Relaxing and Giving Myself Room

In counseling this week, I talked with my counselor about this current reality of mine:

I can’t seem to both relax and process difficult emotions. I need to be able to get the sleep I want to, eat the way that makes me feel good, and connect with the people in my life the way I want to. Those things are important. I also need to be able to process difficult emotions, because otherwise I am ignoring them, stuffing them, letting them build up, etc. And processing is also important. But for a while now, I feel like I have only been doing the latter.

I really need to r e l a x.

When I just typed “relax” into Google images, I got tons of beach pictures. Which reminds me that my counselor also suggested that if I loved Maui so much, to consciously “bring” Maui into my life. Whether that is through beach color schemes or photos on the walls, she suggested consciously having visual mental triggers so that I could remember Maui and the feelings I associate with it.

So here are some of my favorite pictures (of scenery- there were also a lot of cute ones of J standing naked behind a pineapple and me in my thong) from our trip 🙂

I crave being able to do both of these things: relaxing and processing. I don’t know if they are possible to do in the same moment, but I really want to be able to feel relaxed day-to-day.

Another useful thing I talked about with my counselor was inviting difficult emotions and letting them be. She said that it sounded like I was getting really impatient and uncomfortable with myself and my processing. I think that is true. My impatience has been pushing my difficult emotions away: I just don’t want to have to deal with them. I have been thinking of those difficult emotions as negative. Instead, she invited me to think about them not as negative, but as difficult, and to create space to swim in them. This line of thinking really resonated with me, especially in the context of Byron Katie’s work and of the things I have read about letting go of emotions. In order to let things go, I need to be able to feel them and swim in them. But it also makes a lot of sense to me that I have been pushing them away when I haven’t been able to also relax and rest. 

There is no resolution to this post. Except that I am trying to relax. 🙂

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