Actively processing your emotions with your eyes wide open can allow you to experience new insights, especially if you have never attempted to purposefully allow this process to happen before. However, before you begin down the path to processing, you must first be open to what Avoiding, Resisting, and Reacting looks like when it comes to your emotions.
Let’s say someone has said something, done something, or acted a certain way toward you. As a result, you have a thought about what their words or actions meant, then an emotion unfolds you don’t want to experience so you choose to Avoid, Resist, and/or React. But, what does Avoiding, Resisting, and Reacting to an emotion look like?
- Avoiding comes in many forms, watching Netflix and chilling while eating our favorite food, escaping through the drug of our choice, shopping, looking at porn, and gambling are just some examples of avoiding emotions we would rather not deal with.
- Resisting is like Avoiding, and often works in conjunction with it. In addition to Avoiding through comfort actions, we choose to tell ourselves, “there is no problem,” “It’s all good,” or “I’m fine.” These are a few example statements we claim when we are resisting an emotion.
- Reacting would involve screaming, lashing out, raising our voice, and even “The silent treatment.”
If you feel stuck, if you are doubting yourself all the time, if you are unsure of your meaning or purpose in life, then there might be emotions you are avoiding and need to explore. Allow yourself to observe each emotion. Allowing means feeling the pain, it means being angry, sad, lonely, afraid, all of the emotions, all at once. You might go down the path where you start to justify, explain and get stuck in the pride and shame cycle of life. There is no need to explain; this is just you, sitting with your thoughts.
“Thoughts are just Data” is one of my favorite sayings; it makes me realize that we are more than our thoughts and actions and we can choose to be more. I’d like to offer that what you feel and think in that moment after someone does something or acts a certain way might not actually be what it appears to be. It could be an old emotion you have chosen not to deal with, and so it keeps reoccurring in your life.
Here are a few things to remember to do when processing emotions:
Name the pain, what it feels like, and where it is in your body. What thoughts are you experiencing? Don’t try to justify or explain anything. Just sit in it. Then say, “I am processing this pain.”
Realize it was the thought of the past creating the present emotion, and you can finally let it go. You have allowed it to be processed.
No one outside of you needs to fix you, you are not broken. You can allow yourself to feel emotions, knowing that you are 100% lovable, with this pain or without it. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Your eyes will be open to possibilities that you would have never imagined because you decided to process this emotion instead of Avoiding, Resisting, and/or Reacting.
As a Life Coach, I hold a safe space, a space for growth, for clients to learn how to process thoughts and emotions. Purposefully processing emotions has changed my life and my relationships with others, as well as my relationship with myself. Processing is allowing yourself to decide to let go and move forward. Only through deciding to move forward, without knowing all the answers, and without blame, have I been able to prove to myself that I can be fierce.