It is easy to get caught up in negativity. We all do it, even me. Just yesterday, I missed out on precious “me-time” because someone failed to come through for me. As a single mom of two boys, “me-time” is very precious indeed and hasn’t been coming my way easily these days.
I was so upset that I had to stop. Everything had to stop. I stopped cleaning, stopped doing other things and sat with my feelings. I was angry, sad, frustrated and lonely. I had to really look at my feelings to acknowledge and work through them.
I took out my journal and listened to my heart. Writing out all of those feelings. I poured them out onto the page. I asked God to let me have the right words to say when I next addressed the person who let me down or to just take my words away and let me say nothing at all. I cried as I wrote. I wiped my tears away, closed my journal and got back to what I was doing before.
The act of acknowledging my feelings in real time allowed me to work through them and let go. It allowed me to step back and release my anger so that later on when I saw that person, I could just be. I avoided what would have been a big argument that would have really upset me and my boys. We were all able to have a good night simply because I stopped, looked at my feelings and listened to my heart. Sometimes I end up holding on to negative emotions especially when the other person (or anything outside of us really) is someone I cannot change. I can only change myself. Period.
Why is it important to stop, look and listen?
I had to stop what I was doing because I was unable to focus in the moment because of my anger. I had to look at the feelings, sit with them and listen to myself for a little while. And it really was only a little while. 5 minutes, in fact. In that tiny bit of time, I wrote out my feelings, why I was upset and asked for help. In the end, this ability has helped me pass through difficult times rather than making them worse.
And no, it isn’t easy to follow this process. It takes time to practice something everyday so that it can become habit. Do it no matter what feeling you have. Stop, look and listen even when you’re happy, sad, excited, whatever. Do it everyday and it will become as natural as breathing. In this way, you’ll be able to zero in on your emotions, acknowledge and then release them.