Negative emotions are a fascinating thing. They feel awful, most of the time., and yet we often cling to them with all the energy we can muster. We feel justified in having them, we’re indignant about not having them, and we focus on telling other people about them.
The good news is that none of the above are true. At least not if you actually want to feel better.
If you answer yes to that question, stop yourself before the but and know this:
It’s ok and natural to feel negative emotions.
Let yourself go through them.
But if you want to feel better, you have to also commit to being willing to let them go.
That might be a little scary because who will you be if you’re not angry, sad, or in fear?
Listen in to this week’s episode and let’s talk about it.
Referred to in this episode:
Read the full transcript below:
Laura Lummer 0:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Hey, friends, welcome to episode 201 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I have some exciting news for you. I don't think I've mentioned this yet on the show. But you I'm sure I've mentioned before my four pillars of breast cancer recovery video series, but what I haven't mentioned is that I recently went back and gave a little facelift to the four pillars of breast cancer recovery. As I work more with more people and with myself who within these pillars, I get more clarity and more insight on how we can apply these thoughts in these ideas into our lives and make our lives better make our lives better than before breast cancer and help ourselves out of suffering a little bit. So I made some new videos for you, I updated the action guide to make it more clear. And it's a lovely guide that takes you through the four pillars and some exercises to help you examine your own thoughts on what you might need to release in your life, how you might need renewal in your life, what you might need to regroup in your life and how you can revive your life after breast cancer. So check it out the breast cancer recovery coach.com You can download it right from my homepage. Alright, so go check that out. And I hope that you enjoy it. So this week, I've had a couple of epiphanies. And I want to talk about one in particular. Because I think not I think I know, we spend a tremendous amount of time making ourselves miserable. And I wonder if you could consider stop and think for a minute. And all the emotional energy, all the emotional real estate all of the time in your life you've spent on investing your mental and emotional energy into thoughts of things that haven't happened into things that are not real into stories that never took place. All of which made you miserable. And you know what I'll add to that, because I'm going to share a story with you about that into things that didn't go your way, and why they should have gone a different way than they went, right? And we invest so much energy into that. And so I started thinking, why are we so unwilling to let shit go? Why are we unwilling to leave a space for ourselves that we say I'm just gonna let this go? And then sometimes we do, right? We leave that space for him, like I just have to let go, I just have to let it go. And then you let it go for five seconds. And your mind goes right back to it. And then you say, but I keep going back to it. And that's the second part of what I'm talking about here today. Is that, yeah, our brain goes back to those things. So one, our brain goes there, unintentionally, all the time, our brain thinks what it thinks, right? It's just gonna go off on however, it's been conditioned, and whatever triggers it. And the mistake is in thinking that it won't do that. The mistake isn't thinking that one day you're gonna go to bed with I don't know, the brain of Lucille Ball. And the next day, you're gonna wake up with a brain of Gandhi. I mean, it doesn't happen that way. So when we can acknowledge that the brain is going to do what it's going to do. But you have power over that, and you have agency over that you have agency over what this wild little brain is doing, to bring it back and to serve you better. And then another thing is that we tell we don't want to experience it, right, we noticed that our brain is doing things. And these things bring up emotions, and we don't want to feel those emotions. So we fight our brain, we fight our emotions. So on the one hand, we're like, Oh, my God, my brain is going wild. And on the other hand, like I don't want to have anything to do with it. And then on the other hand, you're going well, but it keeps going back to this and then we're in this wild and crazy loop of I don't know, neuroses, I guess. So often coached women who are just suffering horribly and they're really bad. Head plays. And they'll say to me over and over, but I keep thinking this, I keep thinking as I keep thinking this. And the key is when we're thinking something that we know is not true, then we have to put the work in to look at it and say, that's just not true. That's a story. I'm creating a something that hasn't happened. And there's just as much likelihood that that thing will not happen, as there is that it will have it. Why am I choosing to say it will, we have to recognize that it is actually effort, it takes intention to step in, and take agency over our brain? Now, when I did the Reclaim Your Life After breast cancer Summit, just a couple of weeks ago, I did a Facebook live one day as a part of that summit. And I don't recall the question that was asked somebody else a question. And what I and I think maybe it was something to do with like, it's hard, or it's hard to overcome negative thoughts or something to that effect. And I said to them, it is and that's why you've got to do the work. And the woman that was hosting it was an amazing and gracious, amazing host. And she said, Oh, I was trying not to use that word work. And I said, But why, like, why do we want to avoid saying what it truly is, I know that, you know, we're all going through something that's challenging, or we're trying to recover from something challenging. And heck, life is just challenging. We're navigating life all the time. And so we want a soft space, right, we want something gentle, we want