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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: When You Just Can't or Lightening During the Day

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When You Just Can't or Lightening During the Day


When the world says, "Give up, "Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."~Author Unknown


There are some days when you just can't. Can't go to work. Can't go to class. Can't be calm. Can't feed your body. Or can't stop eating. Can't deal. Can't stand it when..... Just Can't.

Like lightening during the day, the negative voice is there, flashing away. Telling you that you can't. If you pay close attention, you will hear it. The feelings are the thunder. When they are big and heavy and overwhelming, then you know that the lightening, the voice, is hard at work in your head.

Most of the time, we just go about our day. Or we don't. We stay stuck in the muck of the bad feelings. But if we are willing to stop, and then to pay attention to the thunder, and then to listen to that voice, we will begin to hear what is really going on in our head.

Can't. Can't. Can't.

And then we can talk back. We can change the can't. The other day I was walking across the street at a crosswalk on a slightly busy residential block. When I started out there was a car coming down the block, but at least a few hundred yards away. As I started out, the car sped up. And then, of course, so did I. It blew by me. As I got to the other side. I started feeling pretty bad. Somewhere between mad and sad, frustrated and resentful.

Voice: You can't stand it when people do that! You can't even cross a street peacefully. You can't catch a break today!

Reality: I don't like it when people are not paying attention the way I want them to (but I can stand it). I can cross the street just fine. Best to pay attention to the cars though. My legs are working, the air is fresh and the leaves are looking lovely.

I am not suggesting that we all turn into Miss Cheery Sunshines, or dismiss our feelings. Quite the opposite, I am thinking we can honor the feelings by paying attention to distortions. I am thinking that we can pay attention to the can'ts, and rewrite them. It goes along way. But if we are not willing to consider that there are ways out, ways up, then we may stay stuck.

There are real sadnesses in life, of course, and there are many frustrations and disappointments, but the can'ts make things seem a lot more hopeless. Sad is sad. You may not like feeling sad, but you can stand it, and take good care of yourself. You may not always know what to do, or how to do it, but you can learn.

It's about giving yourself a chance to learn what you can yes do. Not what the voice tells you that you can't. And then to look up at the possibilities.

2 comments:

Brainiac said...

I can really relate to this. I so appreciate so much of what you write. Thanks.

Melissa said...

thanks for the visit brainiac