When people reach out to me — through social media, through email, through letters, or face to face conversations — they rarely describe their experiences in terms that a clinical psychologist or certified grief counselor might use.
People don’t say to me:
“I am currently at phase one of the life re-entry process.”
They say to me:
“I feel lost.” “I feel numb.” “I feel ashamed.”
More than anything, people tell me:
“I feel stuck.”
When you feel stuck, it means that you are living inside a “waiting room” of some kind.
It might be the waiting room of grief.
It might be the waiting room of guilt.
It might be the waiting room of shame.
It might be the waiting room of bitterness.
It might be the waiting room of depression.
It might be the waiting room of fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of not being able to support yourself without financial assistance from your partner or parents, or your current job… fear of what comes next…
Sometimes, we spend so many months or years inside our own private waiting room that we don’t even realize we’re inside of it anymore. We have forgotten there’s any other place to be, any other way to live, or feel…
The waiting room becomes our permanent residence.
No moving forward. No action. No exploration.
This is the definition of stuckness.
You decide to put one foot in front of the other, make one choice at a time, and slowly… re-enter the world. Re-emerge into your own life. Not as the same person you were before. As a different person. Stronger. More compassionate. More resilient that you ever dreamed possible.
The first step?
First: you must understand what kind of waiting room you are currently living inside.
You must see your loss and give it a name.
There’s a simple way to do this.
I call this exercise: The Seer.
You close your eyes and imagine yourself inside your personal waiting room.
Maybe it’s a cold, empty room. Maybe it’s a soft, comfortable room that you don’t particularly want to leave. As you envision yourself inside your room, ask yourself:
“What is the real cause of my stuckness? What is this room I am in?”
Keep asking yourself these questions until something… comes up.
Something that makes you feel surprised, stunned, or perhaps like you want to cry.
The real cause of your stuckness might not be something “big” or “dramatic.”
It might be something quite “everyday” and “ordinary,” like: “I feel really rejected because my best friend didn’t invite me to go to Europe with her. She did last year. Not this year. She took someone else instead. I feel left out.”
Try not to “judge” your pain or label it as “big” or “small.” Don’t worry about “assessing” it. Don’t worry about how it “compares” to other people’s pain.
Just try to describe it. Give it a name.
Then find someone you trust — a friend, loved one, or a coach — and tell them, “I need to share something with you. Something I’ve never said to anyone. Will you listen? Will you witness me?”
Tell them about the real source of your stuckness. Tell them about the kind of waiting room you are currently living inside. Let them see you, hear you, witness you. Let them be The Seer for you, as you reveal your loss for the first time… maybe ever.
Allowing another human being to see you, to truly know your pain, is the first step of you leaving the waiting room that has kept you stuck and isolated.
Now, at least one other person is part of your journey.
Now, you are no longer alone or invisible, saddled with a loss that no one knows, sees or understands.
Now, you know what kind of waiting room you are living inside.
Now, you can begin to come out…
Back to freedom.
Back to life.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting this April 7th, I am creating a biweekly three month program (http://www.secondfirsts.com/coffee-with-christina/) called Coffee with Christina. The cost is $30 a month so everyone can afford it and change their life. Our first live video class will be the Seer exercise, live with me. I hope you say yes!
Sign up here today and you will immediately join the private facebook group.