Nobody likes setbacks.
Nobody wants things to get off course.
Nobody wants the plans they’ve made to go up in flames. The reality of life, however, is that most of the time things don’t go exactly as planned. Most of the time what you expected differs from what actually happens.
I would consider myself to be pretty flexible. I think in most cases I am usually able to “go with the flow.” I don’t usually let the stress of going “off script” get to me.
Recently, I had a setback that really has thrown me for a loop. It brought up a host of past issues, fears, and bad memories of junk that happened several years ago.
I got stuck.
It was unexpected and jarring. Parts of me went into “shutdown” mode. I felt shell-shocked. Paralyzed by this new challenge.
I didn’t curl up in a ball and sleep all day. But I did close off and compartmentalize it and other parts associated with it into a place where I kept some of the dark places of my past. Things done to me that I was not able to process at the time. Areas of my life that I closed off to try and forget about. The past doesn’t “go away.” You can’t run away from it. The only way to deal with the past is to re-process it with a new perspective. Seeing yourself in the memory, what was going on, what you felt, and then trying to understand and learn what you need now.
In some cases, you need to release the memory and any of the negative effects it had on you. In other cases, you may need to forgive someone who harmed you or mistreated you. It is a holistic approach of counseling to internally process the past in a helpful way that breaks down feelings and memories that may still be holding you captive.
It is hard work. It takes time. You need to be vulnerable and willing to go back to that place to deal with those painful memories.
Sometimes a setback that paralyzes you is a good thing. A warning sign that there is still issues that you need to deal with to get to a place of deeper healing.
Counseling is a powerful tool to work through these issues.