This morning, my son's first act upon waking up was to shout, "Yeah!" Oh, to be six years old again. He was just *that* excited about it being "Valentime's Day." Valentine's Day. It's a holiday that seems to bring giddy excitement to most young children each year. What could be more exciting than having a Party during school where receiving candy is the main focus?! I think the jury's still out on whether the holiday brings more excitement than anxiety or disappointment to adults.
I, on the other hand, woke up in much the same manner I usually do. My biggest excitement planned for the day was to attend my kids' school parties. My kids are with us tonight and it is a Tuesday and a school night, after all. Nothing special. In fact, my husband spaced out even getting me a card this year. (He'll be annoyed that I mentioned that in the blog... ) He's been job hunting for the past several weeks and had been hoping to get some good news today, which didn't end up happening. It's really been consuming him and he has a tendency to "hyperfocus," so I suspect he hadn't really thought about the fact that today was Valentine's Day. Yet, I didn't mention the lack of card here because I'm sad or hurt. Luckily for him "receiving gifts" isn't my primary love language... and my birthday happened to be last week, so his efforts for that are carrying over to this week. I mentioned it mainly to introduce the issue of "letting go," which is something I've been thinking about and working on a lot lately. I've tried unsuccessfully, to get my husband to "let go" of the stress related to the job search. Thankfully, I've been more successful with my own "letting go" lately.
Let me explain. Back in November/December, I was taking a Couples Relationship Coaching class and my instructor (Susan) introduced us to a number of techniques we could offer our clients that might help with "issues" they were struggling to overcome in their relationships. I have to admit, several of the techniques were a little "far out" for me - several feet outside of my comfort zone as a psychologist with a strong research background. After Susan introduced "tapping" I started to zone out a bit and so I wasn't fully tuned in to the discussion on The Sedona Method. Yet, not one to dismiss outright any strategies that might help someone, I did go back and review the audio recordings of those classes I'd tuned out initially. I decided that The Sedona Method was something that intrigued me and so I looked into it in more depth.
Surprisingly (to me), I was really drawn in by what I learned about the Method. It's a deceptively "simple" concept, yet so difficult for people to achieve. The gist is that the key to finding joy/peace/happiness/etc in your life is to recognize that there are many things in your life that you need to "let go" or "release." The key to letting go, according to the Sedona Method is that you must first WELCOME the feelings, thoughts, and or memories that are troubling you. Ah, now there is the kicker! So many of us spend a lot of time and energy trying NOT to think or feel things as a primary way of coping with uncomfortable experiences. The emphasis of this technique is that you must first let the feelings, etc really come in to your awareness before you can actually let go or release them. Yet, people resist this all the time. I had resisted it myself for years. In my childhood family, there was no support or comfort in expressing emotions so I just learned to keep them in and, eventually, to keep them out - of my awareness. In the therapy room, I was skillful at helping my clients to identify and cope with their emotions, thoughts, and memories - while I myself was quite unskilled at identifying and expressing my own emotions and beliefs. This did not serve me well in many of my past relationships and was particularly destructive in my first marriage.
Since my divorce, the challenges of "co"-parenting with someone who isn't much interested in "co"-anything with me has been overwhelming at times. Periodically, I have been flooded with feelings about the potential negative impact of this dynamic on our children. I obsessed about things I had absolutely no control over (conflicts over various parenting-related issues, etc). There were many times when my anxiety tore me up inside and distracted me from the things in my life I held so dear: my children, my relationship, my work, and so on. I knew plenty of strategies for "coping" with these things from my work as a psychologist. Yet none of these strategies helped me feel much better about the situation with my ex. In the last two months, since I've been learning more about the Sedona Method, I've truly found a way to release so many of these issues that have been plaguing me regarding my ex. Truly. New issues crop up regularly, but I finally feel like I've got them in check. To add to the mix, being married to a man with a teenage daughter and a tween daughter brings along with it many things I need to "let go." Some days I'm more successful at it than others. But lately, I've been feeling a little "lighter," a little happier, and noticeably less burdened. Thanks Susan!