This is a follow up to last week’s blog post about putting upsetting things aside when you’re doing release work.
For some of us, imagery works well as suggested in that post. When you want to release something but can’t because it’s still bothering you, put it in a(n) (imaginary) box.
Other people, however, are really good at saying to themselves, “I’ll deal with it later,” and move on. Dealing with it later is putting it on pause or pressing the “hold” button. When you have to focus on your job or take care of the kids you can’t be worried about upsetting memories. In that case, dealing with it later is an excellent strategy. It allows you to compartmentalize and get on with your day. Now you can focus.
For some of us, dealing with it later is a skill that we have to learn because our minds often get stuck in circular thinking. Or busy brain as it’s also called. If compartmentalizing doesn’t come to you naturally, then bring in all of your resources to learn it. It’s a necessity to be able to function when troubled or upset.
Someday Never Comes
The down side of dealing with it later is sometimes we never do. Someday never comes. Since someday isn’t on the calendar, we continue to suppress it, conveniently forgetting about it. It’s locked away so tight that it’s never coming back out. The thing with suppressing it is it’s like a boomerang – it always comes back to get ya!
It may not come out right away and it may not come out in a way that you think, but it’s still there, lurking in the shadows undealt with. It can come out passive-aggressively in the form of snide comments or back-handed compliments or a million other ways. It can affect your health. It can take a toll on your relationships.
Or it can affect your overall quality of life.
Imagine if you chose to marry someone who was verbally abusive and stayed with him (or her) your entire life. To survive the trauma, you continually compartmentalized. You didn’t replay his awful comments in your head. You didn’t swipe at him the first chance you got. Instead of dealing with it later, you just forgot it all. Forgetting, compartmentalizing, was your way of coping. It’s a strategy and it worked. You survived.
The Price of Suppression
Something has to give, though, it always does. In this case it would be quality of life. Happiness was sacrificed to compartmentalize. I know this to be true because I know someone this has happened to. (not me)
This person traded joy for existing. While she may have always been nice and polite, I would never characterize her as happy or joyous. Her smiles were few and far between. Her humor was lacking. She wasn’t mean or cranky, don’t get me wrong. She was unhappy. She made her bed, now she had to lie in it. I’m certainly not condemning her but merely pointing out the outcome of a lifetime of compartmentalizing or not dealing with it.
While her health is good and her life is fine, she’s not intrinsically happy. On some level she knows she settled. That was what a lifetime of compartmentalizing got her. She survived, not thrived.
Surviving is a necessary tool. We all have to do it sometime even if it’s just surviving a bad movie. Surviving, by its very nature, is meant to be temporary. Cope until the threat is gone. In the person’s case above the threat was never removed from her life. As a result, she was in permanent survival mode. Therefore, she didn’t thrive. You can’t survive and thrive at once. They can’t co-exist. It’s like being hungry and full at the same time. That can’t happen. Our stomachs don’t work that way.
Because this person made peace with her choice her anger didn’t come out sideways. She wasn’t ill-tempered. She knew she made her bed and her choice was to lie in it. Credit to her she didn’t sit around bemoaning it. She just got on with it, using her compartmentalization skills. Her trade-off was her happiness, her inner quality of life.
Short-Term Use Only
Some of us just aren’t wired that way. We can’t compartmentalize our entire lives. In my opinion, that’s a good thing. While it’s a useful skill, in my book it’s not one to be used in the long-term for the same issue over and over. Dealing with it later is an excellent short-term coping mechanism, not a long-term strategy. If putting it in an imaginary box doesn’t work for you or compartmentalizing comes naturally to you, then use the “I’ll deal with it later” strategy for upsetting times. Put it away for later use.
When we pull it out of the box, when we decide it’s time to un-compartmentalize it, that’s when it’s time to bring in the healing and release work. Now you can let those uncomfortable memories surface. Work with them to take the “sting” out of them. Release the blocked energy. That’s what release work is truly about.
While we can never fully erase painful memories, even those locked away tightly, we can remove the uncomfortable feelings around them. That’s when they no longer hurt us. If you keep them locked away forever by consistent compartmentalizing, that’s when they do hurt you. Take the woman above in the example. Her health is great, her life is fine. She has coped her way through, but at the expense of true happiness.
If you want joy in your life or even just peace of mind, then it’s time to do some release work to let go of the painful past. It’s hard to experience true joy or peace when the past is lurking around in the background, even if it’s buried and covered up. Dig it up, look at it, then don’t re-bury it. Let it go.
That’s the true secret of unlocking your past to experience an even better future.
How do you know if you’ve over-compartmentalized? How do you know if you’re just surviving and not thriving? Sometimes that’s obvious, sometimes it’s not.
Ask your intuition.
Do you have intuition? How do you know?
Do you have it but aren’t sure you’re hearing it?
Let me show you how.
If you want to confirm that you have it, learn how to listen to it, how to talk to it and how to trust it start by CLICKING HERE.
Once you start listening to your intuition, you’ll be amazed how much your life clicks into place. Then you can truly start enjoying yourself and get what you want out of life!
CLICK HERE to find out more!