my space tracker

Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Sitting Still

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sitting Still

Sometimes in the midst of emotional pain, especially hurt and anger and grief, some folks get antsy. I often get asked, "Why does this still bother me so much?" or "Shouldn't I be over it already?" The need to get past the feeling, to move on, is urgent and strong. And they are off and running. Brain and body on rev. Especially at this time of year, when everyone is so very busy. Buying, and partying, and running from task to task to get ready.

For those who are hurting, all of this running around can be very productive. Too busy to think. And a lot gets done. I am all for distraction. It's a good day then, if you take care of your responsibilities and have not given way to whatever emotional pain is following you around like a kite at your back. If you keep on keeping on.

But then again, there is the idea of just sitting still. Of stopping the middle of all the rush. I know that sometimes sitting still can feel impossible. Especially when you are busy. Both practically and emotionally. A thousand thoughts racing through your mind, and a thousand things to do. And what if you stop and you can't start again? And what if you don't really know how to do anything but rush? And what if you stop and all the bad feelings you have been running in front of come slamming up against you like a herd of elephants? What if it's raining what if's?

So I think that you will be okay. I think that at first it will feel really strange. To just pick a quiet spot and sit down comfortably, and close your eyes, (or keep them open and take in the scene), and just be. For, lets say, five whole minutes. No TV, computer, book, magazine, mail, telephone, blackberry. For those of you who are practiced at meditation or yoga, this is easy. But for lots of folks, this feels like climbing a mountain.

I am not going to write too much about what to do with your five minutes of sitting still, other than to say that once you do it, you may be surprised at what you learn. Of course you could do almost anything. Travel to an exotic place, list your gratitudes, listen to the sound of your breathing, let your thoughts tumble. You may find out that they are more bearable than you imagined, and more gentle than you thought. Or you may find that things still hurt, but that you are in one piece and in this very moment, you are in tact.

It's good, I think, to check in with yourself. To slow down in the fast race to get to somewhere else. Could be that being in the moment is better than you think, and that pause, even brief, is restful and restorative.


therapydoc said...


Melissa said...

Hey Therapydoc!

So glad you stopped by!!!


Melissa Groman, LCSW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Real Gal said...

Ahhhh, can relate to the antysness. My ultimate goal in my freedom journey is to get to the place of relaxation! Thanks for sharing this Melissa!