“It’s OK to not be OK.”
Learning to be OK when others are not OK is something that does not come to us naturally. It is something we must gradually grow into. In order to do that we need to understand the various components from last week’s story about Bill and Sandy (please go back and refresh your memory). This week we shall look at the power of silence and inactivity.
With the children gone and the tyranny of the urgent at bay, Bill’s world suddenly became quiet. With the absence of distractions Bill’s emotions and thoughts had room to emerge into his consciousness where they suddenly took center stage in Bill’s mind. Faced with potential health and career losses, he was cast into a worried, depressed, and preoccupied mood. We need quiet times to allow our minds and bodies to catch up with one another. For it is then that we can process the decisions that need to be made as well as the corresponding emotions for which we need to seek comfort and support.
Many of us however are terrified of our own emotions so we keep ourselves busy and distracted to prevent ourselves from feeling. The result? Suppressed feelings leak out in our bodies in the form of illnesses, conditions or syndromes. Stuffed emotions can also be responsible for anxiety, depression, phobias, obsessions, compulsions and the world’s most favorite stress reliever… addictions. By letting himself go into a dark and pensive mood, Bill was facing what was in his mind and emotions. Instead of avoiding, he allowed himself to sit in his pain. Processing and sorting out all of the issues takes a good deal of time is physically tiring, hence the need for a mid-day nap.
The one thing Bill could have done to improve the relational outcomes between he and Sandy would have been to give her a context for his quietness. Simple statements like “I’m worried and preoccupied about my job and my health. I need some time to process my thoughts and feelings and I will talk with you later when I feel ready to engage.” With that, Sandy would have had a context for Bill’s not being OK and though disappointed that their fun day was gone, she could relax and not panic realizing Bill’s withdrawal was not personal.
More next week!
Thanks for listening,
Milan & Kay