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From Breakdown to Breakthrough

Sometimes I get emotional. It can feel intense. What I’ve learned to do is allow myself to feel it. When I can feel it, realize that I’m feeling guilty for feeling the way I do, and release the guilt, the healing can begin. There used to be so much more self-judgment and guilt that I felt when I would get emotionally upset. I would get upset about something and then make myself feel bad for getting upset. It was a vicious cycle. And it kept me in victim-hood. Believe me when I say that I perfected the art of being a victim and I’m in recovery.


Through these experiences, I have learned that every breakdown leads to a breakthrough.


Typically, I get upset because something is not going my way. I look for someone/something else to blame. I blame others, life, work God. After I’m done casting blame, I start feeling guilty and blame myself for not being able to just accept it and “go with the flow”. When I realize that I’m stuck in a “blame loop”, I allow myself to feel what I'm feeling. I claim my emotions through journaling or speaking them out loud as I'm walking. When I have expressed everything I’m feeling, I can once again be present in the moment. I feel reconnected to my inner light and I’m able to look at the situation again with curiosity. It’s like the clouds have cleared away and I can see the situation differently. It is then that Spirit shows what I missed the first time around; another way to view it. It is then that I can see how what unfolded happened for my highest good and not to punish me. Sometimes this cycle can take a day, sometimes an hour, sometimes mere minutes.


One of these cycles happened this past weekend.


Sunday mornings, I have had the habit of meeting up with a walking group. I’ve been walking with the group for about a year and a half. When I first got Bella, I had to wait until she was ready to go on a 90-minute walk. Walking with the group has been one of my favorite weekly social events. We have a core group of regulars and new people join us from time to time. Before I had Bella, I would go by myself and walk and talk to whoever I felt led to connect with.


When I started taking Bella, the dynamic shifted. Having just turned one, she still has that curiosity of a puppy. And being part hound, she likes to smell everything. My focus shifted from getting to immerse myself in a conversation to paying attention to what she may be putting in her mouth. If it’s not nailed down, it’s fair game to her. Instead of matching my pace to my co-walker, I now was matching my pace to Bella. Often that meant I would start walking a few minutes before the group began or falling behind the group because she was exploring.


This week that part of me that wanted things to be the “way they used to be” got pissed. I wanted to walk with the group. I wanted to participate in the conversation. I wanted Bella to just walk and stop sniffing and exploring. But that wasn’t happening.


As I was walking by myself with Bella and I found my resentment building. On top of that, my hands were freezing. I had forgotten my gloves. I went into full “victim” mindset. I felt left out. I was upset because it felt like the people that were walking were ignoring me. I wanted someone, anyone, to notice and walk with and acknowledge me. And my hands were cold. I found myself getting more and more upset. There was part of me that thought, “Screw this! My hands are cold. I’m walking alone anyways. I want to leave.” And so, I did. I turned around with Bella, we got into the car and came home.


I was upset about feeling abandoned. I was upset with myself for not “sticking it out”. I felt guilty for leaving. I was worried about what the group might think of me for leaving. I was going around and around in my head.


I got home, got my gloves and Bella and I set out on another walk. I forgot the poop bags this time. She pooped. We had to walk back and get them and then walk back and clean it up. Life sucked! Nothing was going right! I allowed myself to feel what I was feeling. I cried a little. Along the way, Bella and I stopped at an empty dog park and I let her race around and play with the sticks that she found. I sat quietly. As my hands started to thaw out, the ice around my heart did too.


I took some deep breaths and reconnected with the nature around me. I watched Bella race around. Throwing sticks in the air. Completely happy to be outside. I became present with what was going on around me in the moment. I felt reconnected to my inner light.


It was then that curiosity peeked in. Were there other possibilities? What else was possible? I started to see that I had expected the walking group to make the walk about my needs. I was making it all about me. How silly was that? People joined the walking group for their own reasons. Their reasons were to make sure that all my needs were met. That was up to me. Besides, the people that were walking that day did not have dogs. So, they were not aware of the dynamics that I was dealing with. What if I found a walking group with other people that had dogs? I could find out if there were groups like that in Wilmington. Instead of expecting everyone else to change, I could figure out what I could change.


I started to feel better. I started to see how this event happened for me. It didn’t happen to punish me. It happened for me so that I would realize the other possibilities that were out there. It would be fun to be part of a group with other dog owners. There would be an understanding that our dogs enjoyed smelling and exploring. Was this what a new mom felt like when she had all single friends? I came home and started googling. I joined a FB group for dogs. I’m even thinking of organizing a walk if I can’t find one.


Sometimes we can get caught up in the clouds of upset surrounding us. When that happens, we can be afraid of the rain or, reconnect with our eternal light inside, let it rain, and enjoy the rainbows that show up as a result. What I have learned is that on the other side of any of my breakdowns, if I allow myself to go through it and connect with my inner light, I have a breakthrough.


Here's the road map I use for moving from a breakdown to a breakthrough:


  • Get upset.

  • Blame everyone else. Blame Life. Blame God.

  • Feel guilty.

  • Blame myself.

  • Feel the feelings.

  • Claim the feelings/emotions through journaling.

  • View the situation again with curiosity.

  • Ask Spirit, “What else is possible?”

  • Get quiet and listen.


If you would like some support moving through a current breakdown, book a session with me. I’ll hold a safe space so that you can move through it and have a breakthrough. I know it’s not easy to believe that that’s possible or even ask for help sometimes. I promise you, if you work with me, something even better will show up! Click here to book a session today:

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