The Power of Leaning into Discomfort

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Seven years ago when my grandmother died, I drank two bottles of wine in one sitting. I didn’t want to feel. I called my then ex, now husband and he came over and held me the entire night while I cried, and drank and cursed at God for taking away my best friend. That year I watched my grandmother slowly die from stage four breast cancer and chemo and even though I moved to Tennessee to help take care of her, a big part of me will always feel guilty for not doing more.

This past spring during an after wedding brunch I attended I went into introvert/writer mode and became the observer at the table I was seated. Surrounded by extroverts I went into my shell that can come across as the mean girl, or stuck up or whatever else people may think of me, when really it’s just me being incredibly shy at times and being more comfortable observing than speaking.

The conversation that piqued my interest went something like this, “We can’t even allow ourselves to feel anymore. We are so use to this instant gratification bullshit, this microwave culture, we want everything right now. We have to be in control of everything. We can’t even allow ourselves to feel emotions without needing drugs or alcohol to control how we feel. We get high because we had a bad day or need to relax. We drink liquor because we want to turn up, or because we feel sad, or because we need to get out of our own way and socialize, we can’t even allow ourselves to just feel whatever we ae going through naturally, because we feel the need to control every single aspect of our lives.” I’m paraphrasing but it went a lot like that and I was blown away.

Hearing those words led me to think about my own life and how I had turned to unhealthy measures to cope with something going on in my life or to alter my emotions. Someone dies, drink. Need to socialize at a gathering, drink. While I typically only drink socially it doesnt change the fact that alcohol in many ways affects not only myself but every person I know that has fallen guilty to the words above. We are so use to being in control of our lives that we don’t even allow ourselves to feel our own emotions without altering them. When you drink because you are behind on bills or feeling down, those things don’t disappear when you are sober. We try so hard to alter our very emotions and for what? To temporarily not have to deal with it?

If we can’t allow ourselves to simply feel we will never know how to cope, how to get over hurdles how to simply be in the moment with our anger, our depression, our happiness, our hurdles, whatever it is that we are going through in the moment. It’s important to lean into our feelings and emotions even when they are things we don’t want to feel but that’s what makes us human. It’s those very feelings and emotions that add to our experiences in this world, shape us and help us grow.

Whatever it is that you have used to cope whether sex, drugs, alcohol, food, whatever stimulant that for a moment alters everything, I encourage you to sit with yourself, to try to simply feel and manuever through those feelings, write it down, just deal with it first because everything that you are doing to try to escape it, only dulls it temporarily, leaving you feeling exactly how you did before only this time with a hangover to wash it down and absolutely no one likes a hangover.

As always

Love & light

Ashley

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