What of your emotional past have you been hoarding?
The other day, I had an Emma Thompson moment in the dressing room of a Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store. If you’ve seen LOVE ACTUALLY, then you have an idea of what I’m referring to. It’s that moment in the film where she ducks into the bedroom to have a quick, private cry before returning to her family as if nothing is wrong – an emotional dance you assume she has done one too many times. Well, I didn’t duck in purposefully to have a cry. But after a long, tiresome day and attempting to fit my post-holiday weight gain butt into some clothes designed for much taller and thinner people than me, I broke down. Not because I was feeling ugly or fat, but because I was depleted. I was beaten and tired from my year and hadn’t taken a moment to exhale it all out. So instead, the moment chose itself, under that horrible, department store lighting.
It was then I recalled that it was the full moon in Cancer that day, so for a Cancer moon like me, it was going to be a day of harsh, emotional challenge. And I had to release it out. However, later that day, after some further retrospection, I realized that the full moon was actually about releasing more than some tears. See, this was not the first time I had been the star of a dressing room cry. But I had to work a little bit harder to make it my last.
It’s important to throw things out and start anew
The Cancer full moon is all about releasing your past. You see, in general, Cancers are all about collecting the past, and they do a good job of utilizing what they gather as they move forward in life. But it can also be easy for a Cancer to hold onto the past in a way that is unhealthy. I’d imagine that the first hoarder was probably a Cancer. Some cave man or woman just rolling a ridiculous amount of stones into the home cave, storing them for some event that would never happen. So this past full moon was well timed with the New Year. You may have found yourself wanting to be rid of unnecessary clutter. And it’s important to throw things out and start anew. But the greatest place to take stock is inside of your self. What of your emotional past have you been hoarding?
We cannot allow ourselves to fall into old patterns or feelings, simply to use them like comfortable blanket coping devices
I grew up overweight and feeling unloved. As I’ve gotten older, I have shed most of the excess physical weight (with the exception of the holidays pounds I picked up over these last few weeks), but it has taken a lot of soul-searching, immersing myself in self-help materials, and therapy to get myself past the mental blocks created by that long era of self-loathing. And I have come so incredibly far. But still, I have continued to carry the emotional baggage of that old Angel around with me for all of these years.
In my Saks/Emma Thompson moment, tired and at my lowest, I had fallen backwards into an old skin. I was once again ten, thirteen, seventeen, twenty-two, hell, even thirty. I was feeling ashamed and “less than”. I was feeling my past. But I can see now that it wasn’t because I still feel that exact same way. Rather, I have just held onto that old emotion, like a pack-rat, so that I would have something reliable to pull out when I got tired and couldn’t take any more. And that is not the healthy way to respond in trying emotional times such as those. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into old patterns or feelings, simply to use them like comfortable blanket coping devices. The healthy way to deal is to step back and take a breath. Slow down. Acknowledge to yourself that “I need to rest” and do just that. Love yourself. Because only then can you replenish.
Take it from me and deem yourself worthy of “taking a break”. Or else you may find yourself holed up in that little room, crying on the floor to some sad slow hits song playing on the department store radio. And that is not a pretty sight.
Look back into this last week and see where that moon perhaps affected you, and how you can best utilize its lessons to move into a stronger, more graceful place. Here is some help:
Look into old emotional patterns based out of childhood, particularly from your parents. They laid a lot of the groundwork for your inner being, and you may at times fall back into a childish mode when you feel insecure. Acknowledge what that is and do your best to free it.
Your past latches on in the form of words. You may easily fall back into a mode of telling yourself outdated beliefs that are based from a less emotionally evolved version of you. Take special care in noticing what you say to yourself in those times of weakness and recognize that it isn’t you talking. It’s just an old tape.
For you, past issues flare up around money. It’s time to let go of the feeling that you are less than when it feels like your bank account is telling you so, or if you find yourself comparing to others who have what you do not. Your worth is not built from external forces, but from a love inside.
I know it’s a challenge, but you must work harder at allowing yourself to change more. In fact, you may be literally stuck in the way you see yourself. Look in the mirror. Do you still look the way you did in grade school? That’s how you cope. By holding onto an outdated physical you. Don’t keep from moving forward. So move even your wardrobe into a newer version of you.
You carry your past around, but it’s buried deep in the cupboard of your subconscious somewhere. Well, spring clean early! For you, whip out a journal and get real with yourself. Are you being honest with where you are in your life? What deep feelings are you harboring? Write out some answers and deal with the truths. You won’t find consistent happiness when you’re keeping old lies around.
Your past is dictated to you by the world you build around you. So it may be time to rid yourself of some of the things that could just be reminders of old habits, patterns, and versions of you. They may have just seemed like keepsakes from a time, but that time no longer exists and the memory is really just a trigger for when you need to feel young again.
Has your career been defining you and your happiness a bit too much? Work is good so life is good, and vice versa? And what in your work world is no longer helping you to achieve the bigger picture of what you want for your life? You need more time, so free yourself from old burdens around work to give other aspects of your life some breathing room.
You love a good transformation, but you have to make certain that you’re not changing out of boredom or because you haven’t fully invested in your latest incarnation. Take your time when next asking yourself, “who am I?” You may not have to be jump into the habitual thinking of “I need a change” in order to figure things out. Sometimes committing to one thing for longer than is comfortable is key.
Your past is deeply embedded in your emotional self and you find comfort in sadness. It’s always there for you when someone lets you down, life deals a blow, or a loved one passes away. However, your sadness can also be too comforting a place. Have you been carrying your sadness around and possibly using it as an unnecessary crutch? How do you let it go and let a little more joy in?
Some of your relationships are just soft, like an easy chair. They require minimal work so you’ve just kept them around. But, for that reason, they also allow you to be the easiest version of yourself, so in a way, they’ve stunted your emotional growth. I’m not saying to dump your old friends. Just make sure you’re not relying on them to stay stuck in some old, unnecessary ways of being.
If your routine is stale, your life is stale. So what of your daily routine needs an overhaul? Sure, certain things have to be this way or that way – responsibility has dictated as such. Or has it? It might be time to get more creative with how you spend your hours. Some of your daily rituals are keeping you in a rut, but you must make the effort to shake it up.
When you’re feeling down, you immerse yourself in fun. Whether it’s a party or some creative project, you go all in. How else are you supposed to unwind? Well, just make sure that your ways of unwinding haven’t become distractions to the real work you need to accomplish. It’s easy to turn the party mode on, but what about finding new ways to do so that also allow you to feel productive?