“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin
Do you remember a time when you wanted to crawl under the bed and stay forever?
Perhaps you’d been dealing with chronic pain and anxiety, had recently experienced divorce or the loss of a loved one, maybe even lost a job or two. I had experienced all of these things in just a few short years, and, judging by the loud knocking as I hid, was about to have my car repossessed, too.
I called my dad and told him I was a bit depressed. “Don’t be,” he counseled.
“Don’t be?” I repeated. “Oh, okay, I’m fine then.”
“Yep, like that.”
This way of dealing with the painful feelings, of ignoring and burying them as we force ourselves ever onward, is often expected of us.
It’s natural—scary things happen to us in life. We fall down unexpectedly, we fight, we fail, we are betrayed, abandoned, overwhelmed by loss. The subconscious starts enfolding us in protective layers when we need them so that we can move forward with life.
But what happens when we don’t let go once the need has passed?
I will not lie to you—the rainbows and unicorns come after the hard work. First, you must face the emotion that was so terrible, you instead let the layer of scales and fangs grow in. But when that unicorn comes galloping down the rainbow to gently peel the scales away forever, well, that’s worth it, my friend.
There is no telling how many times we need to go through this process. Once we’ve sorted through and let go of all the “stuff,” life is still happening, constantly changing no matter how tightly we are gripping. We must always re-evaluate: What am I clinging to? What layers are holding me back?
So why bother with peeling back the layers?
Our layers have layers, born of layers that were layered over layers. This work is like unwrapping a mummy, and as you go deeper, you learn things you never could have imagined. You may even see some scary stuff you weren’t expecting. Better out than in, though, right?
If you like, put your arms up and I’ll help you unravel.
To read more of my story learn the 6 Healthy Ways to Shed Layers of Emotional Pain, please go to my original article published by Tiny Buddha, according to the publisher’s wishes.
*In the article, I mention dancing in your living room to Enrique Iglesias or to your guilty pleasure, flail like no one’s watching jam. There just may be a link above so that you can discover MY guilty pleasure song. 🙂