to come to somebody's gonna say, let me take care of you. Let me make this easy. So you don't have to work. And sorry, friends, but that's just a fat load of crap. That's just not how it works. And so we've got to be able and willing to say, You know what, this takes work. This takes intention. And this takes energy for me to take charge of my brain. And when I realize and I look and I say, oh, it's work, I don't want to work. Well, if you don't want to do the work, you're going to go down the rabbit holes, your brain is going to go off intentionally, you're not going to learn how to condition it, you're not going to learn how to retrain your thoughts. And the challenges you already faced in your life are going to become even bigger, because that's the only direction you'll know, to send your energy to. And so you'll keep sending your energy to those problems and to the things your brain is thinking you won't know how to come back. But if you decide, You know what I'm in, and I'm willing to do the mental work, and I'm willing to create a space in my life, to let go of stuff. I'm willing to see, wow, my brain is doing this. And it's making me miserable. And I won't keep going back and putting energy into it, or create space, to let it go. To learn to let it go. To be able to say to myself, I released this, I opened myself to the opportunity for something else for something more for something that feels better. So I'll share something with you. You know, I'm in treatment. I'm in active treatment for cancer, and my goal is to heal. Right? So every day of my life, I'm looking at what am I eating? What am I drinking? How am I sleeping? What am I thinking I'm forever working on this and, and I research and I listen to doctors and whatever I do all the things right? And I'm willing to do more things. I don't say I do all the things as if there's nothing left for me to do. There's constantly always something new that I can do. But my goal is to heal. So when I get my bloodwork, which I do my blood work on frequently on a frequent basis. I do it every two weeks. And about every month, they take a look at my tumor markers. And my tumor markers. According to my oncologist, some oncologists give them a lot of weight, some don't look at them at all. Some say it doesn't matter. tumor markers aren't really that accurate of a test. Some say you have to take the way the patient is feeling and appearing along with the scan results in what you're seeing along with the tumor markers. And it's the three of them together. That's important. So there's all these different schools of thought. And so for me, though, I really want to see the tumor markers go down, down down until they're gone. Like that's an idea that works for me. So when I get a blood test and it comes back and the tumor markers go up, I'm like, Okay,
Laura Lummer 9:55
let me think back was last couple of weeks. Anything that I've done, haven't done what about I mean, what could have contributed what's going on? Did I miss any days of medicine? I think about it. And then if I have a couple in a row that go up, and they go up two points here, three points there, two points here. I don't like it. I'm not gonna lie, I don't like. And that happened to me the other day. I got blood results. And my tumor markers had they had gone down the month before. And then this month, they went up more than they'd gone down the month before. If man, I was just mad. I was just pissed. I discussed the results with my doctor, I was at my oncologist office, and they talked to me about the results and no concern whatsoever whatsoever for my doctor. But I walked out to my car, I was just like, dammit, this is not what I want. I'm sick of this. I'm tired of this. I don't want to have cancer. I don't want cancer in my life. I don't want cancer in my body. Trim it. I don't want to have cancer. I don't want it. And I sat there in my car. And I thought, I'm so angry right now. Why isn't this working the way I want to work? Why? And I sat there with that. And I cussed out the universe a little bit. I threatened maybe here and there. And I just kind of sat there and I was like, Okay, I feel better now. I feel better. I got that out. You know, it was real. In that moment. It was real. And then I've learned though, over time, that it's okay to feel it. It's okay to say it, it's okay to acknowledge it. And then it's okay to let it go. It was wasn't a let me stop this. I don't want to feel angry. It was I was mad, and I cussed out the universe. And then I felt better. And then I was like, Okay, so now let's move on. I'm meeting my husband for dinners, and I want to have a nice time this evening. Let's go there, I feel better about things. And I didn't even feel the need to bring it back up. Because it truly isn't anything to worry about. So there was no need to bring it back up and put more energy into it and recreate anger for myself or worry for him. And I think that it's such an important thing for us to realize that that power is always ours. But we've got to be willing to create space for it, we've got to be willing to say I'm willing to let go. Like I'm totally willing to let go not willing to suppress, not willing to pretend I'm not feeling, feel it, acknowledge it, and be willing to do the work to let it go. Because what I see happen so much is that we notice our brain is going down that path, we're angry, or we're scared. And then we just go all in all into the scare and the stories and the anger and the worry and the horror. I mean, Stephen King has got nothing on a woman's mind who's dealing with skin xiety, or breast cancer, or a potential diagnosis or a weird ache and pain that you're waiting for a test to come back. I mean, we can come up with some great stuff, really. And it can create some very, very powerful emotion. But we just have to be willing to recognize it. To have an awareness of it to say what I'm doing now is making me crazy. Most of the time, it's not real. Some of the time it is some of the time, you may get a diagnostic that isn't what you want it to be just like I shared with you. But in that moment, we have to also step back and say, How do I let go of what I want and make peace with what is right