How to get past the pain? Well, I have some new ideas from this wonderful (and expensive) life coach I am using, so I thought I would share. To set the stage, I’m feeling about as low as I can get, want to sleep all the time, so I don’t have to be conscious and face the pain, fear, anxiety of everyday life alone. My every thought is negative, worst case. For example, when I get a manicure, I think the nail tech is going to nick my cuticle, draw a tiny bit of blood and give me hepatitis. Yes, I do. This happens everywhere I turn.
On my call today, my coach asked me to draw a picture of my current life. It’s me in bed, still in my clothes, on a sunny day, with the blinds drawn, my face is blank, the world is going on happily and brightly without me, and I am regretting lying awake, wishing I could be unconscious. No one is around. No one is calling or emailing. No one knows what is happening in my empty life.
Then my coach takes me on an imaginary journey to visit me in my future. My future me is where I want to be a year from now. You could pick a different date. I am to imagine where I am living, what is before my eyes, what colors surround me, what sounds, what scents, whether I am alone, what is under my feet, what I am doing. I am to ask my future self how I managed to get to this happy place and what steps I had to take. Who is with me? What is the kitchen like in my new dwelling? What is my bedroom like? What sort of climate do I live in? What season is it on my visit? How do I feel and what do I look like--what is the expression on my face? What pictures are on the wall of my new life? My assignment is to draw this future. We did this journey as a meditation with her guiding me.
The details of this picture were not at all clear to me. I knew only a few things about it. There was laughter there and other people. There were several large colorful paintings I had painted in my light-filled living room, and the room looked like an art studio. I was not living with a lover, but I knew he was in my life and available to me, and I was physically aware of him and feeling fulfilled. I wasn’t sure if I was living in the house I am thinking of buying or not. I saw myself in the tropics and I don’t presently live there, so I think I was traveling some in my new life. I was sleek and more muscular than I am now. My hair was shiny and clean. I felt relaxed and awake.
I am going to paint the picture of that place next. She asked me to draw it and said stick figures are fine, but I am going to paint it in color. I am going to go there again as I meditate and see if it clarifies itself at all. This exercise was uplifting, and I’m told that continuing it by making it into a physical picture from a mental one will be worthwhile in helping me move toward it’s manifestation. What do I (we) have to lose by trying?
The second exercise she gave me was one, which shifts vocabulary. If you know you are "depressed," you might reframe it to "having a down day" or a "gray day." Similarly, if you are telling yourself you are feeling "fine", why not "marvelous"? Our vocabulary can alter our state of mind in subtle ways so we need to be careful how we talk to ourselves. Negative self-talk can be softened to something not quite so bad--and positive can be improved to something even better. It is unrealistic and unconvincing to try to tell yourself you are happy when you aren't at all, but a slight shift should be achievable. There is also nothing wrong with experimenting with this technique for 30 days or so to see if it improves your state of mind. Again, what do I (we) have to lose by trying?
I'm desperate to get better and I'm going for it. Care to join me? What do your pictures look like?
(this post was written by a member of the First Wives community - a private, network filled with caring, loving women who have each other's back like no other.