A couple of weeks ago I was writing to a client to help her appreciate the struggle she was experiencing and to encourage her to keep going. I was also urging her to keep feeling all the emotions she was having, to not suppress them. I spent many years trying to “stay positive” and “keep going” which also meant stuffing my feelings. I now realize that embracing my emotions was a very important thing for me, and when I learned to do it, I no longer felt like a steam kettle about to blow. Instead, I felt more balanced, living with the emotions but not letting them run my life. Here are some of the things I wrote to her:
“Understanding another way to look at the situation doesn’t preclude allowing yourself to feel all that you are feeling. I don’t want to see you stuff those feelings, as I imagine that contributes as much to weight gain, headaches, pain and other forms of misery as any other thing we do as humans.
So I encourage you to keep feeling everything–stay with this. It looks to me as if you are inside a cocoon, trying to break through the chrysalis to emerge, and the only way to do it is to fully experience the pain of emerging. You’re seeing things you don’t want to see. You’re feeling things you don’t want to feel.
And I encourage you to do it anyway, as hard as it is. It is leading you somewhere–unknown to you at this time, but into another realm, a level of awareness that you can’t understand about until you move into it.
You say you see more positive things about yourself than others do–but to truly see ourselves means to embrace all the parts, the stuff we don’t want to see that is ugly especially. If we have a charge on a trait expressed by someone else, rest assured we are expressing that trait, but we are blind to it and we just have to find it.
How are these people your mirror? I’m not even saying owning their traits will make you immediately feel better–but it is a step in moving forward and embracing the pain you are in. By owning their traits, you see that you have them too, and it helps you stop having unrealistic expectations of others to somehow not be human also. When we see others as human, we can start appreciating our own humanity.
As you slowly start to get more ‘in your own skin’ with all these feelings–good and bad about yourself and others–you will start to feel your butterfly shape and find your way out of the cocoon.
But even that has its inherent shock–the cold air hitting the still damp form, the wings still plastered against your sides. Figuring out how to move the new form is just as challenging as staying in the old one!
I see you spreading those beautiful wings and flying, dear one!
But here is the cosmic joke on all of us: we keep repeating the larva, caterpillar, cocoon, emerging process over and over throughout our lives. So to think we’ve ever ‘done it’ and reached a point of freedom from the process is an illusion.
The fun part is that we keep showing up again with new colors and variations of the butterfly experience. So instead of dreading it, we can look forward to seeing what we develop into next!”
Isn’t that what being a Life Entrepreneur is really about?