We all have that one “thing” that seems to stay on in the background of our minds, waiting to present itself when we feel inclined toward a more “down” mood – those times that we’re tired, had a rough day at work, had a bit too much to drink, and our defenses are down.
That “thing” tends to be something we see as unable to be resolved and can be related to a deep trauma – not receiving enough love as a child, or not being able to be close to the people we love most, for instance.
This “thing” is perfectly valid, and of course it makes you feel this way. Who wouldn’t want to stay in bed with all the blinds and curtains closed, or binge eat, or insert your coping mechanism here, with this “thing” hanging over you? There is no need to feel ashamed of how you’ve handled this before, but I want to help you go about your self-soothing process more intentionally. You can do this while planting seeds so that what you want becomes your reality. It may take some time, but your efforts will be well worth it and lead to a happier, healthier, more balanced you!
What if I told you it’s not really the “thing” you’re after, but the emotional state you believe you’ll achieve once you have it?
That’s why sometimes, getting a long-held desire fulfilled can be a bittersweet experience. It feels good, but at the same time, you might feel a bit like, “I could’ve survived, even if it didn’t happen. I even feel like I want a little more.”
Sometimes, we use the “thing” to withhold our own love and approval from ourselves, which sends us further spiraling into misery and defeat. I can’t tell you how many times I have been my own worst enemy when something I wanted didn’t seem to work out. I always blamed myself. “If I had been a better person, I would have gotten that.” “If I weren’t so shy, this would have happened.” “If I had worked harder, this would be done by now.”
Rather than confining yourself to your bedroom or reaching for your coping mechanism, I want you to get into the habit of imagining how it would feel to get that “thing” resolved, once and for all. You can have fun visualizing how this might happen to help you get into the feeling state you’re craving. One exercise that I enjoy doing is the “What If” exercise that I’ve seen most often used by people practicing law of attraction. For it to work, you must be willing to suspend your disbelief and skepticism for just a few minutes. Dismiss the past; what happened before doesn’t matter, because anything is possible when you’re feeling better and acting from a place of self-love, wanting the highest good of all involved in the situation.
You don’t have to do this for long stretches of time. Start small. It only takes 3-5 minutes for the exercise to create a good feeling state. Can’t do whole minutes? Seconds are fine, too. This is a skill that improves with practice. For best results, do this every day.
In the case of not being in a loved one’s life – what if this person reached out to you and struck up a conversation? If initiating contact is out of character for them, what if something happened in their life that made them realize just how much they care for you? Maybe they would apologize outright if that seems appropriate, or maybe they would just talk to you, ask what you’re up to, how you are. What if this person wanted to connect with you purely because they enjoy your company? What if this person realized your value to them? What if this conversation led to you seeing this person? What if you were able to stop dwelling on the absence of them in your life because they made the effort to be present? How nice would that feel?
When you stop to think about it, the what ifs don’t seem so outrageous. You’re a good person, and you care deeply for those you love. You’re learning to create by love, not fear, so the only way for things to go is up. Forget how you’ve done in the past. You’re creating from a new space now.
You can create your own “What Ifs” if these don’t work for you. There is no way to do the exercise incorrectly. Remember, the objective here is to improve your mood and create the feeling state of having the love, connection, peace, etc. that you desire. Nothing exists outside you. If the person you cared about really did reach out, they didn’t generate your feelings of joy and being loved for you. Those feelings came from inside you, in response to whatever the person did to show you they care.
Since you can generate any feeling for yourself with the aid of your imagination, what I’m suggesting is not to wait for the outside stimuli to trigger that response.
All it takes to create a difference and that strong current of positivity within yourself is a few seconds, preferably every day, or as often as you can.
Please give yourself permission to stop holding that “thing” over yourself, using it to berate yourself for any past mistakes or justify why you cannot love yourself. You can be the person you want to be right now. We’ve all done things we regret – it’s very human and part of why we’re here – but you have a chance to be the person you want to be immediately. All it takes is a shift in your mindset.