Encouragementology

Purging Toxic Feelings, Forgiving and Letting Go

March 30, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show….we are letting it go, releasing the bad, and purging our toxic feelings. These feelings might be right at the surface bubbling up on a daily basis or they could be buried deep, accumulating throughout our lifetime - either way, they got to go! No more will we let negativity take root and affect our day-to-day causing us to doubt ourselves and the people we encounter. No more will we be burdened by regret blaming ourselves for past, present, or future. Today we are taking ownership of the next step in our lives and choosing to follow a new path. A new path of understanding and awareness and a new path to power. The power to forgive and let go, unshackling us to become something new.

So let’s be real, do you need a reminder to purge toxic feelings? Do I need to dedicate a show and initiate and explore forgiving and letting go? The fire is hot, it burns your finger, you pull your hand back. Should this be a natural response to all things which are bad for us? Oh boy, that does make perfect sense but for whatever reason, it’s not that easy. I don’t know that we intentionally seek out the bad, rolling around in the stink like a precocious puppy. But nevertheless, it’s all around us and hard to dodge on a daily basis. Sometimes it feels as if we are on our backs floating aimlessly in a sea of negativity. Rising with the swells and being sucked under by the current coming up barely able to get our breath. 

Do we really have a choice? Or is it easier to adopt the mantra “If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em”? Let’s look at the pros and cons from every angle. It isn’t just a matter of letting in negativity, listening, and even repeating. What happens when negativity takes root? How does it change us and our lives? Can a sunny disposition solve your problems or could it prevent you from being present and walking through the hard times?

What if we said no, deal with what we were already carrying around, let go freeing ourselves, and moved on. Then what? 

Elizabeth Scott, MS, is the author of "8 Keys to Stress Management." She shares the effects toxic feelings can have on us in an article she wrote for verywellmind.com: How Negative Emotions Affect Us

Managing Negative Emotions

Negative Emotions vs. Positive Emotions

Even Positive Emotions Have Downsides

A technique, outlined in research by Ceri Sims, has the acronym TEARS of HOPE. Here's what this entails….just to get you started:

Tears

T - Teach and learn: This means to embrace self-awareness and increase personal knowledge of your body and mind, and how they are responding to stress and other emotional states. This allows you to understand when you are upset and why, and be better able to interpret the signals your body is sending.

E - Express and enable sensory and embodied experiences: This one sounds a little more complicated but it simply involves encouraging openness and curiosity within yourself to increase your acceptance of what comes….listen to the show for the rest!

It really is all about balance. I used to be so black and white, hot or cold, yes or no.  But now I see the gradient and strive to live in its balance. But could someone really be too positive? Too happy? That seems like something only a pessimist would say but when you step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s really unrealistic for even the most optimistic person not to have a bad day.

How you pull yourself out of the dumps and over the humps can make all the difference in the world.

Samara Quintero, LMFT, CHT, and Jamie Long, PsyD give us their insight in an article for thepyscologygroup.com: Toxic Positivity: The Dark Side of Positive Vibes

While there is certainly something to be said for having a sunny disposition on life, it’s also possible to overdose on the sickeningly sweet nectar of platitudes such as “everything is awesome!”

They explore:

Shame

Suppressed emotions

Isolation

Relational problems

I spoke with someone the other day who was going through some tough trials on their journey. As you know I’m a visual thinker and speaker so I shared some visualization that helps me. Sometimes in life, you are overwhelmed with the pressures all around you - I liken it to being in the jungle hacking your way through with a machete. Imagine a dense jungle where you can’t see anything in front of you but what presents itself to be directly in your way. HACK HACK HACK. Now, imagine you can crawl up to a higher vantage point. Look down at your life with the perspective of an aerial view over a mouse maze. You can see where you’ve come from, where you are going, and any pitfalls in your way. You can also see the sheer size and scope of what you’re dealing with. Wouldn’t this type of perspective be invaluable? 

To help you gain this vantage point I like to think of my heart and soul as being unmeasured by this world. Inherent to me it is what makes me unique and distinct. My heart and soul will not be undone but will live above the trials of this world forever. My body is my flesh and it is susceptible to the pain of my journey. It must endure my trials and power through but it can be broken and will eventually be no more. This is the difference between the mouse maze and the machete. 

Psychologist Nick Wignall shares How to Change Negative Thinking Patterns for Good - A Beginner’s Guide to Cognitive Restructuring - in an article he wrote for medium.com

STEP 1: Hit the pause button.

STEP 2: Identify the trigger.

STEP 3: Notice your automatic thoughts.

STEP 4: Identify your emotional reaction and note how intense it is.

STEP 5: Generate alternative thoughts.

STEP 6: Re-rate the intensity of your emotional response.

CHALLENGE: As you strive to hit your balance in the gradient take an intentional approach to our day and become the gardener of your mind. You decide what is planted, what takes root, and what you harvest to share with others. Prune back or pull the invasive to make room for your goodness to bloom.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

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