Show Them the Door

You find an uninvited man standing in your living room.

He’s not saying or doing anything.

Just standing there.

What do you do?

 

Do you pretend that there is no man standing in your living quarters as you go about your daily life denying that he is there?

Do you insist that there shouldn’t be a man there and persist in your assertions even as he stands there?

Do you try to convince yourself that there isn’t a man there, that maybe it’s just a trick of the light?

Do you talk yourself into believing that it’s not a man even if it looks and acts just like one?

Do you consciously ignore the man hoping that he will get the message and just go away?

Do you distract yourself from thinking about the man with an afternoon cocktail or endless work?

Do you attack the man in anger, trying to beat him into oblivion?

Or, do you approach the man and engage in conversation to determine who he is and what he wants?

 

Which approach do you think will lead to the most favorable outcome?

 

Now, go through that same exercise again only, this time, the man is your negative feelings – your pain, your anger, your shame, your guilt. He embodies it all.

Do you pretend that there are no feelings as you go about your daily life denying that they are there?

Do you insist that there shouldn’t be feelings there and persist in your assertions even as they stand there?

Do you try to convince yourself that there are no feelings there, that maybe it’s just a trick of the mind?

Do you talk yourself into believing that it’s not pain/anger/shame/guilt even if it looks and acts just like it?

Do you consciously ignore the feelings hoping that they will get the message and just go away?

Do you distract yourself from thinking about the feelings with an afternoon cocktail or endless work?

Do you attack the feelings in anger, trying to beat them into oblivion?

Or, do you approach the feelings and engage in conversation to determine what they are and what they want?

 

Which approach do you think will lead to the most favorable outcome?

 

Approach your negative feelings with curiosity.

Shake hands with them.

Learn where they come from and what they need to go away.

And once they’ve served their purpose, feel free to show them the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 Responses

  1. As a person living with Bipolar disorder for the past 25 years, I have intimate knowledge of my emotions. I used to try and beat them into submission using various methods, but they never taught me anything, never went away, and always came back. Nor could I simply ignore them as Bipolar disorder is by definition a mood disorder. So, I learned how to “talk” to them. I am still learning how to hold positive “conversation” with my feelings. But, that would be my approach since I have tried others and failed.

    Excellent post!! Very thought provoking 🙂

  2. Audrey says:

    This brought me to tears. Thank you.

  3. gratefulgill says:

    Reblogged this on gratefulgill and commented:
    Awesome exercise! Thank you.

  4. This was so connected to what I was and continue to feel.

  5. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS GREAT INSIGHT. IT HAS OPENED MY EYES TO A NEW WAY OF THINKING

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