Boy, I was busy. I mean REALLY busy. I had a to-do list a mile long. When I did see a potential speck of free time, I made sure that it was full of activity. I was buzzing from sun up to sun down. Why you ask? Well, because I HAD to avoid something at all costs…my feelings.
Do you remember the story of Alice in Wonderland? There was a character in it called White Rabbit. He spent most of his time running to and fro exclaiming, “I’m late/I’m late/For a very important date./No time to say Hello, Goodbye./I’m late, I’m late, I’m late. ” Well, I had become the White Rabbit of Minnesota.
Why was I so busy being busy? To be honest, I was so terrified that if I slowed down, even for a second, the pain would overwhelm me. You see, I was muddling through my second divorce. What if I let the sadness in and never felt happy again? What if the shame was more than I could bear? What if I discovered I had no inner strength left? What if everybody found out how much I was struggling?
So it became easier, for a while, to keep myself super swamped with things to do. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this at home but here’s my advice: DON’T DO IT! Can you guess what happened? Are you with me? Let me tell you that staying occupied 24/7 takes a lot of energy. When I was alone, it was the hardest. I’d be watching TV while reading a book on the ellipitcal machine. I know that sounds difficult to do simultaneously but I’m here to tell you ~ it can be done. Pretty soon, I was exhausted.
Then it happened. What I had been running from for the past few months enveloped me ~ all the hurt ~ all the shame ~ all the sadness ~ all the fear ~ all the…RELIEF??? Wait! Nobody mentioned anything good coming out of this. But it did. Once I let my feelings in, I realized that even though it was painful there was a measure of relief to it all. On top of that, I found out that I HADN’T lost my inner strength. It was right where I left it and more powerful than before. I felt so much better letting the emotions in, dealing with them and eventually waving goodbye to that path and turning down a different one.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with busy-itis (I’m not a physician and that’s not an actual medical diagnosis but you get my drift):
1. Lean into your feelings. I’m not saying dive in. LEAN IN. Accept that they’re there. Notice them. Let them be. I tell my clients that the problem with pain is that no matter how long you spend trying to avoid it ~ it will always be there waiting ~ so better to deal with it and move on.
2. If you want to cry, go ahead and cry. Sometimes, I could feel it coming. I’d think to myself, “Hmmmm. I think I’m going to cry. Yep. I think so.” So I’d have anything from a little squirt of tears to an all out ugly cry and then by the time it was over, I’d usually be laughing at myself because I really did have a lot to be grateful for ~ if I thought about it. So what was I crying about?
3. If you start to feel bad, put yourself on a timer. Ten minutes is a great place to start. It gets the emotion out but you don’t have enough time to sink into the abyss. That’s the key…no sinking! Once you’ve reached your time limit on having a cry or feeling bad, pick your cute butt up and get on with your life!
Here’s to letting your emotions catch up with you! After all, you’re way too fierce and fabulous to run from ANYTHING!!
As some of you may know, I like to get out in the local community and connect with others. One of the ways that I do this is having an exhibitor’s booth at community events. I did just that on July 26. To set the stage, this is an outdoor event called MarketFest. It runs from 6 to 9 p.m. The night began gloriously. Not a cloud in the beautiful Minnesota sky. It was a bit windy but I was going with the flow. Around eight o’clock, the sky began to darken a bit. Oh, well ~ I thought to myself ~ we’re almost done. It will be okay.
Guess what? Right after that, the weather began to change rapidly. My husband had just arrived to visit and he had to park our vehicle six blocks away because the Fest was so busy. The wind began to howl. Everyone scattered. Next, I could hear LARGE droplets of rain start to pelt my tent. I started to chuck all my materials, tablecloths, etc. into my bins. The tent was in danger of being blown away so we had to try to get that down as quickly as possible. Once we had everything ready to go…you guessed it…my husband had to run/walk six blocks to get our truck so we could load everything in it. Luckily, I had brought an umbrella. Also, right before this little adventure began, I had ducked out to grab a burrito at one of my favorite food trucks. I had time to kill, a storm blowing through, my burrito and an umbrella.
My choices were: Try to find cover, surrender my burrito and shrug my shoulders in defeat
pull up a chair, enjoy my burrito and let nature take its course.
I went with the latter option. I sat quietly at my table, soaking wet, my umbrella trying its best to keep me dry, savoring every bite of my yummy food ~ with a big smile on my face. I knew I wasn’t in real danger because it wasn’t an electrical storm. It was only wind and rain and some discomfort. I tried to make the best of it. People around me thought I was nuts ~ I’m sure of that.
Why do I share this with you? Because I know that dealing with a divorce or breakup is a similar situation. You feel a little scared and out of control. Nothing’s in its place anymore. You wonder when it will end. It’s uncomfortable. It can be dark. You can feel alone.
Carlos Castaneda, a well-known spiritual author, said, “We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.”
So I ask you: Next time you feel scared, uncomfortable or uncertain, what will you choose? Are you going to be lost in the dark abyss or go WITH the flow and come out on the other side feeling stronger and more confident than ever?
Since I know how amazing you are, I know you’ll choose to enjoy the burrito in the rain.