The pace of summer is sometimes more laid back and a little slower. An easier pace often lends itself to great opportunities for reflection.
In light of this opportunity to reflect, grab your journal and keep it handy over the next couple of weeks as we take another look at things that keep us from connecting most fully to ourselves.
What follows are a number of questions that I simply want you to consider for yourself. Identify whether you engage in these ways and use your answers to help you come to a clearer understanding of yourself.
1. Do you use technology, screens, gaming, or devices to distract yourself?
One can get easily distracted and lost in gaming, surfing the web, and in our devices to distance from feelings and emotional conflict. Do you get lost in any of these?
2. Do you use any type of addictive or compulsive behavior to shut out or disconnect from emotional pain? List what behaviors you tend to use:
Might you engage in: compulsive or emotional eating or overeating; starving yourself; exercising excessively; abusing alcohol, street drugs, or prescription medications or steroids; compulsive shopping; or hoarding.
3. Do you use commonly known defense mechanisms to move away from painful feelings?
It’s common for someone to engage in frequent use of such defenses as denial, humor, intellectualization, and rationalization, or displacement. Do you resort to one or more of these? Which one(s)?
4. Do you transmute feelings?
In this case, you take the feelings that are hardest for you to bear and express them as other feelings.
Though it may seem like a generalization, men often struggle with the “softer” feelings of sadness, disappointment, or vulnerability, expressing them instead as anger, frustration, irritability, or rage.
Women often struggle with the “harder” feelings of anger or frustration and express them instead as hurt, disappointment, sadness, or tearfulness.
What feelings, if any, do you transmute?
My goal is to help you clear away the distractions from accessing and experiencing the full range of your feelings so that you may lead a more fully alive and more fully expressed life.
Next week, we will move on to part 2 of “Identifying-Distractions Exercises”.
This week’s questions:
How can you use these exercises this coming week?
Dr. Joan Rosenberg