One of the hardest things to do in life is face our own truth. We cover up our suffering with a smile, make excuses, intellectualize or suppress what we are going through in order to maintain the life we have known. Perhaps when life gets tough you work harder, or maybe you run away or perhaps you freeze and become passive in the storm in hopes that you’ll come out unscathed when it passes. Whatever it is you do, most of us don’t want to face our own truth , whatever that truth may be. In all honesty, it’s easier to do any of these things then to face ourselves and our feelings. The challenge is that these defences leave you stuck for a lot longer than you would be if you faced your feelings.
Take my client for example. Her neglectful relationship with herself has made it so that she can’t have a child with her husband and Has decreased her ability to engage in her own life in the way she would like to. On a day to day basis things look the same, it’s not until she is asked to look at what she’s doing to herself and her marriage that she gets flooded with emotion and acknowledges how much pain she is in. Her natural inclination both in session and in life is to ignore it, laugh it off, and continue hurting herself in the same ways. Doing so prevents her from actually having the life both she and her husband want.
In our work together we are focusing on facing the feelings she has bit by bit. This is incredibly hard work and often overwhelming and scary. Doing so, however, has decreased her anxiety, increased her action steps towards getting well, and is causing her to take her own suffering seriously instead of feeling it’s no big deal or that it is someone else’s issue to take care of.
Your suffering can decrease immediately if you start facing your truth (In other words, your feelings) and owning it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, comfortable or even what you want. But it is yours, and it is real, and denial only prolongs how long you have to live a life that doe t reflect your wants or needs.