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Embrace the Mess

messy emotionsI was talking with a friend recently who is going through major relational changes and challenges.  We were talking about self-care through the process and she asked my advice for ways to cope through the chaos of it all.

One of my suggestions was to simply embrace the mess.

This is generally the LAST thing any of us want to do in any grief experience or process of change. (My friend certainly wasn’t too fond of the idea!)

However, there comes a point in the process of change when there is nothing else to do but accept that things are messy.  Resisting the mess – the fluctuating emotions, the uncertainty, the tiredness, and overwhelm – is futile.  In fact, resistance intensifies the mess.

Embracing the mess, on the other hand, is freeing.  There is nothing left to fight.  The mess is there and until one stops fighting it and takes a good look around, there is only the feeling of stuckness.

Embracing the mess of change isn’t about wallowing in it or building a house to live in it.  It’s a road stop on the road of change.  It’s temporary.

When we embrace the mess, we stop and look around.  Questions to ask might be:

  • What’s going on?
  • What feelings are coming up for me?
  • What’s underneath those feelings?
  • What do I want to keep in this process?
  • What do I need to let go of?
  • What am I afraid of here?

And as always,

How can I love here?

Love myself.  Love this process.  Love the other person(s). How can I love?

Once we stop and take a look at what’s in the mess, gain a little awareness and clarity, and, yes, love the mess – it will clean itself up.  Maybe slowly, little by little over time.  Maybe suddenly, all at once. But the mess will clear. And love will still be beside you.

It always is.

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