As we ease out of summer and into the transitional month of September, I want to talk to you about the importance of asking for help, especially when things seem overwhelming and beyond our ability to comprehend and accept.
The last month has brought with it a number of unexpected, upsetting and sometimes shocking transitions of a very specific kind, including the suicide of the brilliant Robin Williams, the tragic killing of captured American journalists, and now the passing of the iconic Joan Rivers.
In processing these events, it is important to focus on how we handle feelings of grief, sadness, anger and regret. In doing so, the value of asking for help cannot be overstated! And help doesn’t necessarily have to mean talking about an event that has affected us, although certainly talking to people who can listen supportively helps to uncover the specifics of our pain, and allows us to begin healing it.
Help can also mean a request to spend time together, doing something peaceful, spiritually uplifting or fun, without ever mentioning the upsetting event to that other person. It doesn’t mean that we are ignoring the event, or dwelling in denial. Far from it – these sorts of requests are one of the ways we take good care of ourselves and stay resilient in the face of life’s inevitable challenges.
By giving ourselves the gift of time away from our upset thoughts about events over which we have no control, we experience temporary relief from the strong emotions. Without it we may remain distracted, suppressed and possibly distraught. We risk becoming discouraged and even depressed. At the very least, too much focus on these feelings removes us from the flow of life, and hinders our progress toward our own desired outcomes.
As I conveyed to participants in my last Support Group, sad events occur and we cannot control them, stop them or change them. We have no choice but to experience them and feel the feelings they bring up.
But even as we feel the sadness of losing someone who brought us joy and laughter, or the illumination of courageous behind-the-scenes reporting, it also helps to give ourselves permission to embrace the light and the laughter as well.
While love, respect, gratitude and admiration we have for people is lasting, all of our feelings are transitory by nature. It helps to remind ourselves that no feeling, whether elation, anxiety, sadness or overwhelm, is permanent – no matter how much it may seem that way in the moment.
So we need to remember that helpful resources and opportunities for help reside within us as well. We can always discover reasons for hopefulness, and new options for dealing with what may appear to be hopeless situations. The human species has a remarkable ability to create positive change and opportunity, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
I assure you that YOU CAN CHOOSE to feel happiness, laughter, pleasure and contentment… while not sacrificing any of your integrity or commitment to people and causes you care about. So this week in spite of moments of sadness, disappointment, overwhelm or regret, also take the time to think about moments of laughter, pleasure, contentment and happiness, too.
As one example of an internal resource you can call on for help, I encourage you to use the following DECLARATION to remind and support yourself in managing your feelings whenever difficult circumstances come your way:
“I CHOOSE to feel happy within myself.
I no longer wait for an event to occur to make me happy.”
Declarations are powerful tools that, when spoken aloud with conviction, resonate and create alignment in mind, body and spirit – just the pick-me-up you need when you are feeling low!
We will be including an in-depth discussion about resourceful ways of dealing with difficult feelings such as situational depression, and creating a more positive emotional state, in my next Support Group which starts on September 8th (for more information about the groups and availability, please see the Support Groups page).
I also want to offer anyone who wants more specific support at this time a private 30 minute, one-on-one consultation with me. If you’re having trouble getting “unstuck” from feelings of upset or sadness and finding your way back to hopefulness, send me an e-mail at Loren@BeingWellWithin.com or pick up the phone and call me at (201) 489-6720. After all my whole reason for having this blog, this website and the services and programs I offer is because I’m here for you, and my commitment to you is that you will be very glad that you asked for the help!