I was walking up the stairs to my office and my psychic development student was waiting for me.  I looked up and saw her face - she looked so sad.
 
"How are you, sweetie?"  I said.
 
She looked at me and said "Doing fine!"
 
I paused.  She smiled and said, "Well, no, I'm not, but that's what everyone says, right?"
 
And she's right.  When we ask someone how he or she is doing, that person usually says "I'm fine."  It's a common response, one we never think about or really acknowledge.
 
We're conditioned to put on the "brave face" and push through the sadness, anger or grief to get back to "normal."   
 
However, when we do that, it takes away our ability to handle the emotions we're feeling in a healthy way.   Ignoring them doesn't make it go away.   Those feelings don't just - POOF - disappear.  
 
Sure, for a little while, we may not see it but it is sitting there, waiting for us.  Because it needs to be noticed, it can come out in different ways.   All kinds of habits are formed from pushing away what are legitimate feelings and experiences.   We may look for all kinds of coping techniques that may seem to be healthy but they could be hurtful.  It could affect our sleep, our eating habits, and our relationships, for example.  
 
It's the big elephant in our heart and soul that just wants to be acknowledged. 
 
My student and I put aside the lesson for today and just talked.  She cried and expressed her sadness over a situation that was out of her control.  We looked at what steps she could take to handle her piece of it and how she could care for herself during her grieving and recovery period. 
 
Setting a plan up to care for ourselves while dealing with all that is going on will help us move through those difficult feelings and situations easier and quicker.  Look for people across the board for support - professionals and supportive family and friends are a great start.  Be strategic in the plan of action for self care.   Others may have good intentions but may not be the right people to help us in our situations.  That's totally okay.
 
Here are three suggestions to help with working through feelings:
 
1.)  Write feelings down in a journal.  This could be a letter to the hurt or problem.  It could be a poem.  Let it move out of the body on paper.  Just write - no breaks, no editing, and no judgment.  This can provide revelations or steps that we might not have thought of while it's rolling around in our heads.  Writing it literally helps us see it differently.
 
2.)  Rest when needed.  If tired or it seems like it's a good time to lie down, do it.  It's not lazy nor is it unhealthy to just say, "I need a nap."  This is part of being gentle with the process.
 
3.)  Let the process be what it is.  In other words, don't use those judgment statements "I should feel better" or "It should be over it."  The journey is not always smooth.  Some days may be better than others.  As time goes on, as the work is done, those tough days will be less and less.  
 
Facing those feelings, asking for help and being gentle with ourselves creates the opportunity for transformation to happen.  No matter what we're conditioned to do - be brave, push it away, just "forget" about it, we can always change it.  When we have the courage to say, "I'm NOT fine", we’ll see healing process immediately begin to happen.   
 
So, how are you today?