Those of us who have ever humiliated ourselves publicly know that the worst part of such humiliation goes beyond the moment the event unfolded and carries over into the thoughts that haunt us the days, weeks and months following the incident.
This is because the human mind possesses the splendidly sinister gift of repetition. It grasps onto a notable experience and replays it over and over again, triggering within us the same feelings that swirled through our bodies during the incident. Consequently, an embarrassing moment becomes the mind's point of interest and we experience the same uncomfortable feelings on replay long after the moment took place.
Interestingly enough, these feelings don't want to stick around for long. They are like UPS postmen, arriving to drop off a package and then go on their merry way. We are the ones who grab these poor messengers by the ankles, refusing to let them leave the premises.
Feelings carry with them important messages for us, and like the dutiful messengers they are, they won't leave our bodies until we hear out what it is they have to tell us.
The first step in clearing the passageway for these feelings to move through is to stop and closely observe them. Then we can silently communicate with these sensations, asking "what is it that I am needing in this moment?".
From there we can observe what comes up and work with what we have readily available to satisfy our needs. This can be as simple as cheering ourselves on with a few kind words in a moment of anxiety about an upcoming event or offering ourselves compassion for an embarrassing incident of the past.
Keep in mind that our feelings, regardless of how biting and merciless they may seem, truly want to escape from us as badly as we want to kick them to the curb. However, these feelings are present for a reason and they will not vacate until we acknowledge them. By failing to acknowledge our feelings, we are essentially blocking the exit and making it impossible for them to leave. Why not instead give these feelings the acknowledgement they are asking for and eagerly show them to the door so we can both get on to better things?
Conscious Ink Staffer
Amanda Brown is a wellness blogger and a member of the Conscious Ink Team at our home office in Bend, OR. She is passionate about helping people find peace with where they are at while pursuing their best, most fulfilling lives. For more of her work, you can head over to her blog at www.liminalwellness.com.