I'm sitting in a workshop and the presenter says, "visualize yourself in the running blocks at the starting line on a track...... (he has us really picture this, and we all feel ready to run when he says) on your marks, get set...." and that's it-- he stops speaking. There is a long silence and the room is pregnant with desire for one simple word: "GO!" Which the presenter did not say. He did this again and completed it saying, "on your marks, get set, go." And the room felt significantly different and relieved from the pressure of the incomplete action pattern.
When we have an incomplete action pattern we remain stuck, just like being in the starting blocks ready to run and can't. The drive for the completion is such a strong urge that it returns again and again, even when we don't want it to. Typically, people tend to avoid or suppress this urge for completion and resolution because the feelings are uncomfortable and it just seems like an annoyance that resurfaces from time to time. Since there's brief relief in how you manage to push it out of your awareness this becomes the predominant pattern that recapitulates carrying emotional pain forwards rather than enabling healing and resolution.
How do we heal emotional pain:
Step 1: learn to become resilient and present because no one can heal their pain when they are checked out, numb or avoiding their challenges. We all do it, but this won't work for healing.
Step 2: Agree to take it on and explore the unresolved pain and explore everything you can about the pain: your thoughts, feelings, sensations and beliefs about yourself surrounding the pain. (If you didn't have the power to change the situation in the past, you can face that and realize you can change your reactions to it today.) There are situations we can't go back and change, but we don't have to keep it living rent free in our bodies either, continually knocking at the door, arising again and again looking for resolution.
Step 3: follow the sensations in your body as you allow space for whatever arises, including any self judgements or criticisms, no matter how uncomfortable it is to allow space for the uncomfortable feelings. This is important as you agreed with yourself and decided to face it and take it on, stay with it as long as necessary, even though uncomfortable. Dr. Brown says emotional intensity rarely lasts longer than 6 seconds at it's peak.
Step 4: When you closely track your bodily sensations and hold all the above pieces together in your mind, and body you allow an opportunity for healing, the action patterns needed to complete and heal have an opportunity to do so and no longer remain stuck.
As 2020 draws to a close, so many of us have felt "stuck" in our circumstances, lives, losses and homes. Will you decide to take on the unresolved pain as you turn towards 2021 and start a new year?
Will you follow the steps above and allow yourself to move forwards?
I hear people say, "I get in my own way." This might be true, but getting out of one's own way can be out of awareness. Awareness is your most powerful tool for getting unstuck.
As 2021 approaches how will you reorganize yourself? Societally, we are being called to make change, 2020 has brought significant changes that have touched all our lives and each and everyone of us can take the reins and complete the next steps as powerful change agents in our own lives.
Wishing you the best in 2021.