I have a wonderful graphic designer, Kimb, who has done a fantastic job with CopingUniversity.com, DVD, etc. She lives in Canada and we have become close through our endless e-mails, even though we have never heard each others’ voices! (Ain’t technology grand?)
She recently wrote to tell me that she had lost a huge chunk of her income and then she said something that I thought was remarkable enough to share with all of you: “I’m going to spend today wallowing about it and then tomorrow try and figure out a way to work through it.”
Atta boy, girl!
This is significant for several reasons. First, she is recognizing the loss and giving herself permission to feel bad about it. How often do you allow yourself this luxury? I think that most of us tend to try to blast through the grief or stress or whatever it is and fix the problem as soon as possible. That’s not a good way to go, though, because you don’t give yourself the time you need to express the emotions that you feel. It is similar to my description of “Balloon Syndrome,” except that now we are talking about a different type of stressor.
We’ve all had “a good cry” and although it isn’t pleasant, we feel better afterward. Kimb’s attitude is the same concept, and whether her idea of “wallowing” includes crying or not, the principle is the same: give yourself time to feel your feelings. When something makes you sad or unhappy, crying (or some other expression) is a good thing because it gets the emotion out of your system.
I think it’s also important that she has given herself “permission” to feel badly. When things like this happen, we tend to think that we “should” be strong and brave. It isn’t always easy to react that way, though, and she has taken the pressure off by telling herself that she WILL be brave and strong, but just not right away.
The third reason I like this attitude is the time limit. Kimb decided she would give herself one day and then work on the problem. My guess is that’s all she’ll need. The point is that by giving herself a time limit, she allows closure to whatever it is.