CUT IT DOWN TO SIZE
Series: Take Back Authority Over Your Life
In her book, The Dance of Connection, Harriet Lerner says this about a client: “Over time, she was able to give voice to her shame, expose it to the light of day, confront it, and cut it down to size. She could not exorcise it entirely from her day-to-day experience, but she learned to greet shame—like fear—as an uninvited visitor who could be counted on to come and go. And she didn’t let shame stop her from giving voice to her needs and accepting comfort and help.”
What jumps out at me from this quote is that she learned to “cut her shame down to size.” And this allowed her to take authority over her shame instead of letting it have authority in her life. I believe this principle applies to more than shame as well. I often find myself grappling with anxiety that seems huge. I spend an exorbitant amount of time thinking about it, fighting it, praying against it, worrying, obsessing, etc. Jealousy can be like this. Or resentment. Depression is sadness that has been allowed to grow too big in our lives. We can put too much pressure on an upcoming vacation. And on and on.
Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash
These things are not terrible in and of themselves, but like anything else they must be balanced. Given too much focus and energy, it is like a seesaw where one person outweighs the other. We just stay stuck up in the air flailing, never coming back to solid ground. When we notice we are obsessing, focusing, talking about, thinking about, worrying about something too much… stop! Allow your attention to be taken by more important things. Let the shame, anxiety, worry, jealousy, resentment and others become small again. When it is small, we may not be able to get rid of it totally, but we take back the authority over it.
Take back authority over your life by cutting unhelpful thoughts or emotions down to size