You have no control to change things, and deep down you know this, and yet you may still wish, hope and wonder all the “what If’s”. Things you could do or not do, what they could change to make it better or what It needs to be in the end. Everything would just be so perfect, if only …
Unfortunately, all the obsessing and worrying means we are struggling with boundaries and are finding it difficult to come to acceptance about what is. The boundaries show us what is not our business to change, and therefore out of our control. The reality may just feel too real, too overwhelming, with tons of meaning attached. If we are reliant upon someone else changing in order for life to be different, this can feel overwhelming. Because that means we would need to trust them, and if we’ve been burned before that may be hard if not impossible. This is the most important part, and the more tragic or life-altering the outcome, the deeper meaning it has, ending with the ultimate feeling we will not be able to survive it. We are so attached to the idea that we can make it different.
You Struggle to Grieve. It’s so vulnerable to imagine surrendering, to feel that helpless or hopeless. Our resistance comes from not allowing ourselves to feel, to sit in our feelings, and know that we will be ok. Instead we feel like we might implode, overwhelmed by the unknown that awaits, and clinging to what once was. We have no template from early years about how to sit in deep emotions and work through them. We also may be disconnected from those parts of ourselves because we deep down don’t accept ourselves. There is too much old shame that needs healing. Unearned guilt as well.
You Lack Healthy Support. What or who do we grab onto if we let go? I’ve noticed we wait until there is healthy support around us, especially folks we feel are grounded and strong enough to hold us together when we are falling apart. Humans don’t do vacuums well. In my years as a therapist and coach, I have never witnessed a client do the deeper work until things were calmer and they had loving support. We need to also feel we have acceptance and emotional safety with them. There is no judgment, intrusion into our grief work, or expectations. There is simply empathy and truth wrapped in love. We can take our time and walk through the maze – and not feel alone.
You Are Tied Up in the Perfect and the Binary. Being open to different possibilities can feel too trusting, too vulnerable, and maybe you’ve been burned by opening yourself up before. Perhaps to the wrong person or the right one yet something bad happened. Therefore it feels safer to have and keep things “just so”, in neat boxes that you have some mental control over. For example, others must accept everything you’re asking them for and provide no argument as to why not. They are not allowed to be mad at you too, and should actually be happy you brought it up. Nope. Usually when we confront someone or ask for what we need, it may be more complicated. They may need stuff from us to give us that or other messiness that calls for some working through. Real life is messy and interwoven most days. This can seem overwhelming if you are not sure how to be ok with that.
I believe there is a continuum of all of this, and we can figure out where we reside. The more we struggle with control, the harder it is to come to acceptance. The closer we can get to working through the grief work, of not avoiding the struggle to accept what is, the more peace we will find.