When You Feel Like Giving Up

Mary El Tarot Two of Wands

Teal Swan says that yearning helps the universe because you are expanding it in your search for whatever it is you are yearning for, so you should not stop yearning. I agree. Yearning is good and natural. If it weren’t for yearning nothing would get invented and we would all wander around like herd animals or ants. The 2 of Wands in the Tarot is the card of yearning.

When it all gets too much, inevitably, here is what I suggest, and what has worked for me. It’s based on Focusing, a technique used by psychotherapists.:

1. Accept what you are feeling without trying to push the overwhelm away. Pushing emotions away does not make them go away permanently. Listen carefully and accept what your emotions are telling you. They are valid. You are valid.

2. Identify and fully experience the physical sensations that the overwhelm and sorrow is causing you. Try to name the complex array of emotions, and very precisely explain and name the exact physical sensations. Are you choking? Constructed? Fighting for breath? Do you feel punched in the stomach? Like your legs have been cut out from under you? Dirty? Name your physical and emotional sensations. Get very creative and analytical about it. Again, resist the temptation to push away or deny what you are feeling. It’s real.

3. If there is someone you can talk to, try to explain to them how you are feeling. Make sure that you say everything without being censored or talked over. Insist that they listen to it all. If there is no physical person present, call a helpline like Samaritans or Saneline. If your local numbers are all busy, call another country. You are not trivial or wasting anyone’s time. Your pain is real.

4. You do not need to:

  • Snap out of it / get over it
  • See the positive side
  • Forgive anyone
  • Be grateful – except to the person who is listening

5. You do need to:

  • Identify any thoughts or intention of self-harm, suicide, or harming others. Take yourself away from danger. If you feel like you are going to harm yourself or others, go to the police immediately.
  • Cry. Allow your emotions to express themselves. Cry into a towel or pillow if you have to minimise noise.
  • Drink water. This is a natural sedative. You gave probably lost a lot of water through tears. Going to the tap and pouring water is a good displacement activity.
  • Go outside. Get some fresh air.

6. Now say to yourself: “part of me is feeling…” do not jump right into the feeling, experience a little distance from it.

7. Listen without censoring yourself. Ask that part of yourself what it wants, what it needs. Act on it.

8. If you are silent and accepting of yourself enough, you will learn a great truth. If you don’t learn anything new about yourself, you can always try again. Believe me, it will happen again, like a very persistent telegram delivery. Act on that truth. You might hear:

  • God loves you
  • Believe in yourself
  • You are already a high achiever
  • Forgive yourself

9. Remember that forgiveness comes after healing, not the other way around.

10. Say a sincere thank you to the part of yourself that accepted to talk to you. Act on the guidance they gave you. Make friends with all the parts of yourself, Light and Shadow.

11. Try also: (other things that have worked for me in the past)

  • conscious breathing
  • healing others
  • prayer
  • perfume / incense
  • repeating: “It’s fine, I’m fine”
  • walking / exercise
  • eating
  • dedicating your experience to God / the universe

What has succeeded for you in a moment of crisis? Leave your comments below.

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