now? Because isn't it the peace that we want? We don't want the resistance. We don't want the restlessness. And I know for me, until I come back to a place of peace. I'm not even open to receiving more information. So if I stay in that place where I'm like mature, because when I attended this what I'm doing, I'm fasting this much and I'm eating these things, and I'm taking all the supplements and I'm doing all the meditations. Well, if I'm in that place, then there's no space for something else. And I very well may miss something that's super important to me. And that may really helped me along the path. If I decide to stay in the unintentional mind game just going crazy right along with my head. Just seeing where it goes and saying, Well, I'm coming along for the ride. Let's do this. So the important part here is really and truly the willingness and that's why I started off this show by saying how much time We spend making our results miserable. Because Are we willing to let go in this last week, I've seen so many posts, where women are in a Facebook group, or I've seen them on Instagram. And they're just talking about how much they can't stand themselves. And they look like this. And their skin looks like that. And they've changed so much. And they missed the way they were. And everyday they look at themselves and think about who they used to be who I read the stuff and my heart breaks, I was reading this article that came up. And it was about a woman's experience with physical intimacy after breast cancer. And it was just so sad, it was so so so sad. And I see in it, this desire to just almost clean to the unhappiness, the misery as if something about owning it, something about holding on to it, something about keeping me in this place where I don't approve of where I'm at now, is somehow benefiting you. And it isn't it is so not benefiting anyone. It's not benefiting us to compare ourselves to who we used to be, it's not benefiting us to compare how we can be physically intimate to how we used to be physically intimate. And it's all of the thoughts that go into it. And all the judgment that goes into it. That makes the sadness, exponentially worse. But if you can step back, and acknowledge it, and definitely acknowledge it and be like, Oh, I'm this isn't the same, you know, I don't look the same, my skin doesn't look the same. My hair grew back different. I don't like it. But leave space to let that go. Leave space to say, That's not helping me. That's not helping me at all. And then people say to me, well, that's hard, Laura, that's hard. How do I let it go? It is hard. You have to do the work of asking the right questions. You recognize the thought, like I did, I recognize the thought friggin don't have cancer anymore. I'm sick of it. And I recognize that I feel angry when I think that. And I say it's okay to feel angry. Because it's true. That's true for me. But directing more energy into it is not going to help me enjoy this day, which is the only thing I have. The only thing that's it just today. So when we don't leave ourselves that space, and we just stay in cling to the anger and the frustration and the fear and the judgment.
Laura Lummer 17:58
I don't even know what to say it's there's no way out. It's a dark, sad place. But there is another side. And sometimes I want to scream it from the mountaintops, I'll see comments on some of these really sad posts of I feel exactly the same way. I hate myself every day. I can't do this anymore. I can't even look at myself. And that's the critical piece. When you start to be aware that you're saying these things to yourself. That's the critical piece of saying, Whoa, I need to be why am I holding this? Am I willing to let it go? Ask yourself? How would my life be different? If I just chose to try to let this go? If I believed I could maybe let this go? How will my life be different? And you can start there because sometimes it's hard to just just let it go. Right? Sometimes hard to believe you can let go. I hear I can't think differently. I can't do that. You can, you can do it. But you've got to open yourself to the possibility. And then as you condition your mind and you train yourself to look at the way you're thinking and the suffering your thinking is creating you get better and better and better at creating the space for you to let go of what causes you pain. And pan if there's just anything I could do anything I could put out in the world, anything I could offer you, it would be that create some space to let yourself know there's room to let things go and when you let them go. You never know what might show up for you. It could be amazing. And most of the time friend it is when I work with a woman and she finally finds a space to let go of this thing that's just been eating at her and eating and eating and eating at her sometimes for months sometimes for years. And she finally lets it go. Ah, it's like she just just reverses aging, she's lighter, she's happier. She's more in the moment. And she always says to me always says to me, I feel like a different person, I can't believe it took me so long to let that go. So just like there are times when we need to borrow hope to get to the next place, sometimes we need to just lean into trust a little bit. I offer that to you and ask to extend a little bit of trust in the idea that's creating space for yourself to have a willingness to let go of the thoughts that create the feelings that result in suffering in your life can make some of the most powerful and amazing change beyond what you could even expect. So if you need help with that, if you want to help with that, if you're willing to create that space for you, come and join me in the better than before breast cancer life coaching membership and I will coach you along the way and I will guide you along the way and I will help you find and create that space for yourself. All right friends, I will talk to you again next week and until then, Please be good to yourself. You deserve it. Talk to you soon.
Speaker 2 21:24
Use courage to the test laid all your doubts your mind is clearer than before your heart is full and wanting more your futures Give it all you know has you been waiting