First, I want to give credit to Emily Price who originally wrote this post. We at CoCulture believe in a team approach and Emily is a trusted advisor to us. We highly encourage you to check out her website and instagram to learn more about her and the impact she's had on so many.
So many people are being confronted with deep feelings for the first time in a long time. (Exhale). These feelings might range from sadness, fear, apathy, relief, or even joy in the course of one hour.
In the book Emotional Agility by Dr. Susan David, Susan talks about Showing Up to honor our emotions in this way:
"Instead of ignoring difficult thoughts and emotions or overemphasizing ‘positive thinking’, face your thoughts, emotions and behaviors willingly, with curiosity and kindness."
If we imagine emotions as visitors that show up knocking on our door (often times unexpectedly) we can give them space to be seen and recognized. Emotions don't need to control us because once they have been acknowledged we can move past them courageously! We are in a season of uncertainty and with that will come emotions that we have never felt before.
As I sit with my own emotions and confront the real pain, sorrow, and sadness of this season, I am reminded by the words from Jerry Sitter that stir my heart to see something new. He writes:
"Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery. It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same. There is no going back to the past. It is not therefore true that we become less through loss -unless we allow the loss to make us less, grinding our soul down until there is nothing left...Loss can also make us more.
Perhaps you are not facing catastrophic loss, perhaps you are, the important thing to note is that you can choose to Show Up and sit with your emotions and allow your losses to transform you for the better. How can we do this? Jerry goes on to write:
I did not get over the loss of my loved ones; rather I absorbed the loss into my life, until it became a part of who I am. Sorrow took up permanent residence in my soul and enlarged it. One learns the pain of others suffering by suffering one's own pain, by turning inside oneself, by finding one's own soul. However painful, sorrow is good for the soul...the soul is elastic, it can grow through suffering."
Jerry Sitter: Author of A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss
Now more than ever we can consider these truths and integrate them into our workplace culture. Employees are human beings who work, live, breathe, and have feelings. Re-humanizing the workforce means finding new ways to engage in emotional conversations with team members, colleagues, business partners, and friends. The same practice can be applied in our homes. How are the little ones around you being encouraged to engage with their emotions in healthy ways? A simple question can make a world of difference. For example, How are you feeling? or What emotions are you experiencing right now?
As you lead yourself, your family, or your team in this practice of Showing Up to sit with your feelings, remember that embracing emotions and inviting new ways of processing can lead to expansion. Enlarge your heart through loss and be gentle with yourself as you transform.