It seems to me that every time I open up Facebook or glance at the news there is yet another event that makes my stomach clench and heart race. The last year has been particularly challenging with the world and politics and I am attempting to increase my ability to cope within this new landscape of intensity. Last week, after the Vegas shootings I felt an onslaught of strong emotion and fear.
So, I turned to my old standby’s. I got into a hot bath. I ate most of a bag of Oreo’s (double cream filling) and went shopping. On Saturday morning I looked at a pair of shoes that was so exquisitely beautiful my breath was taken from my body. I fondled them. I stared at them from different angles and then I looked at the price tag. $698! My heart was filled with lust. I stood there suffused with euphoria. My mind was taken off the events of the week. They no longer existed for me. I wanted these happy feelings to be permanent. I wanted those shoes. But I have dealt with these emotions and responses before…I knew what to do. Breathe deep. Pull into myself and feel the feelings. The real feelings. The ones underneath the euphoria. Deep sigh. Disappointment in the world, futility about the future, grief about humanity.
I stepped out of the shop into the fresh air. I began to walk slowly away from the store. Pondering. Absorbing. Really paying attention to what was going on inside of me. And it was very unpleasant. Upsetting. Confusing. It is so much easier to hide from these feelings. To believe that Oreos and shoes will do the trick. And for a while, they do. That’s the temptation.
Sometimes even temporary relief is worth it. So for me, I decided that Oreos were an acceptable indulgence. $698 shoes were not. And I also learned for the millionth time that feelings won’t kill me, and that only by fully experiencing them do they drain away. And until they do, I can always jump in the tub!
Our guest contributor Tracy Theemes is a Financial Advisor and Co-Founder of Sophia Financial Group. Tracy holds an M.A. in Counselling Psychology and is a Certified Financial Planner and investment advisor in Vancouver BC.
She authored the award winning book “The Financially Empowered Woman” and her passion for promoting financial literacy in Canada recently earned her the UBC Education Alumni 100 award. You can learn more about Tracy by visiting her website www.sophiafinancial.ca
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