Embracing the both/and of big emotions leads to greater acceptance of what is and a more comprehensive understanding of your world.
Rarely will you find that a situation short of deciding where to go to dinner for date night or what outfit to wear to work, that involves a singular feeling.
And frankly, I imagine some ladies would argue that those decisions also involve competing emotions. 😊
This has been the focus of my emotional sobriety work as of late.
And there is NO shortage of BIG emotions in my life at the moment. When you have kids, a husband, a job, a body there are plenty of feelings to go around.
If you know anything about me you know I have a solid and lengthy morning routine that revolves around reading, a little journal-type exercise, prayer and physical activity.
This daily activity is important because it creates the predictability my brain needs for security, comfort and internal peace. It also helped me retrain my brain to trust myself.
During that time, I use Mel Robbins’ High 5 Journal. I am not a fan of free writing so this helps me with some prompts such as things I want and then actions I plan to take to get them.
With a lot of big transitions happening here (HS graduate going off to college, a rising senior and a HS freshman at a new school), you guessed it FEELINGS!
Some of the journal entries really struck me so I thought I would expand on them.
8/1 “Getting close to taking Grace to college only 11 days now. Although we all feel it, it does seem more exciting than sad. But the sadness is deep too. Like the cuts in a huge canyon. I feel she will be ok. She will thrive and the excitement of who she will become is overflowing. I feel hopeful for Derek and Nora. They are doing well. Good kids with direction and incredibly smart. All of this and I feel a bit lost. A little hopeless. I need to find my way.”
There are two obvious feelings here excitement AND also sadness, They are competing emotions that make things even messier.
My middle daughter said when we got home from dropping Grace off at college,
“Mom aren’t you excited for her?”
I said, “Of course I am. I am so excited for her. I am ALSO very sad because I miss her in our house”.
I am beyond excited to watch my daughter grow into a young woman and spread her wings. I am also heartbroken at the loss of her in my daily life. Seeing her in our home, plopping on her bed an chatting every night. It has been almost a week and I still cry a little every day.
And that is ok.
It is more than ok it is amazing. Because it means I am able to see the entire picture of what her going to college represents. I can identify the closeness I feel towards my child and how the pulling away hurts my heart.
Also she is starting the next chapter of her life and I know how amazing that is. She is becoming an adult, finding her way, making her very own path the way she wants it to be. Incredible.
How do competing emotions show up in your life? When do you notice this the most?
Are you able to identify the both/and and accept that or is that challenging for you? This is a deeper level of emotional maturity. One that comes from doing the work beyond recovery.
One way to do that is jump into actual work. Find a coach, therapist, mentor to formally guide you through the process of building confidence and emotional sobriety.
Everyone benefits from this.
Mostly you, but anyone you are in a relationship with. You will find an ease that wasn’t there before. You will embrace the feelings that come and intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle you. That is my favorite part.
If you like the way I share and teach you can jump in my program The Sober Freedom Inner Circle, or we can do 1:1 coaching together.
You can also listen to the Confident Sober Women podcast and hear much of this work being done one 45 minute episode at a time.
How are you noticing competing emotions in your life? Are they overwhelming? What strategies are you using to work with them? They might be positive or negative.
Leave a comment and let me know.