What do you do when things go wrong? Like, really wrong. If you're anything like me you probably binge a new series on Netflix or treat yourself to a delicious chocolately treat. Or if you're like Olga-past you'd go out and drink enough to forget. Maybe you buy yourself the latest mindfulness, wellbeing or self help book because this time you mean it, goddammit. Does this sound familiar?
I have always run away from discomfort, negativity, the hard shit. I justified it by telling myself that I've already dealt with enough crap. It was time for my life to get easier. If only it worked that way. It's been easier for me to run away or distract myself than deal with the problems head on. Sometimes I've been too scared, other times I've been too angry. I never wanted to do the work. Until now.
This last week has been emotional. I was feeling all sorts of ways, not able to truly figure out what I wanted or what I could do to feel better. I was in attack mode. Trying to shield myself from pain and uncertainty. Desperate to make the bad feelings go away, if only temporarily. Until my friend told me to stop and sit with my feelings.
She told me to listen to what they are saying. Stop pushing and start listening, she said. This was not natural to me. Why would I welcome these feelings? What if they were all I was left with? What if the good feelings never came back? But I decided to try. I spent an entire weekend talking, journalling, thinking. I read a bit but not enough to distract me. I couldn't focus on social media so it held no value. I was with myself, really and truly. It was so painful. I felt the pain I had buried for so long. I asked it to speak to me. To tell me what it needed. Turns out it was just to be heard. And when I listened my gut went silent. It stopped signaling that something was wrong. I stopped feeling panicky.
This, of course, was only the beginning of a long journey. I need to get better at embracing all of my feelings and emotions not just the good ones. I'm realising that they all have something to tell me, to teach me. And if I only listen to the good ones I'm missing half the lesson.
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