Getting To Know Your Inner Drunk Girl
Have you ever had a bad experience that hits you right in the heart? Of course you have, we all have. By my own admission I am an extremely sensitive soul. I will own my mistakes and have no issues apologising for any wrongdoings. However, being at the blunt end of someone’s emotional outburst leaves me quite upset and perplexed. Much like anyone I suppose. Another reason why I was never good at working in retail. Sometimes you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and you are the closest target for somebody’s aggression.
If negative emotions start to rise due to a situation it can be very easy to react with defensive behaviour. If you are anything like me, shock is normally my first response. I cocoon myself with like-minded people, so this rarely occurs. In fact, I can count on one hand how many times this has happened in the last year. But when it does, it takes me completely off guard and I feel thrown off my axis. Not just a little, I’m taking about all consuming thought process that take me down a spiraling pathway of traumatic experiences. I understand why they are coming up now and I am taking them as an opportunity to finally release them and let them go.
Being locked up in isolation for the last few months has not assisted with some people’s emotional intelligence, tolerance and showing a little kindness, let alone staying professional. In fact, for some it has brought out the worst in them.
I have created a folder in my brain for some of these very people. It’s called ‘Arseholes’. This is where I put those nasty and unwanted perpetrators. These people have not two but three sphincters, yes, we have two at the anus (I am both funny and educational). Their lack of empathy or narcissistic privilege belongs in that little box surrounded by an imaginary electric fence with a big neon KEEP OUT sign. It’s a small but necessary folder. I acknowledge its existence, but I also understand that it is a very small portion of my life.
So how do you find something good out of a bad experience? The most important but painful part of this process is to experience the emotions. Yep, you heard me right ALL of them. Feel that pain, anger, hurt, shame, guilt, fear, embarrassment, frustration and all the rest of those nasties. Feel the full impact of the emotions created by the situation. Feel through each and everyone of them, take days or weeks if you have to. Become the observer of your own thoughts as they start to overlap like the tide and bring up the past and seemingly unassociated situations. Kind of like that drunk girl in the toilets who starts bringing up every single bad thing that has ever happened in her entire life. Be the kind sober friend to yourself as your inner drunk girl starts her verbal vomit.
Most of us have no patience for our inner drunk girl so we may start this process of ‘feeling’ and instead of seeing it out to the other side we shut ourselves down or we begin to lose clarity. We find ourselves stuck in an emotional loop where we head down paths of unresolved emotional experiences. By this time, our inner drunk girl has numbed her pain and is back on the dance floor or she has passed out in the corner somewhere. I get it, I did it for years and guess where it got me….SICK, like am I going to live or die sick. As Caroline Myss, one of my favourite spiritual teachers said in her book “Creation of Health”, our life history and experiences, become intertwined with the cells of our physical body. ‘Your emotions reside physically in your body and interact with your cells and tissues, our biography becomes our biology.’
Every time that inner drunk girl starts, and we shut her down we are holding negative emotions within the cells of our body. Does that hurt the person who created the emotional reaction in you? Absolutely not, but it can have detrimental effects on you. If we just allow ourselves to ‘feel’ into an experience you can find the light at the other side. By ignoring or blocking negative emotions you are doing a disservice to your own health and your own personal growth. With thoughts come emotions and with emotions come feelings. If you get the formula right then those feelings can open to lessons, growth and opportunities.
Let me take you on a journey. Yep the J word! No one likes emotional pain, unless you are the narcissist inflicting it. The minute you get upset, angry or feel like reacting like a three-year-old who can’t put lollies into a shopping cart, people want to shut us down. Ever noticed that? We cry and instead of holding space for us people want to automatically calm and comfort us with tissues and a cup of tea. I am not saying that it is okay to display random acts of violence or to hit out at people because we need a sales assistant to abuse because of our frustrations. But when we feel intense emotional reactions to situations, we need to think of the sober friend holding space for our inner drunk girl. Here are some techniques you can use to support your inner drunk girl.
Firstly give her some room to vent. Allow her to talk through all her problems. Let her cry, let her get angry, let her bring up the past. By simply listening to her and writing things down and giving her time you can start to unravel the big ball of complexity we call emotions. You would be surprised how many times she answers her own questions if you truly hear what she is saying. The next step is to separate the emotions and the feelings. This is the tricky bit and the most common place when we let our inner drunk girl back on the dance floor because things can start to feel overwhelming. Note: You are under no obligation as the sober friend to solve all your inner drunk girl problems at once. You have an entire lifetime (and then some) to unravel and its not all going to happen over one bottle of Merlot.
Usually a big emotional reaction will occur over an accumulation of events. The one that triggers the biggest reaction is not necessarily the worst event. It could be quite a small situation that brings up an over-reactionary response. You see every time you send your inner drunk girl back out onto the dance floor because you can’t ‘deal with her’, she holds onto all your stuff. A few bits might drop off as she stumbles her way back through the crowded bar but most of it is still hanging off her. The next time she is triggered by a situation she has all that baggage accumulated from the time before, and the time before that, and the time before that. If emotions are not worked through, then we can start to build walls that end up feeling like mountains. We can become resentful, bitter, closed off, unfeeling and worse of all, sick. We don’t allow ourselves to be open to new experiences because we become so stuck in believing they will cause us pain, distress or hurt. Here’s a News Flash, that doesn’t stop ‘life’ from happening. It is our ability to put things into perspective that gets screwed up. It always has to come back to YOU.
Have you ever met two people that have experienced the same situation, yet their responses were completely opposite? Meet Kylie and Karen. Both ladies had a rather unpleasant conversation with a Printing Company. The salesman acted and spoke in a very unprofessional manner when they decided to take their business elsewhere. Kylie spent a day with her inner drunk girl and has processed through her emotions. At the end of the day Kylie can see that even though it was an unpleasant encounter, this situation was a good thing because she wanted to align her future business dealings with the right people. Clearly these were not the right people. Karen on the other hand does not like to be spoken to in a rude manner. She feels totally disrespected and never got to have her say because the call was ended rather abruptly. Karen is infuriated with the company and spends the day writing them an email about how unhappy she is and bitching to anyone and everyone that will listen. She gets so side-tracked with feelings of rejection and righteousness that she does not want to deal with another printing company ever again. Karen gives up in anger, lets her inner drunk girl go back onto the dance floor and self-sabotage’s her dream of self-publishing her first book.
Karen’s reaction may seem extreme but is very normal and more common than what you think. Under all of Karen’s anger is a fear of failure. What if her book is a massive flop? What if people laugh at her? What if she isn’t good enough? What if no one buys her book? Could she cope with the rejection? What if she is successful? Does she fear success? What if people think she’s a fake? Karen’s inner drunk girl was triggered by one small conversion. She was trying to tell Karen to face all those things that she feared but instead she misdirected her anger as a means to shift the responsibility away from herself by projecting that feeling onto someone else. Remember every experience can teach us if we look for the lesson.
So next time you are confronted by a situation that brings up some unpleasant feelings sit with your inner drunk girl and really get to know her. If you take the time to listen you will find a deeper level of understanding within yourself. You will start to unravel why you do what you do. When you become aware of the ‘Whys’ you have something to work with and that’s how we open to new opportunities and experiences.
Remember THOUGHTS = EMOTIONS = FEELINGS = EXPANSION = OPPORTUNITIES
Photo Credit: Justin Aikin | Unsplash