Happy Self-Love Sunday!
This Sunday I want to focus on Growth and Healing. I know that sometimes I get caught up in the idea of being this unaffected, perfectly functioning, healthy member of society and frankly, that’s not realistic. I’m learning to be at peace with the fact that I’m not always going to be able to handle things perfectly and pretend to be unaffected by the trials of life. There will be seasons of healing and those seasons may look like painful journeys towards self-realization. There will also be seasons of lessons and those seasons may be just as painful as the seasons of healing, if not more. During the seasons when you may not look or feel your best, how do you operate? How do you make it from day to day? And then, when the season is over, what does your growth look like? When the rhythm of your existence doesn’t seems to match the smile you once had, how do you keep up and make sure you don’t lose your path?
This Self-Love Sunday we’re talking about Growth and Healing, two extremely important topics when it comes to Self-Love. This week I’m going to feature my very good friend Mike Bonner. I’m going to offer my suggestions for successfully growing and healing and then he’ll share from his perspective.
Words from Briana
When tragedy strikes, as it often does…it often occurs when you:
1. Least expect it
2. Feel least prepared to handle it
3. Have a lot going on, already
During these times, the last thing you actually want to do is take time to really address and understand your emotions. I’ve noticed that sometimes my emotions feel so overwhelming that I end up just ignoring them. The issue with ignoring your emotions and suppressing your feelings is the fact that they don’t actually go away. I’ve learned a lot from suppressing and ignoring. Two years ago after a series of unfortunate events (did you get my literary reference??) I found myself in a place I had never been mentally. I used to tell myself that I was too busy with school, extra-curricular activities and my personal life to address what I was going through. I didn’t feel that I had time to process tragedies and the stresses that were on me. I put up a wall to separate myself from my family and friends and I tried to handle everything on my own. Every day was a struggle but I assumed I was better off ignoring my true feelings instead of addressing them. I can speak on it now because I’m no longer in that place but I was having anxiety attacks at least 7 times every single day starting at 6:00 a.m. every morning. When you suppress your emotions, you’re just turning over an hourglass & hoping for the best. You don’t have much time before the sand runs out…and when it does, you have no choice but to face the music. Unlearning and cutting out unhealthy habits from my life was the most important part for me. I had to step away from the situation and learn that I needed to find healthy ways to deal with tragedies. I had to unlearn the unhealthy habits I had been practicing and start implementing practical changes in my life. I’m the type of person who loves to read encouraging things but I also need practical applications so here are a few suggestions that worked for me:
- Step away from the situation, I do this by calling everything for what it is. Your heart isn’t “broken”. You’re not “incapable of loving again”. Use definitive language to address your emotions. Try saying things like “I feel….” “I will…..” “I am…”
- Instead of isolating yourself, it’s important to turn to people that you trust. There may be someone who has gone through the exact same thing you’re going through and could have advice for you.
- Take the time you need for yourself. Mental Health Days are so important! If you have to step away from school or work for a day or two, don’t be afraid to do so. You know yourself better than anyone else.
- As you’re actively addressing the issue, find ways to move on. Don’t wallow in guilt, guilt will have you crippled and afraid to move on. Allow yourself to learn lessons about life during this time. Your feelings are justified. You are allowed to hurt. However, you don’t have any control over what life hands you…you’re solely responsible for how you handle it. You can’t beat yourself up for the cards that you’ve been handed.
- Give yourself time, there’s no rush to recover. There’s no expiration date on healing…it’s a daily process. Don’t run from it and don’t rush it.
One of my favorite poets, Malanda Jean Claude, tweeted: “What you don’t heal, your children take on. unresolved issues don’t disappear with time, they grow into anger, seasoned depression & irrational fear. cut energetic ties with stories/emotions/people who don’t serve you anymore. that’s how you release the next generation.”
Growth and healing are not only for your benefit but they’re also for all those who will come after you.