Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Letting go of emotions that feed my OCD and depression

As I wrote about in my last post, I have made “letting go” the theme to guide my goals in 2013.
I have some heavy, serious emotions to deal with and to try to let go of: anger, sadness, resentment, despair, even hate.
I don’t like to admit having these feelings and emotions, but they are there, sometimes lying underneath the day-to-day feelings, sometimes rising to the surface.
I have found myself lying down at night, unable to go to sleep because of the thoughts running through my head, ruminations and obsessions that make those negative emotions rise to the surface and feed my anxiety, OCD and depression.
I want to be free. I want to be light and free of the tears that come when I contemplate all the junk inside me.
In a recent guest post linked to from her blog, Shirley Hershey Showalter wrote about two verses from the Bible to help guide her through 2013. In a comment, I told her how she had inspired me to find words to help me in my theme of letting go. And she offered this link to a beautiful poem by Mary Oliver.
Inspired by Shirley, I will take Oliver’s poem with me through the year.
In addition, I will take my favorite prayer, which, to me, is all about letting go of what we don’t need to hold us back, and taking on and passing on what is important: peace, pardon, faith, hope, light, joy and, most important, love. That is the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I’m not looking forward to the work that will be involved in letting go of these emotions and of bad habits that I’ve taken on through the years. But letting go will surely help me with my mental health issues, and with that, my whole life.

  What are you trying to let go of?

36 comments:

  1. These feelings and emotions are tough to sit with for so long, and I feel that the only way to truly "let go" of them, is to feel them first.

    I don't feel that I am in need of letting anything go at the moment, as I believe that everything will pass when it's supposed to.

    But then again, I am not sure. You have given me something to think about!

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    1. Amanda, you have given me some things to think about, too. Thank you.

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  2. Thanks for sharing and being so open Tina. It's hard to let go, but there's beauty in it.

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    1. Thanks, Keith. I believe there's beauty in it, too.

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  3. Love Mary Oliver. Love that poem. Love you.

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    1. Thank you, Jackie, for your support. Isn't Mary Oliver wonderful?

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  4. I'm so proud of you, Tina! Love Mary Oliver's words.Thanks for sharing. I don't know if I'm "letting go" in the traditional sense, but as you read yesterday on my post, I'm trying to transform my anger over gun violence into action.

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    1. Thank you, Becky. I am proud of you for what you are doing with your courage and resolve.

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  5. Letting go is also my mantra for 2013 as I continue to struggle with OCD. Great post!

    Crystal

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    1. Thank you, Crystal. May we all be successful in letting go of what we need to.

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  6. I want you to be free of the inner junk too, sweet cuz.

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    1. Thank you so much for your support, Elizabeth.

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  7. Letting go is a hard one for me. I'm trying to let go of a lot of anger and hurt over the way some family treated me over a year ago. It was pretty awful what they did, but I need to try to let go.

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    1. Lisa, it's hard for me, too. I know intellectually that the negative feelings only hurt me, but it's still not easy.

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  8. What a gorgeous poem! Thanks for sharing it.

    I'd like to let go of my shyness. Now that I'm living in a small town, I feel very exposed and not anonymous like I did in the city. I'm treating myself gently in the process, taking it slowly. In 2012 I tried to do too much too soon and it just freaked me out.

    I find that the more I allow and accept my emotions, the less intense they are. Often, if I really listen to them and what they have to say, they provide incredible support and guidance. If I'm angry and resentful, for example, I usually have put someone's needs ahead of my own, and I either need to speak up or make sure that I'm caring for myself more. Anyway, once I get the message, the emotions pass quickly. I often work things out by writing down what I'm feeling and asking the feeling what it needs from me.

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    1. Nadine, I'm shy, also, so I know what that's like to feel exposed.

      I love your idea of writing down what I'm feeling and asking the feeling what it needs from me. Perhaps if I try that, it will help. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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  9. One of my very, very favorite prayers. Blessings in your journey!

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  10. I'm so glad you found the poem helpful, Tina. Another friend gave it to me as a gift, so I was glad to keep the gift energy flowing to you.

    I think Nadine's suggestion is a great one.

    As I get ready for sleep tonight, I will think of you.I'll ask those obsessive thoughts and feelings in your head to take a walk in the cool winter air and maybe find some wonderful little nest all to themselves so that you can feel the peace of letting go.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kindness, Shirley. The poem and your words lift my spirit.

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  11. I love Mary Oliver's poetry; hmmm, I remind my students of her "wild and precious life" quote all the time.

    That is a beautiful poem that I had not read. Thanks for re-sharing it and passing on the goodness.

    Sometimes it feels like everything in me resists letting go! You are right, the hard work will not be fun. Keep reminding us that it is worth it - I tend to forget.

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    1. I think it's easy for all of us to forget to "let go" sometimes.

      Mary Oliver's poetry always comforts me. I love it.

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  12. Letting go is a wonderful theme for the year. There is so much wisdom and beauty in your post.

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  13. Beautiful post. I'm letting go of knowing how things will turn out and instead I've decided to become an observer in life. I still have goals and I'm still putting foundations under them, but I'm not attached to the outcome so much. Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm following you here!

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    1. Katherine, thank you. I like the idea of being an observer in life. It's hard for me NOT to be attached to the outcome! I am enjoying reading your posts about what inspires you, and am following your blog. Thank you for the follow.

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  14. I love that poem, Tina. It IS hard to let go of those feelings. I've had to work hard to let go of bitterness, resentment, jealousy, stuff like that. Those emotions are very painful. I hate that. I'm still a work in progress, of course. I wish you much success as you move forward this year. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you, Sunny. I think I'll always be a work in progress, but I guess that's natural.

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  15. I'm not really sure how or when it happened, but once I was ocd, and now I'm really not
    sometimes I even wish I still were, just a little
    though it seems whatever remains of my ocd has been directed into my work

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    1. My OCD has waxed and waned over the years and settled in different "areas" of my life, for reasons unknown. I hope your OCD stays away. Thank you for your comment.

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  16. I should carry the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi around with me so I can whip it out and pray it every time I feel the icky thoughts and negative emotions.

    I think the night time, as I wrote about at my blog today, is like a depression 'fever'... spikes up at night time (at least for me).

    Cheers to desiring the letting go of things that feed depression and OCD!
    Blessings and Peace to you!!!!
    <3 Deanna

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    1. Thank you, Deanna. You decription of your depression is so open and honest. My depression gets worse at night, also, and in the early morning.

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  17. I have many of those same emotions and I like how you call them the "junk inside you." It is junk, none of those negative emotions does me any good. I feel like I have held on to many resentments and letting go of it all is so hard, but I do know that when I am able to do it, I am much happier and healthier. One characteristic my husband has that I really admire, is his ability to forgive and move on. He can "speak his mind" and then just move on without looking back. I think that is so lovely..and he has such a calm and peaceful attitude in daily life, emulating that is my wish.

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    1. Krystal Lynn, my husband is much like yours. He doesn't hold on to grudges and lets go of things so much more easily than I do. I want to be more like him.

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  18. Tina,
    I love your honesty and authentic voice. I really do...

    I also LOVE Mary Oliver.

    Sending you love, dear. XX

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