Beware of the Snooze Button
Why do we use alarm clocks? Most of us need one to wake us up in the morning. It is a safety precaution ensuring we will rise and shine and get to work on time. Some of us toy with destiny, pressing the snooze button, “give me just a few more minutes!” we plead to the mechanical device on our bedside table. On rare occasions, we shut the darn thing off and decide to screw the day, “forget you, I’m laying in bed today,” as we roll over throwing caution in the wind.
Many personal growth types, like myself, talk about how grand life is living positively. And in the second breath, you will hear us proclaim that the negative needs to come out, we must not stuff our feelings. Which is right? How can we be positive when we are feeling angry? How does it work?
I wondered about this juxtaposition myself for a long time during my sojourn to self-love, happiness, and contentment. What to do with the “uglies” I like to call them. I remember as I wrote my affirmations and gratitudes in my journal every morning and night, I felt like I needed another journal for my uglies. I could not bear to taint my happy journal with the stuff I was trying to rid myself of.
One day on my morning mountain hike, the answer came to me. I have written about it before, and you can find threads of it in many of my blogs. The concept is worth repeating and discussing from many angles and perspectives. In my journey to freedom, I discovered that the truths set before me from countless spiritual / self growth teachers were all saying the same message but in their own unique way. I believe we need these kinds of truths to be repeated and to appear to us in just that manner, many different ways and many different times, until one day we wake up or go on a hike and the truth takes residence in our heart.
In my 10 Steps to Greatness Journal that you can find in the various app stores, the first step is Awareness. It is in this pivotal moment where the answer lies. It is here where we acknowledge, “I am angry.” We are aware of, acknowledge and feel it. This is an amazing vital step. The mere recognition of the negative emotion validates it. In the second breath, it almost immediately begins to disappear, or lessen. What follows is a detrimental choice: do I hang onto this anger, letting it settle in my being, letting it manifest in ugly ways; most likely outwardly toward others who do not deserve it, and most unfortunately create yucky weight in my own soul? Or, do I let it go; do I allow it to facilitate change, movement in a positive direction, possibly a conversation with someone, or forgiveness toward myself or someone else?
Why did I start this missive talking about alarm clocks? Because I like to think of our emotions as alarms. They are real and important and are alerting us to action. With the buzzer going off, the emotion we are feeling, we have a decision to make. We can acknowledge it, and then turn it off and get up and ready for the world. Or, we can press the snooze button, lay in the misery of the negative emotion for awhile, not doing anything about it. When we rollover and say screw it, we are typically stuffing the emotion deep down in our soul because it is too painful too confront. Unfortunately, when we allow those negative emotions to stay there, they turn into really ugly things. Sadness begins as sadness, but left in snooze and beyond, it can turn into depression. The cycle becomes pretty clear at this point. It can continue to go deeper and deeper into our soul, wreaking all kinds of painful, life debilitating havoc.
Please understand, I have great compassion for those with buried emotions. There are genetic predispositions and horrific life experiences that can seem mighty unfair and impossible to overcome. I cannot dissect or make sense of it all completely. I am not here to judge or decide who has it rougher or tougher. I can only share my own experience. Hopefully the person who needs it, will read it, and be inspired to be motivated to attempt positive change. I have overcome recurring suicidal tendencies, xanax addiction, and very low self-worth. My Grandfather died from shock treatments due to depression. Alcoholism decorates both sides of my families histories. I consciously made a decision, that would not be my fate. I would beat it. I have relentlessly pursued self-love (a healthy well being) with fierce determination. The snooze button has dust on it. I get up when the alarm goes off and I seek support when feeling shaky.
Every time an alarm goes off, may it be a reminder to recognize our emotions. How am I feeling?
Above all else, we offer compassion to ourselves and others not condemnation. We are meant to offer support, compassion, and love.
Release to Unleash!
Did thoughts on acknowledging negative emotions offer insight?