I am spending a great deal of time and energy worrying about a number of issues. This is consuming so much of my energy, but most of the issues are really no big deal. How do I deal with the fact I am spending so much on something that isn’t very important?
Recently my sister underwent surgery for a tumor that was between her ribs and her right lung. My sister is only 32, healthy (a yoga instructor), has health insurance, a great medical provider, and a family with the means and flexibility to make sure she has had someone by her side every step of the way. The tumor itself was non-cancerous and she was back at work within 3 weeks of the surgery.
She feels very lucky (we all do). She knows that it could be so much worse.
Four days before the surgery we were chatting on the phone. She was giving me an update on when our parents were flying into town, what was going on at work, and which friends were going to be helping her and in what way.
In the matter of 10 minutes of phone conversation she must have said 15 times, “But you know, it’s not really that big of a deal…”
At some point I stopped her and said, “It’s OK if you say this is a big deal. You are going to have surgery. They are going to cut you open and pull something out. They are then going to stick a drainage tube to keep the wound healthy and clean. You are going to need people to help you do everything for a number of days and some tasks for a number of weeks. Yes, you have awesome medical care. Yes, this could have been so much worse. Yes, you have amazing friends and family to care for you. BUT this is a big deal. You are allowed to say it is a big deal!”
This led to 20 minutes of conversation, tapping, and tears as she was able to admit all the emotions she was feeling and all the things she was afraid to say out loud because she felt ungrateful. Because my sister felt so lucky she didn’t feel like she had permission to complain or even be afraid.
It was an awesome healing moment and I am blessed to have shared that with my sister.
Admitting What Is Really Going On
I struggle with the same thing in my life. I have visited people all over the world who deal with immense struggle and burdens in their daily lives that I could never imagine. I spend more on my mobile phone service in one month than some make in a full year.
I am so blessed!
It is good to see the blessings in our lives, and to appreciate fully, but if we get too wrapped up in our blessings it makes it hard for us to admit the struggles we face. I need to be able to be honest with how I see my struggles and which emotions are swirling around them.
There are two very common outcomes when I start to tap on my problems.
First, when I start to tap on a problem I start to see it in perspective. It seems much smaller because I see it in context. It might feel like a really big deal emotionally, but as I tap on it I see it for what it is. To get to this point I need to be honest about how feel. I can’t just dismiss it as “no big deal.” Because part of me thinks (erroneously) that it is a big deal. These emotions that are under the surface are going to eat at me.
Second, what is going on really is a big deal. Because it is a big deal I need to make sure I have myself as clear as possible to make sure I am able to face the “big deal.”
In both cases we can tap when something feels like it is “no big deal” to put ourselves in a place to respond to what is going on. It might look something like this:
Right now I am facing something that is causing me some trouble…But it feels like it should be no big deal…Because I’m telling myself it is no big deal…It feels like I shouldn’t be giving it any emotional energy…I feel like it is a waste of time and energy to think about…I feel like expending any emotion on it is pointless…There are others who are dealing with so much more than I am…I shouldn’t be complaining about my life…By spending time on this I feel like I am stuck in something pointless…I don’t want to get into this because it is no big deal…But because I am spending energy and emotion on this…Part of me must think that it is a big deal…If I take time to tap on it…Then I will uncover the part that feels like this is a big deal…I will connect with the part that is worried…By dealing with the part that is worried…I will make it easier to deal with what I am facing…It might turn out to be something small and quickly evaporate…Or I will discover that it is a bigger deal than I thought…Either way I will gain clarity so I can see what is really going on…And that will allow me to work towards a healthier state.
By tapping in this way, you give yourself the opportunity to move to a place where you don’t have to keep saying it is “no big deal,” and to deal with where you are honestly.