Wednesday, April 16, 2014
What's in your Pandora's Box?
According to Greek Mythology, the box (or rightfully, a jar) was a gift that Zeus had given Pandora and she was told that she was never to open. With the natural curiosity that most women have, she did and unleashed untold evils upon the world.
Today, the phrase "to open Pandora's box" means to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but it turns out to have detrimental and far reaching consequences.
Did you know that we all have our own personal Pandora's Box? It is located right between our ears! What it contains, I would argue, are not untold evils, but emotional hurts that we gather up as we go through life.
Somewhere along the line we are all taught that emotions are scary and to be feared, and the sad part is, we are rarely taught how to deal with them effectively. We either let them completely consume us, or we try to ignore them and stuff them down so we don't have to deal with them. Which ever method we choose, the reality is, they are always there in the background driving every action that we do. Just like that app on your smartphone that is constantly running in the background without you taking notice of it, it drains all the power out of your battery. You're left bewildered, thinking you have done everything right, yet with time, that battery keeps getting drained faster and faster.
Have you ever wondered why you keep getting involved with the same people over and over again, and it always ends in heart ache? Or you find someone great, maybe even 'the one' and you end up doing something to push them away? Tried every diet on the market, but you just gain the weight back, or no matter what job you have, you always end up hating it? We all find different ways of 'stuffing' our emotions. Whether it be drowning them in alcohol, numbing them with prescription or recreational drugs, over eating, starving ourselves, activities of self loathing, isolating ourselves from the world and other people, never letting anyone get close to us for fear that they will add yet another hurt to the pile. In doing those things, we only end up hurting and punishing ourselves, and in a lot of cases if we were asked why we do it, we couldn't give an actual answer. I know I am not the only one that has had a situation in life that you seem to be doomed to keep re-living! But it doesn't have to be that way. I have realized what the secret is to change your course in life, but the problem is, it's not an easy process, it's going to hurt, it takes a lot of courage to stay the course and you will feel like giving up more than a few times. The choice lies in whether you want to stay on the same path that you have always been, constantly re-living those situations that drive you insane, or are you sick and tired of being sick and tired and are open to some change in your life? What if I told you that one thing that most people don't realize about Pandora's Box, is that after all the 'untold evils' had been released, there was one more thing that stayed at the bottom of the jar.........and that one thing was the Seed of Hope.
If you knew that once you released and dealt with all those emotional hurts that you have been carrying around with you for years and years, that all that would be left was hope.......hope for a brand new future, hope for happiness to overtake your life, hope to live the life that you thought was only a dream.........would you do it? Would it be worth it to you?
I am no different than anyone else, I have collected various kind of emotional hurts throughout my life....but with not knowing how to deal with them, I choose to ignore them and stuff them so far deep inside that I forgot that they were there. Over the years, my Pandora's box grew and grew as I continually stuffed more and more into it, until finally one day it reached it's critical mass and began to crack. In what seemed like all of a sudden, all these emotions that I had held at bay for so long came rushing at me with a force that took my breath away. To say it was overwhelming, would be putting it mildly. Like Pandora, as they came rushing out, I tried in vain to gather them up and stuff them back in the box, but once released there was no turning back. I had no choice but to one by one, stare them in the face and get to the root of them. Once you start the process of getting to the root of them, it opens your eyes to a whole new world that was living inside of you that you didn't even know was there. How what seemed to be a simple incident in childhood got so ingrained in your brain that you can now see where it has reared it's ugly head over and over and over. There are days when it just seems like it would have just been easier if they had all just stayed in the box, but the reality is the time had come, that I was finally strong enough to deal with them. Now, in saying that, there are more days than not where I don't exactly feel strong, but I know instinctively that I am. I have reached the point in my life where I was ready to say ENOUGH!
I am now in the process of building up a 'tool chest' of strategies to help me deal with those latent emotions when they want to rear their ugly heads. Now that I am open to finding these strategies, I am finding that there are SO many ways and so many people out there that are trained to help you in this. The trick is to find what works best for you. You could chose to look at NLP, EFT (aka tapping), hypnotherapy, traditional (psychiatric) therapy, EMDR, meditation, life coaches, the list is endless......but the main question I am now asking myself is why.........why is this situation causing me to feel the way I do? What is it in my past that is triggering this? When you finally begin to see patterns develop, and being to recognize your triggers, you are able to respond quicker to dealing with that emotion and hopefully, over time, eradicating it from your subconscious. As you learn to deal with the emotions as they come up, you will see that they eventually start to lose their power over you, finally releasing you from their tight grip.
Now, I am not saying that all emotions are bad........as they are not. There are some pretty awesome emotions out there as well. I would rather be considered an emotional person, than one that is so hardened and detached that they don't feel a thing. The trick is learning to control them, and not let them control you!
So, my wish for you, is that when you are ready, you find the courage to crack open your personal Pandora's Box, release those old emotional hurts, surround yourself with a support system to help you through the process, to find your HOPE on the other side.