In a recent episode of The Overwhelmed Brain podcast, I talk about when to call it quits in a relationship. It’s probably not one of those feel good shows that everyone wants to hear. In fact, I received a message from someone who said it was a great episode and revealed some things in his relationship that might need to be addressed.
I felt good that I could bring value to his life but also a little bad that I could be seen as the bearer of bad news! After all, sometimes life goes by and you can be in happy denial until someone points out that something might be wrong.
It’s one of those: What you don’t know or think about won’t hurt you concepts.
But that’s not true is it? You may be happy staying in denial about something you suspect, but because of how denial works you will feel that underlayer of “bad” EVERY DAY, and it will slowly disintegrate you from the inside out.
I have an personal belief not backed up by a bunch of research that holding on to negativity of any sort (old emotional wounds, emotional pain, anger, sadness, resentment, guilt, shame… you name it) leads to physical illness and maybe even more serious things like cancer and other diseases.
I don’t want or even need to research this because it is a personal belief. In other words, a doctor could come up to me and tell me “You’re wrong. Cancer has many causes but negative emotions are not one of them” and I still would not change my belief. As an inquisitive person, you’d think I’d want as much scientific data to back up my belief as possible. But in this particular case, I don’t want anything refuting my belief.
Because this belief serves me.
Believing I could get ill or even dead by holding on to negative emotions or old emotional wounds motivates me to visit, process, and hopefully release the negativity that can make up that underlayer of “bad”.
If I didn’t have such a belief I may not be as encouraged to heal from emotional pain. After all, “They’re just emotions, not toxins or physical abuse or…” Right?
“Emotions can’t hurt you, that’s in your mind!”
I don’t subscribe to that line of thinking at all. I want to believe that when the bad feelings underneath are not addressed, they will manifest in physical form. For me, holding on to them is dangerous to my system.
With that said, you don’t have to believe what I believe. However, I encourage you to come up with beliefs that serve you so that you feel good more than you feel bad – or at least motivated to work on and improve yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to turn your back on the belief system you have now, it just means you can add to it and modify it to make it work for you.
This may not be a popular idea but I compare it to how Dave Ramsey (financial show host) thinks about getting out of debt:
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live and give like no one else”
I can apply that to almost anything in my life…
- It might mean I don’t grin and bear something just because that’s what most people would do
- It might mean I work with my emotional pain instead of repress it
- It might mean I speak my truth when others are too afraid to do so
It might mean I’ll do a lot of things differently than the rest of the world simply because I don’t want to stifle who I truly am. I may not be that way in every situation, but I will do it whenever I can.
I want you to live the most authentic, most “unrepressed” life possible so that later, you can love, live and give from a different place than others who might stay in denial, keep thoughts swallowed, and hold on to pain because they’re afraid to express it to anyone.
I know it’s not easy, but I also know that a baby step is better than no step at all.