I have started the second phase of my life coach training and I absolutely love it. During this phase, I am working on making my past a story. A simple, non-charged, it-is-what-it-is story.
One thing about emotion-based coaching that I don’t think anyone can fully prepare for, is the raw and intense emotions that you feel. In thinking about three negative things during a specific time frame in my past, I came across some old memories that I had not thought about in years.
One memory in particular was about my father. One morning when I was 4 or 5, I had woken up and went to open the bathroom door. I saw my dad on the floor, and this smell just hit me so hard that I thought I was going to throw up. My mom rushed behind me and closed the door. She told me dad was sick and that I would have to wait to use the bathroom. He had been on a business trip so we hadn’t seen him for a few days, he was sick, alone, and sad to my young eyes. I was confused why my mom was not with him and taking care of him like she did with my brother and I. Then as I got older, I realized that he was drunk and sick with a hangover.
Memories are a funny thing. When I recalled this memory, the smell hit me 25 years later, just as strongly as it did the day that it happened. The emotions flooded me, just like I was experiencing it right then for the first time. My main focus was to notice where I felt the emotion in my body. That turned out to be the easy part- it was right in my stomach. I felt nauseous, like there was a boulder in my stomach. I didn’t know what to do and, in a panic, contacted my Mentor.
I was looking for a way out- a way to avoid this terrible feeling in my stomach. I wanted a way to move on and I wanted it to be a much easier way that it was. I trusted my Mentor, and with support and guidance, she had me do something that I had never done- sit with the nasty emotion. I had a choice: avoidance, which has not worked well for me so far, or acceptance. I chose to accept what was happening, accept it for what it is, and move myself through it.
It was terrifying. The only thing I knew to do was to pray. I prayed for help, guidance, and understanding. I prayed for it to go away- and I cried..a lot. I crumpled on the floor, an emotional mess dealing with a 25-year-old wound. I felt like a child. And then something amazing happened- it passed.
I successfully passed a negative emotion from my past. I’m not going to lie- I felt like I birthed that damn thing. It was excruciating and scary but completely necessary. The next day, I was so emotionally hungover. I was vulnerable and weak. I felt as if I had duct tape inside my stomach and it was ripped off- that kind of raw emotion was ripped from my body in a miraculous way.
I feel different. I feel better. As much as I felt like I lost a part of me, I feel much more whole. This experience has helped me feel much more compassion for myself. Though it’s not always fun, I know I’m on the right path. I know I am not alone. I know there is always light at the end of the tunnel.