When Is It Enough?

Sometimes we defend our pain. We’ve been in it for years. We think it’s who we are. Every time we think about a certain event it brings up a whole bunch of emotions and it makes us think that we have to keep healing. My question to you is the title of the blog. When is it enough?

How much crying do you need to do?

How much pain do you need to be in?

How long do you need to stay there?

When will you give yourself permission to move on?

Whether you dealt with it right when it happened or you denied it for 20 years first and then you dealt with it, you did the work. So when do you stop doing that work? When do you move on to a different project? When is it enough?

I think I used this analogy yesterday in a Facebook post. It was the idea of draping a blanket over a pile of junk. If we try to make the blanket completely smooth, we’ll never be happy. If the stuff under the blanket isn’t completely smooth then the blanket won’t be either. That makes sense right?

What if emotions are a blanket? They cover the junk up and make you think that they are the problem. If I could only quit crying every time I think about this thing! What if it’s not the emotion you need to get rid of? What if it’s the stuff underneath?

Emotions are always attached to something else. They never come alone. It’s our job to be able to figure out what they are attached to. To do that, we have to be willing to dig deeper than the emotion that we’re experiencing. We have to look under the blanket. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not easy when the emotions are a lot to handle, but you can do it. For you to be able to move forward, you have to do it, otherwise, you’re stuck in a cycle of pain.

My standard analogy is the box. This is us reacting to the box as a whole. We haven’t even opened it yet and we’re already crying because we know what’s in it. The problem is the crying stops us from opening it. We get overwhelmed before we even get started. So the box sits there unopened and we trip over it all the time because we haven’t touched it yet.

How long does the box get to sit there?

How many times do you need to trip over it?

It’s different for everybody. There is no wrong answer necessarily. But what I would say is that if you’re still defending your pain 5, 10, 15, 20, or more years later, you’ve probably tripped over the box enough and it’s time to unpack it. Three is no reason for it to keep being in your way except that you’ve identified with it. It’s been there so long now that you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself if you moved it. That’s the attachment piece.

Who are you without that box in the way?

You’re the same person you’re just not tripping over that box anymore. Don’t worry, there will be other boxes for you to trip over because that’s life. But why do we have to stay so attached to this one? Is really that special? Is it really that important that it needs to wreck the remainder of your life? Are you really giving it that kind of permission?

It doesn’t have to be that way and you can make a choice to do it differently. It is possible to heal and get past the emotions that stop you. Use your awareness to manage your thinking around the subject. What’s the story? Is it true? Allow yourself to challenge your own thinking. Encourage yourself to create a new story that’s more true that doesn’t trigger you quite the same way.

Open the box and see what’s inside. Usually, it’s a lot of unworthiness and powerlessness. Those cycles are affecting you every day. You have the power to make a different choice. You have the power to stop some of those cycles once you allow yourself to open the box. It doesn’t have to stay there and haunt you like that. You are in control and only you can move the box.

Nobody can do it for you.

It’s up to you.

Love to all.


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