By: Natalie Cooney
I can’t seem to get myself motivated today. I have a nice list of things to get done, like laundry, returning emails, tidying up around the house, but I keep finding myself lying on the couch. It’s like my mind has a plan while my body is like, “um-NO”. And of course, when I find myself lying on the couch I begin to worry that I am stuck here, that I won’t accomplish anything, ever again. Like I’m consumed by lying on the couch. I have succumbed to defeat. I can see it now, “Adult Woman Destroyed by Processing Feelings while Lying on Couch”. There’s fear that taking time to listen to what is going on inside will destroy me.
When I actually stop to think (or stop, lay & think about it), I am reminded that my life isn’t about the list, or the laundry, the emails waiting for my reply or the messy house. Life is about being alive and connecting to myself and others. When connecting is scary, I try to find something else to do other than feeling and dealing. I make lists of to-dos, make sure I have everything right, and run from my feelings. That only works for so long. Eventually, I’m paralyzed by what I’ve been trying to avoid.
I know this because I’ve powered through many days without giving a shit about how I am doing, while caring a great deal about what’s best for others. When I’m doing this, my inner world becomes a mess – anxiety, headaches, breathlessness and TONS OF TENSION. Trying to live in disconnect is no fairytale. I avoid one kind of pain while creating another.
[go inside and listen] So I’ve started to respect my body’s messages, because I can’t reason my way out of tired feet and heavy heart forever. I have to believe that I am laying down for a reason and that it’s for my own good. I don’t know the reason yet, but I give it a whirl. I am beginning to put some faith in my body. It does what it’s doing because it knows what I need in order to find healing and deeper rest.
Laying here I am reminded that I am having a hard time accepting that I have limits. I am having a hard time accepting that I have some feelings that require attention & acknowledgement. So I go through them, not around them.
Presently, I am struggling through big feelings about the anniversary of my brother’s death and worries about some relationship struggles taking place around me. I am feeling powerless over these things. And I hate feeling powerless.
I know that my big feelings need to be felt. Like a cut on the arm that heals if we keep it clean, give it attention and apply good things to it, I need to let myself heal. I might let myself cry or ask for hugs, or punch a pillow, or spend a few days protecting my time because I know I’m a little bit more sensitive than normal. Sharing my feelings and sensations with safe people who listen well and don’t try to fix me, like my husband, close friends or family, will lighten my load.
For now, I must lie down for a period of time, honor my feelings and the process that helps me be truly alive. I remind myself that I am not stuck here, that I will not be sad forever and that I will at some point get up to tackle my list, but right now I need this, because my body knows best.