Taking Ourselves Out of Harm's Way

My client was feeling depressed. Earlier in the day he'd spoken on the phone with his ex-girlfriend. She had said something mean to him. He was still in the emotional tailspin.

My client told me that she had a way of saying something mean and vicious to him every time they spoke. That's why he had broken up with her. I asked how often they talked. He said once a week. 

I said that it must be hard on him to put himself in harm's way so often. I said it sounded like it was wearing him out.

My client said that she was usually nice for most of each call. I said, "You're trying to defend someone who just shot you. When someone hurts us emotionally, it's traumatic. It hurts more than being physically hit. You were shot with an emotional shotgun."

When we are emotionally attached to something that's no longer serving us, we avoid seeing the pain and focus on an imagined benefit. The emotional attachment keeps us from seeing the situation clearly. By taking a kind look inside, we can be aware of the emotional turmoil. It can feel like an anxious hurricane. We feel very unsettled on the inside. We have the opportunity to see that this emotional storm is caused by having this clutter in our life. This can help us let go.

My client got quiet. Then he said, "The woman I fell in love with a long time ago doesn't exist anymore. I'm going to write her and tell her that I don't want to talk with her anymore."

I said it was nice to see him being kind to himself.