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Emotional Roller Coaster- Cancer part 2

  • September 4, 2016 7:07 PM EDT

    What are your options when you know your emotions are running your life and you really need to find a center balance point to be there for your loved one?

    When your profession is filled with life and death scenarios many people find themselves in this very situation. When outcomes are uncertain and there are times that your professional decisions are linked with emotional outcomes.

    How do you be the professional support person when your client is upset and having difficulty dealing with loss or grief of their beloved pet? Even harder is when you have a personal relationship with that pet and client.

    I wish I could give you the correct formula that would help you every time.

    I can only share what I have learned about accepting my emotions without letting them overtake my life.

    I now view my emotions as waves. Emotional waves can be large or small, expected or unexpected. You can learn to swim with your emotions by accepting them as just your feelings of the moment.

    I hate crying, yet I have cried more in the last 30 days than the last 30 years. I hate not having the answers, yet there are some questions that have no answers. I like having a plan and knowing what will happen next. Cancer does not give you that option. Making plans is a waste of time and energy. Living on an emotional roller coaster is exhausting and unsustainable. So what do you do?

    Most of us have tried two things. Either ignore your emotions or stuff them away to deal with some day. Some day never comes, so that is essentially the same as ignoring them.

    Ignoring emotions allows them to build up to a crisis - where you are likely to explode over the most trivial of things. Learning to accept and work with your emotions will allow you to accept them as an experience instead of a stress trigger.

    Here are three ideas that have helped me stay steady and calm.

    1. Accept the fact that you have emotions and they will show up unexpectedly.

    2. Recognize your feelings and acknowledge them. I do that by naming them.

    3. Ask yourself “what do I need right now?” as a way to focus on actions that support you in a time of chaos.

    Self-care will take many forms. I thrived on reading, exercising, and focusing on small daily routines that brought me comfort. Judith Oeloffs' book Emotional Freedom was useful for helping me handle this sudden change in life. She describes emotional freedom as a chance to become better.

    “ To make this a reality, you must begin to see each event of your life, uplifting or hurtful, earthshaking or mundane as a chance to grow stronger, smarter, more light-bearing. “

    My definition has become simpler. Emotional freedom means that you flex your emotional muscles on a regular basis so that you accept them as part of your being. Do your current strategies work for handling emotions? Reach out and start stretching and flexing those emotional muscles by connecting with other people, a trusted friend, a coach.