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Self-awareness: Learning to navigate this ebb and flow of life

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

We are such creatures of habits. When our schedules and/or routines get out of whack, our bodies feel the shift and the edge of comfort gets stretched a little. Even when we don’t have the verbage to describe what it is, our body can feel the funk. We get easily agitated and annoyed with just about anything. For example, this morning I was upset because the toddlers did not put away their toys. I gave the teenagers the eye when they spoke out of turn. I was irritated because my husband took too long in the shower. You get my gist.

I knew something...

From experience, I knew something was off and that I was not in-flow. You see, something unexpected happened the last two weeks that pushed my edge of comfort a bit. But I put my head down and I focused on all the good things that came out of it and it was fine...until it’s NOT.

Something triggered me from my conversation with my husband, and I snapped. This time though, I removed myself from the situation and looked at it as an observer--like a third person witnessing the conversation--seeing myself snapped and my husband being so surprised. Something was off. My reaction to what was said was really out of proportion. It made me pause to reexamine what was going on.

Movement always helps...

I excused myself and went for a walk. Movement always helps me move through tough emotions. I ask some tough questions on that walk to get to the bottom of it. Questions that challenge my ego’s need to preserve itself.

The walk gave me time to process, allowing myself to feel any emotions that came up and see where the associated sensations were in my body. I realized that I hadn’t allowed the negative emotions to move through. In my case, I felt like I had to be ok with this new forced change. I have people relying on me. I don’t get to do things for me right now. I felt cheated and unappreciated.

When emotions don’t get expressed or validated, they become stuck energy. Remember, emotions are “energy in motions.” When you allow it to pass, then most likely it wouldn’t come to a head and explode in other ways that’s not productive or inducive of building connection.

As I said before, we resist change so much because it takes more energy for us to navigate something new that our mind now has to put in more effort into making new synapsis and forge new neural pathways. But much to our dismay, we humans need to have these changes and this discomfort in order to gain new skills, to adapt and to be more flexible. Believe it or not, we yearn for growth as human beings because that’s how we become better and thrive. And growth can only be earned when we work through the icky-ness and get to the other side of that pain. If we resist the lesson, then the Universe will just serve you another one but dressed in another costume or another situation. And when we resist trying new things because we are accustomed to staying comfortable, eventually the complacency will set in leading us feeling stuck or worse...unfulfilled.

Learning ...

Learning to navigate this ebb and flow of life and to be ok to experience all the emotions with compassion and grace is harder said than done. But why is it so hard? Have we ever stopped to wonder that it’s only difficult because we imprison ourselves in this construct that our mind made up about what we think is acceptable or not? Social norms have a lot of influence on what’s considered acceptable with just about anything: how we should act, talk, dress, feel, parent, and so on.

What if we break free from all of said construct and accept that our ONLY job on this planet is to allow our Soul-- the Being inside this meat suit, which is eternal and expansive with infinite potential--to have a human experience and to observe all of the situations and feel all the emotions and sensations without any attachment to how it should be? Wouldn’t that be so freeing?

Remember, Love yourself fiercely. Give yourself the love and the grace you deserve. Model what it looks like to give yourself permission to feel. Be the permission slip for your children to navigate their feelings without judgement and shame.

If you want to discuss it further, I would love to hear your perspective.

Dr. Thuy Tran, O.D.

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