did a bunch of the “on the agenda today” stuff on my computer – most of it was setting up things for the Inspired Goddess Sisterhood program, even though I typically am firm about not working on the weekends
6. Met one of my favorite women in the world for brunch at one of my favorite places in Pittsburgh, The Vandal – the space is so bright and light, and the food is AMAZING. We sat and talked for about an hour and a half, then decided to walk around the neighborhood and check out some shops. She let me FEEL it all, and process, no judgment. She allowed me to be with the feelings and didn’t tell me I was wrong for feeling them. Thank you.
7. Went to look at a new apartment and meet my new potential roommate – she’s amazing by the way, and is exactly the person I needed to meet/live with. We had tea and chatted about ourselves to get to know each other. Beautiful.
8. Resisted the temptation to stop by my ex’s apartment and steal our dog for some cuddle time.
9. Drove straight home instead, and made myself a snack and some tea.
10. Put myself in my room, lit some candles, and made a list of the most important things to do for the week ahead.
11. Got excited about the things I have coming up in my business, and worked on my plan for 2016.
12. Had a really HARD, vulnerable, calm conversation with a soul-sister + friend.
13. Felt like a weight had been lifted, went for a walk together… hugged…proceeded as normal.
14. Read a bit of two new books.
15. Went to bed … early.
How do YOU deal with emotional triggers? What’s the process you’ve found works for you to take full responsibility and work with how you’re really feeling, instead of shutting down, ignoring, blowing up, avoiding, or being reactive?
For me, it’s about leaning into sisterhood more than usual, being gentle with myself, and giving myself what I need.
Surrounding myself with ambiance that helps me feel the way I want to feel – like my best, calm, peaceful, grounded, centered, loving self – and nourishing my mind, body, and soul.
Not judging myself for feeling the way I feel, or the time it takes me to process and have a difficult conclusion to a conflict, but also not going on a destructive rampage because I feel hurt.
I’d love to hear your own unique formula for dealing with conflicts, triggers, or tough emotions in the comments below, beauty.
Thank you for witnessing me, and being in this with me.
Love + Light,
Registration for the January round of The Inspired Goddess Sisterhood is now OPEN!
Only 5 spaces are available + this will be the LAST CHANCE to work with me in a sisterhood until spring of 2016 (only if the women who are currently involved decide not to continue).
The deadline to reserve your space in circle is Monday December 21st at 11:11 PM EST!