My mom died two years ago. Sometimes my mind makes me think it is happening again today.
Have you ever had an event that had that kind of effect on you? An event you replay over and over again? I think we all have one. It is difficult to accept and move forward, but this is something we need to do.
Whether you are stuck in grief, depression, anxiety, or stress I have come across a way to handle these emotions and the event they are related to, so that moving forward is easier. Let’s take a look together!
For me, my mom’s death was overwhelming. My dad died when I was 19 and I went right back to college afterward, so there was no downtime. My grieving was totally different from how I handled mom’s passing. There was no getting over it and getting back to the daily grind this time, as there was when dad died. I had downtime. I was older and honestly, it just seemed harder. I spent a lot of time telling people I was fine and a lot of time waking up from dreams that replayed every wrong decision I thought I had made. The key here is that I thought about it way too much! Time for action!
Most people who deal with depression or anxiety spend way too much time thinking. I am not asking you to think less. On the contrary, I am asking you to think differently.
When this process came to me, I was floored that I had not thought of doing this before to release and move on in life. I am suggesting we re-frame the entire situation; take it, examine it in an entirely new light and change our way of handling and reacting to what occurred.
We must first be honest about what we are focusing on; admit that we have created the charge on this and have most likely twisted it into more than it is. For me, it was focusing only on the days leading up to my mom’s death- which were nothing compared to the other 87 years of her life. It was easier to look at one frame of the movie and see it play over and over again, blaming myself for something I certainly had no control over rather than accept that there was a big old hole left that I needed to fill. Yes, that is painful. Now it is your turn. Look at the situation you are currently beating yourself up over and be honest about it.
What is your focus on and what are you avoiding by focusing only on that one frame of the movie?
Well, that hurt! But hey, it is part of growing so let’s grow on! Now that you know your focus, answer one simple question, how does this make you feel? I know that’s another sore point, but it is time to state that it makes you feel sad, depressed, angry, anxious, or stressed and unlock that prison you created. Go ahead, you can do it, state it and turn the key!
Time to look backward in life. As we know there is rarely anything new that we are dealing with, so find a similar situation in your past and look at how you dealt with it then; was it easier? Harder? What can you learn from it? This is allowing us to peel back the layers and start identifying the core emotion involved.
We are being super honest which is super painful, but we are moving forward. The truth is, to let things go on as they are now is not going to serve anyone; least of all you. Look at everything you have put together so far. How can you re-frame what you are feeling in your current situation to see it in a new light? For me, it is realizing that I am not supposed to be remembering what happened when my mom died; I am supposed to be remembering how wonderful she was when she was alive.
My re-frame is that I am supposed to continue to celebrate living as she did throughout her entire life. I am supposed to love as strongly as she did; which includes loving myself enough to let go and look forward to what lies ahead. It is time to look at life as something amazing and not miss a minute of what lies ahead. Re-framing to how she lived is the key to moving forward for me. Now it is your turn. Re-frame the situation. See it differently. See what you are supposed to learn from this, how you are supposed to grow, and how you can make a more positive change in this movie that is your life. You are on the right track when you feel the lightness in your chest.
This re-framing can be used for everything you are facing.
Let me restate this because we forget; if we are stuck or obsessing over an event in our lives, we have most likely faced a similar crisis in the past and not fully dealt with it or released it. You will find that Crisis 1 and Crisis 2 have great similarities when you peel back a few layers. The underlying emotion is the same and it is this core that was not fully released after Crisis 1 which is why we experienced Crisis 2. This is our opportunity to learn something and heal our lives.
My journey is just beginning and so is yours.
It is time we unshackle ourselves from the mental prison we have created. Open the door and walk into the sun.
We are meant to live. Let’s have a go at enjoying it!
– Dru Ann