So, this is me being sticky, vulnerable and human.
Growing up, I was taught the value of denial. Ridding myself of all anger, depression and sadness was admired and endorsed in my family. I learned to tuck away my emotions or try to “fix” them as quickly as possible before others noticed these “bad” feelings. I’m just now learning at a ripe age of 23 years old feelings are neither good or bad. They are…neutral.
Change happens in life and feelings always kindly escort change.
Last week I had a big change. I lost/left my job. I say both lost and left my job because it was a mutual decision. Truly, for HR purposes I resigned. Whatever the case may be, I experienced an abrupt end to my work.
I instantly started to try jumping into the next goal and phase without processing this ending. I found myself hitting a brick wall. Have you ever seen those strong football players with a parachute-like getup strapped around their waist with a weight on the ground as an anchor? They try to sprint as fast as they can but the weight on the ground is holding them back. This drill is supposed to build up muscle and resistance so when the weights are taken off the football player will run even faster.
Right now I feel the thousand pound weights trying to keep me from sprinting toward my goals. I just can’t seem to get up the energy or the stamina to make it even a few steps. Maybe it’s because I have a ton of weight holding me down!
I’m thankful for people called counselors who help others walk through these endings and beginnings. Today I saw my counselor and she revolutionized the way I view the “bad” emotions of grief. I’ll share a tidbit of what I learned free of charge (you’re welcome).
There are three phases to change:
2. Neutral Zone
3. New Beginnings
Endings encompass anything we leave behind. For example, my ending with my job includes not making a 45 minute to an hour commute every day, or having multiple managers, or being woken up at 5 a.m. to post weather alters. All of these are included in the first phase called “endings.”
The second is where the mixed emotions come in during the “neutral zone.” Feelings of anger, denial, sadness, anxiety, depression, and bargaining come into play. Can I hear an amen on this one? Yes, totally have felt these feelings.
The last phase is new beginnings. All of the hopes, dreams and goals I’m about to begin…Just not yet.
I get caught attempting to go from an ending to a beginning without processing the emotions in between. Healthy right? Ha. I need to stop and sit in these emotions. Truly experience how they feel. Have you done this before? I know I haven’t. I try to rush through them as quickly as possible. Feelings don’t like being rushed. They’ll come back again and again unless we choose to work through them. Not trying to “fix” them, but letting them wash over us.
Okay, sounds good right? It’s not easy especially for someone who has a pattern of skipping past these emotions. My challenge this time around is to actually let them rest, cry, get angry, and not try to move too quickly.
Before I can chase my dream as a full-time freelance writer and spread hope through my stories, I need to learn to let go of my endings and feel emotion again.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with endings and beginnings. How have you dealt with change?