Regardless of how much work we do on ourselves, there can be times when the old patterns emerge and we react in a less than positive way. When we think of how long we spend being conditioned and developing belief systems, it makes sense that things may trigger us into behaving in old familiar ways. After all, our brains are wired to take the path of least resistance when familiarity strikes.
Your crazy can come out for various reasons. What I mean by crazy is getting caught up a victim mentality, irrational anger, feeling like the whole world is against you, a sense of doom and gloom, and an increased sense of need to fight or run. Perhaps you’re feeling like somebody is doing you wrong and you want to place the blame on them. “How dare you make me feel this way?!” A lot of times this is our own dark side projecting onto another person. It’s an inner turmoil – ego vs. heart thing you have going on and it might be showing up in the way that someone else is treating you. It might also just be your perception of their intentions in their actions and they really don’t even realize that they’re triggering you. I’m not saying that it’s okay for others to treat you like shit or that it’s always something inside of yourself. Rather, it’s an opportunity to see those areas where you may be blocked due to past experiences and limiting beliefs and also an opportunity to react to the circumstances differently.
Think about how your brain works – certain smells, sounds, songs, even, can take us to a place in our memory. A lot of times these can be good memories! The smell of buttertarts reminds me of my Nan and how much I adored her. The song Riverboat Fantasy reminds me of my brother singing loud and proud at backyard parties when we were young. Alternatively, I can also dredge up some not so great memories when I smell certain types of alcohol or hear certain phrases.
It’s important to not spend so much time on the looking at the “why is this happening” that you miss the learning and growth that is being offered to you. Sometimes our ego keeps us in that searching for the root cause place in order to keep us from feeling our way through it. It is my belief that we are all here to learn life lessons. I believe that people and situations are put in place by a power greater than us to ensure that we learn the lessons we set out to before we got here. When we don’t “get the lesson”, they’ll keep repeating in various ways until we do. In my experience, the situations get more intense the longer I don’t get it – it’s like a universal baseball bat to the head!
When you start down a path of self awareness, all kinds of things can come up! We start to recognize patterns in the way we think, feel, and react to different circumstances that crop up in our lives. Once we become aware of these, it’s much easier to recognize our crazy. For me, at least, I wouldn’t recognize how I was negatively reacting until long after the fact. By that time, it was usually water under the bridge and some damage had been done – both to myself and any other person that was subjected to my craziness! It also strengthened some of those neural pathways creating more of that path of least resistance I mentioned earlier. My own self awareness now allows me to recognize it much quicker than I ever did before.
Recently, I found myself in a place reacting in ways that I hadn’t for years to things that were most likely just in my head. I was able to recognize it as it was happening though. My flight mode was in overdrive like there was some wild, hungry animal nipping at my heels and instead of giving into this, I stopped. I talked through it with a trusted friend, I let the crazy out! When you shine a light on the darkness, it’s not so dark and scary anymore. Think of a dark room, no light anywhere, your body can react in various ways, your mind can make up scenarios of monsters lurking in the corners and bring up some pretty irrational fears. These perhaps go back to our young childhood days when we may have been afraid of the dark. As soon as you turn a light on though, things are normal, the fear dissipates, your breathing can return to normal. For me, shining a light on my crazy allowed me to see it and not try to escape from it, even though I really did want to. I looked at it, I honoured it, and I felt it. In doing this, I was able to release it. It’s not like it’s gone forever, I’m sure it will return at some point. However, I was shown that it was time to change some old patterns that I didn't recognize could emerge again so quickly and reduce the likelihood that I will react in quite the same way the next time. I was able to see exactly where I was, which allowed me to decide where I would rather be or how I would rather feel.
Every emotion that comes up for us, needs to flow through us. When we bury things, we create energetic blocks within our bodies that can create various issues for us and can even show up as physical manifestations – headaches, indigestion, fatigue, stress, anxiety, etc. It’s important to let things flow through you in order to keep the natural ebbs and flows of life in balance. Being spiritual doesn’t mean that life is always good! You are HUMAN and you will have a variety of emotions on any given day. The trick is to learn how to move through the emotions and not bury them in the name of spirituality!
