This week I’ve coached a whole bunch of people who are adding unnecessary suffering to an already difficult situation. None of us expected that missions would be ending early, that we’d be finishing college courses online, that the place we worked would be closing its doors, that we’d be cut off from our social lives, that we’d be heading out into the mission field, straight into a 30 day quarantine, that we’d be applying to nursing programs, not really knowing when the nursing program would open back up again.
When the Unexpected Happens
All of this is unexpected. And our brains are figuring out how to adjust and make sense of it all. They might even be freaking out a little bit. These new situations, in and of themselves, cannot cause us to feel any certain way. But, in a tide of new territories and unknowns there is bound to be a lot of thoughts that trigger a lot of emotion.
In the last week I have struggled with feelings of anxiety, worry, fear, self-doubt, confusion, discouragement, overwhelm, restlessness and hopelessness. Thank you COVID-19. I’ve been dealing with emotions that I don’t typically experience… at least not super regularly. If I’m being honest… about midweek, I started thinking: “I’m a Life Coach. I should be handling this better. I should be feeling fearless, not fearful.”
But, the only thing that feels worse than the emotion of fear, is thinking… “I shouldn’t be feeling this way.”
“I shouldn’t feel _________” only layers frustration on top of fear. Guilt on top of worry. Shame on top of discouragement. When we start to believe that we should be different than we actually are, we create unnecessary suffering for ourselves.
And so, I gave myself permission to drop the part where I thought I should be handling things better than I was.
You can do the same.
Accepting What is Real
If you are feeling indifferent. Just feel indifferent. No need to be mad at yourself because you feel indifferent.
If you are feeling frantic. Just feel frantic. No need to beat yourself because you think you shouldn’t feel frantic.
If you are feeling lonely. Just feel lonely. No need to tell yourself that it makes no sense that you are lonely.
Byron Katie said this:
“If you argue with reality, you lose — but only 100% of the time.”
Alleviate Unnecessary Suffering
We are all humans having a human experience. And right now many of us are experiencing a much broader range of emotions than we typically experience on the regular. That’s the reality.
If you want to help alleviate much of your unnecessary suffering…
With all of the compassion you can muster,
Let all of the humans be human, with human emotion.
This includes me, and this includes you.
The way you are feeling right now, is exactly the way you should be feeling.
As soon as you accept that reality… you’ll find so much peace.