We use the word “deal” too often when we talk about our emotional experiences. I’m feeling stressed, I need to deal with it. I’m really sad lately, I can’t seem to deal with the loss of my cat. I can’t deal with my depression. My anger needs to be dealt with.
The word “deal”, in this context, has a vague and ambiguous meaning. We aren’t distributing anything to our emotions, as if we were dealing a hand of cards in a poker game. An agreement isn’t being entered, as if we were striking a deal with our emotions. If we look at the dictionary definitions of “deal” in the Cambridge Dictionary, we see that “deal” as a verb, that is, as an action, only means one of those two things: either a dealing of business or a dealing of something like cards. However, the dictionary offers “deal with” as a phrase, which means “to develop a way to manage or relate to someone or something”. Here, we find some context to what we are really saying when we say we have to “deal with” our emotions.
We don’t have to “deal with” our feelings. While we are learning to manage our emotions, we aren’t managing the fact that they exist, which we often infer in our sentiments about having to deal with them. We’re learning to manage their effects, their power, and how we incorporate them into our lives. Moreover, we’re learning to manage the feelings we have and when we have them, by becoming mindful of our experiences. Likewise, while we are learning to identify our emotions, embrace our emotions, and accept our emotions, we aren’t relating to our emotions. Relating to our emotions suggests that our emotions are a separate entity from ourselves, something external to our inherent being. One of the most important things we learn in trauma recovery is that while we aren’t our feelings and our feelings aren’t fact, our feelings are a part of us and we have to learn to take care of our feeling selves. Not our feelings- ourselves, who are having and experiencing feelings. Rather than make our feelings separate, we see them as a natural part of who we are, a part that needs to be taken care of, instead of dealt with.
Trauma is most often the root cause of many emotional, behavioral, and mood disorders. Until you can heal your trauma, you will find great difficulty finding the healing you need to live a life of recovery, health, and wellness. At Khiron House, we provide effective residential treatment and cutting edge therapies which seek to transform mind, body, and spirit from the effects of trauma. Call us today for information. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours) USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).