Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thoughts and Feelings

Everyone has experienced a disagreement with someone or perhaps the ending of a relationship and for the life of us, we can’t get “the story” to stop replaying in our head.  It is like the REPEAT button is stuck on.  It’s going over and over what we said, they said, they did, we did… It consumes all of our mental energy.  This is how our mind attempts to solve the problem we have given it.  So how do these thoughts affect our feelings?  Do we usually feel better after repeating this dialogue in our head over and over?

For the most part, it reinforces and even magnifies the way we are feeling and we feel worse!  It also has a way of collecting more disempowering feelings such as helplessness, worthlessness, hopelessness and loneliness.  So where do we go from here, when we are ready?  When we have had enough of “the story” and the accompanying feelings, what can we do?

Journaling for ourselves is good way of acknowledging our feelings and elaborating on why we feel the way we do.  However, taking it a step further one of the best ways for me was writing a letter to the other person and expressing what I feel and why. If there is no longer open communication with that person, I may choose to place the letter in a sealed envelope.  (Some would suggest burning it, however, that is up to you.)  As I progressed on my healing journey, when new insights affected my perspective, I have even written a second and a third letter.

Somehow this process seems to help.  Although you may not send the letter, you were able to express your feelings and the thoughts that accompany them directed to the other person.  You got them out of you.  You made some space inside you - space that can now be used for choosing new thoughts, so that feelings of hope and self-empowerment can move in and begin to grow.

~ Sherry Buikema

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