I’ve got a close, personal relationship with emotional black holes.
Perhaps you do too. I feel badly for all of us who have been stuck.
There was a time in my life when I was stuck in one prolonged black hole.
I didn’t like anything about my life. Where I lived, who I lived with, or what I was doing. I would wake up in the night and look in the mirror, and I hated what I saw. This period seemed to last for ages, and if I managed to claw out for awhile, I would be back in a flash.
As you’ve probably found reading self-help books or listening to motivational gurus, that stuff only helps for a brief moment, then it’s back. The slide down.
I have some of those things you can do too, that will ease your suffering. They take your mind off it awhile, help you get back to the business of living.
But the problem is, they don’t fix anything. They are temporary fixes.
That’s because these helps only address the surface. Like how to make a goal to train or to think positively. Most people stay only here, at the surface.
And they all say the same thing: I feel like I go right back to where I was, feeling bad. I’m still the same person. Nothing changes.
Feeling better in the short term
Make a Decision
It starts with a decision to change. This means recognizing that emotional states are a choice, and you can make a different choice whenever you want.
Taking responsibility for how you feel is what allows you to feel something different.
This was a hard lesson for me, and it still takes daily practice.
Shift your Focus
What do you focus on?
When I feel the worst, I also focus on the worst in life. What I hate, what I wish was different, what people did to me, how unfair everything is.
This type of thinking takes away your personal power. Take it back!
Instead, try these questions…
- What can I learn?
- What fun can I create?
- How can I make the present moment more enjoyable?
Decide what you want and go after it with a vengeance, otherwise you just drift. And the drift brings unhappiness.
Find a purpose, whether it’s something to learn, someone to serve, a reason to get up and take steps toward a goal. It helps.
As I look back at the dark times in my life and what made the difference, there is one thing that really stands out besides the inner work, and that is the outer work.
Action is a balm on your spirit. It moves you, it makes you feel like you are going somewhere, and it gets you out of your head where the pain is.
Reach into the cookie jar and pull out one of your wins. Remind yourself of what you have done and who you are. It can help in a bad situation.
Helping yourself out for good
If you want real freedom from emotional holes, then you have to go deep inside and start taking care of your wounds you’ve left to scar over.
You must discover what the pain is and let it out of your heart and mind. Like most of us, you are scared and have fear lurking in your dark corners. That fear is what tells you that you aren’t worthy and don’t matter.
It’s not enough to tell yourself not to listen to it, that will only get you so far before you slide back in. You have to shine the light on your dark corners. You have to be honest with yourself in a way that most of us never are.
You must face that fear.
You need to look it straight on and do what you are afraid of.
You have to make yourself understand that there is nothing to be afraid of except disappointing yourself by not living to your potential. This is the only fear that matters.
I’ve got my own bag of fears.
One of them is that I have to be totally reliant on myself, in every way. That’s the truth for all of us. You must do it yourself. But it scares me so that I hide, and that causes me more pain. For me it’s realizing no one completes me, and I can’t just do things for people so they like me better. It’s scary to just be what I am. But I must if I want to grow, if I want to discover the beauty within myself and what I can become.
There is no escape from this if you want to find the beauty and freedom inside.
One by one you have to go through the things in yourself you don’t want to see. You have to look in the mirror and see what is wrong and fix it.
The work goes on for a lifetime, but it’s worth it because it makes you strong and fearless. It lets you be yourself and love your life as it is.
There are plenty of ways to get yourself out of an emotional hole. The best thing is to simply find a way to get out of your head and find a purpose and get to work on it.
Most people stay at this point. They distract themselves from the darkness inside instead of illuminating it. But there is the freedom in doing that, a beauty and peace that can’t be attained any other way.