Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Metaphorical Shelf

I realized this week that I have the ability to let things sit without obsessing over them or stuffing them down. It was liberating. I didn't even realize that was what I had done let alone that I had the power to do it. Let me tell you the story.

This has been an emotionally rough week for me. A lot going on, my did was in the hospital overnight and is hours away, LifeStar, a presentation to give, kid stuff at the school. I was very overwhelmed and emotionally on edge on Tuesday when this situation happened. In conversation with my husband we talked about his visit to his therapist (whom I know because we used to see him together) and he told me something that the therapist said that really hurt me. Later that night at LifeStar the same therapist said something to me that also upset me. I was surprised because he has never said or done ANYTHING remotely hurtful to me. He is one of the best sexual addiction therapists as far as I'm concerned. None the less, I was hurt. When we got home that night and had our checkin I told B about my feelings. I was still pretty upset by everything and this was just niggling at me. 

I asked B if he thought I was overreacting and I wanted an honest answer. He didn't want to hurt my feelings but he told me that he thought I probably was. I expressed to him that I was afraid of that and that I thought it was just me, because of how much care and concern the therapist has always shown us. I told him I was going to sit on this and think about it for a bit. I decided to reexamine it the next day and if my feelings were unchanged I'd wait another day and if I still felt the same way I'd decide how to address it.

What I realized today, when I was describing this to my own therapist, was that I had metaphorically put this situation on the shelf. The events were still there available to me, but they weren't front and center for me to obsess over or shoved to a dark corner to be ignored. I had essentially taken my hurt feelings and put them on the shelf to wait to be taken down twenty-four hours later. When I took them out the next day to process I realized that I didn't feel the same way and that I had indeed taken something internally that wasn't in fact intended to cause pain.

It was so freeing to be able to recognize that I had the control over my emotions and that in that moment they weren't controlling me. I didn't want to have negative feelings for my husband's therapist because of the amazing work he has done with both myself and my husband. I was able to stop and reexamine the situation after I had some distance from it. 

I'm honestly surprised that in that moment I had the where-with-all to stop and evaluate instead of reacting. I credit that entirely to my Heavenly Father and the fact that I have been seeking him out and listening for his guidance. He helped me to come up with a way to cope that was both beneficial and validating. I allowed myself the emotions without having them control me…I owned my story. 

I have feelings but I don't have to be controlled by them, it's liberating!

A little lighter today,


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