The only way out is through
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(Read the companion post on my personal blog: "Feelings-Real: Processing Loss")
Over the last week, Iain, our 7 year old son, mourning the absence of his father who is away was sitting vigil at his father’s bedside has, at various times come to me to say:
“I feel like my windpipe’s being crushed.”
“On a 1 to 10 scale, it’s a 10. I feel awful.”
“My head feels all hazy and fuzzy.”
“I feel like I have daggers in my head.”
“Why is it so painful?”
“My whole body hurts.”
And, “Is this all just feelings?”
To which I replied “Yes, and what you’re feeling is still real. Not medicine-needing real, but feelings-real.”
He had asked for a Tylenol or an Ibuprofen. And only as I write this now do I realize: this is where it starts. Popping a pill will not make you feel better. Because this is not illness-real, it’s feelings-real. And the only way to change feelings-real, is to change the feelings behind them. And the only way to do that is to accept that we DO control our feelings - by what we think, what stories we tell ourselves. No pill or bottle or drug can solve that.
It starts here. Resilience. Emotional fluency. Listening to our bodies. Honoring our bodies. And not looking for quick fixes. Feel the pain, the hurt, the despair, the loneliness, the heartache. Feel all of of it. Let it wash over you. Let it cleanse you. So that you can also feel joy, hope, clarity, serenity, purpose, love, openness, gratitude. “Numb the dark and you numb the light” says Brene Brown. Wade into the dark water, the mire and the muck. It’s the only way to cross to the other side, to the light. Otherwise you stay where you are. On this bank. Looking across to the other, wishing you could be there, but not knowing how to.
The only way out is through.
Sue Mann - Coach
Reflections on how we reclaim and sustain our worthiness in the face of falls and challenges.