Trading Sadness for Strength?

Dec 17, 2021

Do you ever wish that instead of feeling so sad, you could start to feel strong again? It would be nice to trade in the overwhelming sadness that comes with the territory of profound loss and exchange it for strength. It would be great to actually feel strong again – maybe even as strong as everyone seems to think you are.

The cruel irony is that when we need the most strength is precisely when we’re at our weakest.

If you wonder if you’ll ever find your strength again, you’re not alone. I’m going to help you find it today. Here’s a hint: it’s hiding in plain sight. Strength is sneaky like that.

Your strength isn’t waiting for your sadness to go away: your strength is inside of your sadness. The more you are willing to feel your sadness, the more strength you will find. (To be clear, I’m talking about clean pain, not suffering. This is an important distinction.)

The more we run from our sadness, the more it chases us around, nipping at our heels, growing bigger with each passing moment, waiting impatiently for our complete, undivided attention. We run because our primitive brain associates pain with potential danger and therefore urges us to numb the pain immediately.

And “running” can mean any attempt to avoid, numb or otherwise not feel the sadness. It could be attempting to smother it with sugar or comfort foods, avoid it by scrolling social media, numb it by Netflix binging or drown it in alcohol, to name a few. My numbing agent of choice was to attempt to outrun it by staying busy.

We run because we think the pain will overwhelm us, that we’ll spiral in it and never escape. But really the opposite is true.

Feeling the sadness is to give it our undivided attention, to invite it in, to be fully present with it. Give yourself just 90 seconds to pay full attention to how it feels in your body. Ask yourself:

  • Where do you feel it in your body?
  • If it were a color, what color would it be?
  • If it were hard or soft or somewhere in between, what would it be?
  • If it were in motion, is it fast or slow?
  • Is it heavy or light?

Describe it in as much detail as you can. Then breathe it in and continue to allow it to be there, giving it your complete attention. Then, ask yourself the same questions again to see if it has changed at all. It likely will change in some way. After 90 seconds, notice if the sadness has loosened its grip on you, changed dramatically, or even disappeared completely.

This is called processing an emotion and it is a superpower. Processing difficult feelings is to flex the muscle called “I-can-feel-any-feeling.” You have very likely, after all, already felt the very worst feelings. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is the worst possible feeling, you already know what a 10 feels like.

Your willingness to feel all the other difficult emotions is your strength. It’s not about waiting for the sadness to leave in order to feel strong. It’s about the strength that results from processing the sadness.

If you’re feeling anything but strong, I get it. There is no reason to face another holiday alone. My coaching program called Life, Reconstructed is truly life changing. You’ll have me as your coach, along with a community of like-minded people who get it, and who are learning and growing together. If you’re ready to invest in yourself, simply apply here and we’ll see if it’s a fit.

Learn more about Life Reconstructed.

Click here

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