Life is a series of events and not always good ones. When things hit the fan, however they may, I am usually able to move on quickly. But the bigger let downs linger even after I try to push it aside, lingering in the back of my mind until I deal with it.
Some minor events such as a forgotten bill payment or a teensy stain on my white shirt I could easily move past. Payment two weeks overdue? First time for everything – no biggie, I’ll pay it now. Got pizza sauce on my new white shirt? My whites always get stained – I should know better than be angry about it.
Other events are not so easy to move past. Like a yucky fight with a family member, failing a test, or never hearing back from a company for a job you were perfect for. These are not always things that could be sighed and shrugged. When we sigh and shrug at certain events and don’t properly move past it, we often find ourselves sitting around watching a movie and start bawling our eyes out suddenly. “What’s wrong”, someone will ask. “Nothing”, I’d say, and actually mean it. Because at that exact moment, nothing had happened. It was the result of constant bottling up because I just wouldn’t deal with things properly. I would dwell silently and internally, and it was catching up.
It’s easy to say we’re over it. I say it right away because aren’t ‘strong’ people always ‘over’ it? The truth is, if we don’t recognize the feelings and deal with them, we can’t expect them to drift away with the snap of a finger.
I realized my method a few years back after a particular event (modern day dating games is the short story there). I told myself I was ‘over’ immediately after it happened. 2 weeks later, I found myself taking a 20 minute washroom break after tears started swelling up my eyes after seeing a text from this person. I wasn’t ‘over’ it after all and I felt like an absolute idiot sitting there until I ready to get back to my desk and not risk tears sliding down my cheek. I learned that day that I had to figure out a tactic that would allow me to move past situations that brought me down and here I share them with you:
- Vulnerability is not a weakness
Brushing things off and saying we’re over it is often due to dismissing any hint of vulnerability. We constantly tell ourselves that being vulnerable makes us weak. That is a load of you know what that society has fed us. It takes strength to be vulnerable. Protecting ourselves against it is normal but the truth is, we can’t truly move forward from something that hurts us if we don’t even recognize that it did, in fact, hurt us. Let you guard down in order to acknowledge the sucky situation that is making you feel down and in doing this, you’re able to find the strength to move past the hurt and heal.
- Feel all the feels
Whatever and however you do it, just make sure it happens. You have to give yourself a chance to sulk in the hurt, anger, sadness, disappointment, or whatever negative dwelling it is keeping you down. Allowing yourself to feel all of the feels at the moment allows you to take a breather afterwards for good. Feeling all the feels immediately allows it to stay on the surface, instead of lingering internally and feeling the knot every day until it breaks. Let it break right away. Sulk it out and you’ll be able to move on. But don’t allow the sulking to be permanent – that destroys the whole purpose. Sulk with the intention of moving forward for the better.
- Acknowledge the situation itself
When we let our guard down, we are able to truly acknowledge the situation that happened and why it hurt so much. It’s important to understand our feelings and the situations just as much as allowing ourselves to feel them. What are you down about? What is the situation? After you move past the emotions, it’s vital to think about the events in a logical way. I have learned the most about my personality, expectations, and relations at this point in the process.
- Be in your happy place
You felt, you moped, you thought. Now it’s time for internal joy. Feel the ‘feels’ again but differently this time. No more moping – now feel the good. Dance, write, read, exercise, or cook. Whatever fancies your heart, do that. Just schedule the ‘me-time’ to finish the feeling process on a positive note, because allowing ourselves time and space to feel happy is just as vital as allowing ourselves the time and space to feel the vulnerability.
- Keep on keeping on
Everything comes full circle. Whatever it was that got you down is now a part of you, even if a minor part, and now it’s time to take that experience and keep going. Move forward with that new found strength you just developed because guess what? Every single time you move forward you move stronger. If you find the situation dwelling still (because sometimes it hurts so much that it will), feel again and confront it all over again. Life is not a straight flow chart we could follow. There are ups and downs and downs and ups; there is never an exact science because nothing could be predicted. It is up to us to find the power within ourselves to keep moving forward. Every. Single. Time.