“This too shall pass” – cliché maybe… and also very true. Think about it – you’ve likely had some pretty shitty days over the course of your life. That shitty day that you had 5 years ago, is it still affecting you today? Do you remember the exact date or the events that caused it to be less than stellar? Chances are that you don’t unless, of course, it was a major life changing event. The same goes for great days! You’ll have memories of course – of good things and bad things. I can pretty much guarantee with 99.9% certainty that most of the bad or good days 5 years ago didn’t last for 1,826 days in a row! This too shall pass! This is why it’s so important to be in the moment, to recognize where you’re at, to be grateful for the good things happening right now, and to even try to find some gratitude for the lessons that that the situation is trying to teach you.
So, if you do recognize your crazy showing up – looking like rational thoughts that you know in your gut aren’t really rational at all, feeling like the whole world is against you, lashing out at the people closest to you for no apparent reason, feeling fear, or just plain feeling out of sorts – try the following tips to help you move through it.
- BREATHE! What do we do when we’re angry, scared, anxious? We hold our breath, or we breathe very shallowly. Take some good, big deep breaths right into your belly. It’s amazing how well this works at calming us down and even if it only takes you from a 10 to an 8 on your craziness scale, it’s still a marked improvement!
- NAME YOUR CRAZY! Whatever emotion is coming up at this time, name it. If you’re angry, say it. “I’m feeling pissed off!” or “I’m feeling sad”, “I’m feeling anxious”, etc. Notice that I added feeling as opposed to just “I AM”, this is because I AM has high vibrational energy and sends a message to the universe about who you think you ARE. How you are feeling is not who you are, it’s what you are doing in this moment. Naming it is a way of shining a light on it. Once you’ve named it, honour it! Don’t try to push it away or justify it. Let go of the limiting belief that there are negative emotions. There are just emotions. Some emotions make us feel good, some emotions make us feel bad. They are all perfectly normal and we need to accept them as such.
- MOVE YOUR BODY! If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you may remember Meredith and Christina dancing it out when things were in turmoil. So, dance, walk, run, jump, whatever it is, move your body to help move the emotions through you. Exercise floods your brain with endorphins, some feel good hormones, that can reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings in your body.
- CRY IT OUT or LAUGH IT OUT! Both crying and laughing provide a release for pent up pain that can ease some of the suffering that we feel with these emotions while we are also honouring them. When my Dad suffered what would end up being a fatal stroke, my brother and I had to spend some time at the hospital making some really tough decisions together. This was a completely unexpected event that caused us both great pain. We ended up telling funny stories and cracking some what might be considered inappropriate jokes for the situation we were in. We laughed, we cried, and we honoured the process as best we could. The laughter, which also releases endorphins, lessened some of the suffering and the crying allowed the pain to move through us a little at a time.
- TALK! One of the ways to really shine a light on what we are going through is talking about it, out loud. When we start to talk out loud, we can get off the hamster wheel in our head and stop going in never-ending circles of doom and gloom. If you have someone that you can talk it through with, great! Their job is not to try and fix it, their job is to just be there, listening, holding space, and perhaps providing a loving touch to remind you that you are not alone. Sometimes, we don’t want to be around anyone when this happens, if that’s the case, then pull out some paper and a pen and get writing. Write out all the thoughts that are in your head, you might be surprised at the clarity that comes out of both talking it out or writing it out. If you’re not a writer, use your phone to record a voice memo, or just simply talk to an inanimate object or pet! Scream and yell if you must – just get it out!
- PRACTICE GRATITUDE! Gratitude isn’t just an Attitude – it’s a practice! Even on your worst days, you can find something to be grateful for. Start and end your day with gratitude, write it down or just go through a list in your head. Even if the only thing that you can be grateful for is that the day is over – be grateful for that! We can’t be grateful and angry, or sad, or anxious at the same time.
Don’t beat yourself up when your crazy comes out! Trust me when I tell you that it happens to everyone! Forgive yourself, use some or all of the techniques listed here and trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at this point in your life! Remember – this too shall pass!
The most loving thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones if these feelings are affecting the quality of your daily life and persist or worsen is to seek medical and/or mental health help. There is no shame in this and sometimes we need more than what tips like these can offer.
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