As a therapist, one of the things I know helps people move through their pain, grief, and life challenges is to sit in the muck. To sit in the uncomfortable and be ok with the anxiety, fear, sadness, anger that emerges. When we are able to sit in the uncomfortable and face the emotions that come forward we are able to move through them faster. If we can’t sit with them we tend to run from them, and they grow and grow and grow. However, as a person I know that one of the hardest things to do is to sit in the uncomfortable. To just be present to the grief, insecurity, and anxiety that comes forward. To be comfortable in the unknown.
Lately, I have been doing a lot of career counseling with clients. I love career counseling, helping people discover their passion and what makes their heart sing. However, one of the hardest things about career counseling is it requires a time when clients have to sit in the muck. Clients have to face their insecurities, their anxiety and fears around living their dreams. For many clients in order to figure out their dreams, they have to shut down so many negative voices and face so much anxiety around the shoulds and what-ifs’ that they get frustrated and exhausted. My job as a career counselor isn’t so much helping someone figure out their career as it is helping them become less afraid to sit in the muck and be truly present with themselves, negative voices and all.
When we can sit in the uncomfortable and face the muck and sludge that comes up we can let it go. Many of us don’t even want to go there we don’t want to face the underlying anxiety, fear and insecurity that faces us all. We spend our time running from thing to thing so we can avoid looking at ‘what do I really want out of my life’. Because we are afraid of the answer, afraid we won’t be enough, afraid we won’t succeed, afraid the negative voices are accurate. Whatever we are afraid of we need to sit with it for awhile until it loses some of its sting and we can move through to live our dreams. Until we face the muck we will continue to run, never really paying attention to our heart’s desires. The key is not to sit in the muck all at the same time, but to allow ourselves a little bit at a time. As we face our fears they become less scary. Give yourself time and space to sit in the muck.
Today ask yourself the question, what do I truly want out of my life? And if that is too big ask yourself what do I truly want out of the next year? the next month? or even just today? Then pay attention to what comes up, welcome it and sit with it.