The precarious balance of these stones is the way we can sometimes feel, emotionally. Right?
Estrangement is our base-level stone. It's handed to us - it's not what we want. It's painful.
Then, we stack painful emotions on top of that base stone of estrangement. We create the precarious balance which gives us more overwhelm and despair.
For example, we take on shame. We think we're the only ones. That there must be something terribly wrong with us, or with our adult child, or with our family.
Then there's isolation. There can be self-pity. Maybe anger, guilt, self-doubt. Unworthiness.
We all have our unique pile of emotionally-heavy stones placed on top of our estrangement foundation, it's what we do. We don't realize how much harder we make it on ourselves.
The truth is, when a relationship is strained there's no obligation to feel unworthy or isolated.
Feelings are not put on us. They come from our thoughts. That's great news, because while we can't control being handed the estrangement stone, we can manage our minds. We don't have to add more painful stones to our stack.
If you've accumulated a stack of painful emotions, here's how to work on dismantling the layers:
Step 1: Identify the specific emotion you're feeling. Research has found it beneficial to be as "granular" as possible when describing emotions - for example, not just saying "I feel bad," which is very broad. If you're interested in this concept, an article can be found here.
Step 2: Find the thought creating the painful emotion. It you're feeling self-pity, are you having a thought about how it "shouldn't" be this way? Are you comparing yourself to others, thinking your life isn't fair? Again, be as specific as possible.
Step 3: See the connection. See how your thoughts create your feelings, and what that creates in your life. It helps to write it down. If you're thinking you're to blame, of course you'll carry feelings of unworthiness and guilt. How does that play out in your day-to-day life?
Step 4: Decide if you want to think and feel differently. If you're not happy with your current life, commit to changing your beliefs. It's a process and takes effort. But nothing changes if nothing changes. We must shed thoughts that don't serve us to feel better and move forward.
Step 5: Find beliefs that do serve and are believable. Positive thinking doesn't work if you're 100% on board. Sometimes it's more of "I'm learning to let go of shame" than "I'm super-proud of the stellar job I did as a mom." Baby steps. Have patience and practice.
By dismantling the stones of unnecessary pain we get to the root - the foundational stone. Our minds aren't as filled with a tangled mess of emotions. We're no longer stuck trying to hold it together, fearing everything could topple over at any moment.
With the clarity gained we can choose to release the estrangement stone we've been given. Or we can hold onto it and it's base level of pain. Or we can keep a part, and let the rest go. By clearing the stacked stones we can choose, move forward, and feel better.
I'm not saying this is an easy process, I'm saying it's possible. For any of us. If I can help you through it, I'm here. My mission is to help moms find their way through the pain of estrangement. No more needless suffering! To talk about options, schedule a free consultation, here.
Much love sweet mamas!