The Emotional Roller Coaster. The constant ups and downs; extreme highs and the lowest of lows. You alternate between exhilarated and devastated; passionate and detached.
How did you get on the damn roller coaster in the first place?
YOU. Yep, sorry Girlfriend. You jumped on the ride. You got on the roller coaster all by yourself. How do I know? Because I did the same thing!
Did you realize that you had a choice to get ON and more importantly, that you hada choice or the power to get OFF? Remember the ruby slippers Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz? All along she had the power to return home. She just didn’t know how to access her power.
What are the warning signs that you ride the emotional roller coaster? The biggest red flag is that drama follows you everywhere. There are more subtle red flags too.
You laugh and cry in the same sentence.
You feel exhausted.
You give and give because it feels good but you’re now running on fumes.
You feel exhausted all the time.
it’s hard to focus or make decisions.
There is no time for you or for any fun.
What can you do to avoid the never ending roller coaster ride?
- Become aware.
- What story are you telling yourself? I bet it is not true!
- Let go of the past. You can go round and round with the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” but that serves no purpose, does it? It just burns your precious energy! Forgive yourself. You were doing the best that you could at the time.
- Avoid future jumping– wondering what is going to happen tomorrow, or ten days from tomorrow. The “what if’s”!!!! Be present in this moment right here, right now.
- Adjust your mindset and take care of yourself. When you run on an empty tank, your are more susceptible to being taken hostage by your emotions.
- Release yourself from meeting the expectations of others. How about releasing yourself from the reactions and approval of others too? ( Such a juicy topic! I want to delve into this one further on a future post.)
- Enforce healthy boundaries. Learn to say NO. And when you say no, mean it!
- Witness “the drama” with either curiosity or compassion. Trust me, this approach will unhook you from the emotionally — give you some breathing space!
It is easy to be addicted to drama because you want to feel important! You want to help! You might think that it is your responsibility to help or to serve. This is my biggest weakness. I couldn’t quite see that I had started to enable bad behavior. It is a HUGE and EASY trap to fall into!
Does the emotional roller coaster ride resonate with you? It is something you experience more with family or in the workplace? With friends? I’d love to hear how you detach yourself. What happened that finally gave you permission to get off the ride? Drop a note...
For many years when I to had to tackle a huge task, especially a stressful situation, I would resort to my super hero powers. I channeled something to the likes of Xena Warrior Princess. I’d have the grit and energy of a fierce mama bear protecting her cubs but I’d be glowing sexy hot donning a leather skirt and bikini top. Fighting for the greater good while kicking ass!
When I wasn’t channeling Xena, I comfortably fell into my other mode; the Gumby mode. Gumby was cute and flexible and a perfect shade of green. Gumby bends over backward with ease, happily putting others needs in front of his/her own. BUT when I became Gumby, I’d ultimately stretch myself too thin and become no good to anyone. Flexibility was a exhausting!
There was no middle mode or neutral gear. I was either Xena or Gumby or kinda of blank; lights on but no one home. Emotions were tucked away for another time because I had little time (or desire) to feel unsettled. It was quite exhausting to jump from one extreme to the other but I knew no other way. It wasn’t like my friends and I were talking about these things. We all had perfect lives; or so we thought.
Attention please: That was then and this is now. Xena and Gumby have been retired!
Giving myself permission to operate differently was the first step in this transformation. It required a leap of faith! I was venturing outside of a comfortable operating system and playing around with an unvalidated update! I had to believe that I had the capacity and the ability to deal with a wider range of emotions. I had to willingly sit with my emotions; even the ones that are uncomfortable. I vowed to remain openhearted and committed.
Happily I discovered that my new operating system included a super hero power which I affectionately call, “THE FORCE”. The force is like a blanket of reassurance which grounds me while at the same time, unveils a vast resource of possibility. I feel an energy surge around me, whispering “slow down”. I am able to weigh the options and remain authentic; objective and compassionate. I don’t have to become a warrior because my power is confident, quiet and as such is far more effective.
Is learning a new skill easy? Heck no. Operating in a new mode is like learning a new skill. It takes practice so I have to remind myself all the time to focus on my progress. I am not going to beat myself up striving for perfection. I allow myself to feel and there are times when I am overwhelmed so I have to take a break to refresh myself by not thinking or feeling anything at all. Other times I embrace the FORCE and let the whoop ass fly!
The Force helps me find WHAT IS TRUE. Isn’t that what really matters– the TRUTH?
I know, you are probably wondering...