• Pam Del Franco aka ASK NANNA

Ain’t nobody got time for that, is your motto.

You feel something brewing inside you, but you carry on with business. After all, you didn’t build your successful business by pandering to your emotions.

But then you walk to the kitchen and stub your toe on the chair.

An angry outburst flies out of you that you weren’t expecting. Your response is, *&;@#!! Understandably because it hurt, but then something else intrudes on your mind. The time your partner wasn’t listening to you. The time when you thought everything was fine and then he dropped the hammer. The time he cheated, and you forgave him, keeping the relationship together. Or maybe, even that time long ago when your parents divorced, and you had to choose who to live with.

Before I understood what was going on, I used to focus on the physical pain of my stubbed toe and cursed (loudly) thinking that would somehow relieve the pain. It worked until the next time I banged my elbow.

What I recognized was like a ‘mini-physical manifestation of a wake-up call’ to pay attention to unacknowledged distress that was sitting in my psyche. I’m not talking about a significant psychological problem,  just deep enough pain that a stubbed toe or banged elbow would trigger attention.

What I learned to do was allow myself to get present with the pain and express whatever words came out of my mouth at the time. And then immediately pay attention to what language follows. There’s magic in those words because they pop out without a filter. It takes a bit of practice because the thought is lightning fast and can easily be missed, but well worth the effort.

You’ll discover clues to where your real pain is. Even if you say,

“he’s just a jerk,” pay attention to what you say after…it might be something similar to “he’s a jerk for leaving me to do this alone” or “he’s an idiot just like…(my father, my ex, my boss) or a myriad of other things.

Remember, it’s fleeting and doesn’t want to be found. This idea or story you hold prefers to hide in the dark, ready to strike out so you can relive the pain over and over.

Examine what’s hiding in the pain of the stubbed toe and see what needs to be seen. It could be a clue to what’s holding you back in your relationship.

Shift from being held captive by your hidden emotions to knowing you can look them straight in the eye and say,

“you can’t hurt me anymore.” That’s when you find the freedom to fully show up in your relationship.

From there, you’ll say yes or no from a place of strength rather than driven by the gremlin in the dark.