The last 20 months have shown us some huge challenges for humanity. Besides the natural disasters, tragic events, and divisive information, a lot of people are experiencing some deep, emotional trauma with little to no support.
Since March of 2020, moving freely about the cabin has mostly ceased, for me anyway.
As an extrovert, I crave connection. I love to reach out to my friends and have plans. I long for gatherings and dinners and cocktails on a patio. It's a rare happening, but I even enjoy catching up with family.
But in these uncertain times, I still hesitate to participate in anything with most people.
How It Started
When this craziness hit, I really wanted to reach out to people and to try and help them stay well. I started doing 3 Minute Meditations on my group page. The result was that my own wellness improved. I was able to ride the waves of uncertainty and kept my mental health in check.
I then began a regular workout program that fit my body and fitness level.
I began creating content and writing for the first time.
My businesses began to develop and grow. I was feeling good about the future.
I felt healthier than I had ever been before.
However, with tremendous growth comes tremendous loss.
How It's Going
My world shrunk! Significantly!
I have lost many connections. The demise was usually over fundamental differences in our beliefs and perspectives on reality. Most of them were in different stages of grief, addiction, or mental health issues. But we were all in different stages of emotional development.
Let me back up. I used to be a classic People Pleaser. (This is a trauma-based outcome, usually from childhood abuse.) People Pleasers avoid conflict with others by agreeing when they really disagree and usually acquiesce to other's destructive patterns.
In those relationships, I was not healing but perpetuating the same dynamic with different people over and over again. I eventually learned to stop participating in other people's suffering.
Therapeutic knowledge and critical thinking combined with some serious generational healing has led me to a healthy need to continue my own growth and evolve emotionally. Hence my world has shrunk.
Now that I have lost many old connections, I must begin to look at ways I can move forward and still take care of my mental and emotional health without falling into old patterns. I need new connections and new tools.
How It Will Be
We are all in different stages of wellness. Not everyone can be at the same place at the same time, especially emotionally. I believe as a result of our many stages of wellness, or lack there of, society will always be fluctuating between joining together for the greater good to tearing itself apart.
Therefore, the most important focus needs to be on our OWN emotional evolution.
Evolving in any manner takes work. Evolving emotionally is an acceptance of what is and the ability to navigate through it. It is moving beyond what you have always believed to be true, and learning the difference between your truths and other's truths. It is a healthy understanding of what it means to feel your feelings and then transcend to a healthier plane.
Emotional evolution is growth that brings with it peace of mind. It helps keep the ego out of decisions and allows for a higher vibration.
How do we evolve emotionally?
Well, there is not just one way or one path. But here are some helpful tools:
Feel your feelings. Allow yourself to feel - even if it is uncomfortable or scary. There are thousands of emotions, but some of us are only capable of a few that we deem 'safe'.
You are a human with e-motions, energy in motion. Allow them to flow through you instead of getting stuck in you.
Respond instead of react. Yes, feeling your feelings are important. But those are yours and not someone else's. So, be mindful that you are responding to situations instead of emotionally reacting to them. Take some time before you share how you feel as to not blame or shame others.
Have good boundaries. Being able to say no to things that do not resonate with you is important for your peace of mind. Having good boundaries takes practice. Remember, even if you said yes initially, you can always change your mind when you figure out that you actually meant no.
Learn from your past relationships. It is important to heal from old trauma so you do not repeat the same suffering from the past over and over again. Once you recognize patterns in people that you attract, you can begin to implement good boundaries, and stop repeating those patterns.
Self-care. Learning what you need and allowing yourself time to rest and recover from things is vital to your health. Self-care could be shutting out the world and reading a book, taking a meditative walk, or whatever recharges your battery. Balance is key for any healthy system. And since life does not always nurture your body, mind, and spirit, you must find a way to do this for yourself.
Forgive yourself and others. Oh, friends. I know this one is difficult. But in order to move forward, you must not allow your trauma to fester. Face this fact: you will not always get the apology you deserve. The only way to set yourself free is to forgive: Forgive yourself for what you allowed, or maybe what you have done to destroy yourself as a result. And forgive others for the role they played in your suffering. Do they deserve it? No. But YOU do. You deserve peace. And forgiveness helps to give that to you.
Make healthy connections. Even if you are an introvert, it is important to surround yourself with people you trust. Find a support group, volunteer for a cause you believe in, or just make consistent plans with a trusted friend. You are not an island.
Reach out for help if needed. Asking for help is not a weakness, it's a strength. Find a practitioner who can guide you. If you need help finding help, I am happy to help you brainstorm.
Healing is not linear. It is a winding path of experiences that we either perpetuate or learn from and grow beyond. And wherever you are on that path is okay.
May your emotional evolution lead you to a more peaceful state of being.
Be well, Friends