Your healing goals probably include feeling better more often and knowing what to do when you feel terrible. You may already have a handy list of friends, family, or professionals to call in a crisis and another list of music to play and soothing actions to take.
Sometimes you are on your own, or have already tried everything you can think of. The following phrases provide first-aid assistance when you need to feel better right now.
“I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.” When you feel alone and trapped and cannot imagine how the situation could improve, this phrase brings hope. Maybe a change is quietly building underground, or you will encounter someone tomorrow who will mention just the idea you are looking for.
Your desperate younger selves will appreciate knowing that things already got better, and your desperate current self will breathe a little easier with the possibility that a shift is on the way.
“It ended.” It is healing to express old pent-up emotions. It is also healing to interrupt them with knowledge that they are old, and the traumatic events that caused them did end. Carry this phrase with you into flashbacks and let it anchor you in the present. (See Frozen! Thaw from Surrender.)
“This problem is already solved.” After a contentious conversation or a fruitless search, this phrase helps you take a step back and drop the struggle. Perhaps your conversational opponent did hear your boundary and will not repeat the offensive behavior.
Perhaps you already own an object that fits your need. This worked for me after a frustrating search for supportive walking shoes. Aha, I can wear my hiking boots, even though they are not officially meant for urban walking.
“I am doing the right thing.” When you are caught in a spiral of self-criticism and shame, this phrase shifts your attention to all the things you are doing right. (See Calm Your Inner Critic.)
“What if this isn’t mine?” When you experience an intense emotion such as anger, anxiety, despair, or attraction and nothing you do changes it, ask yourself this question. Sensitive people are prone to picking up emotions from others. If the emotion does belong to someone else, you will feel immediate relief. (See Who Owns That Anger?)
“Don’t go to the hardware store for milk,” and “Not a good match.” If your needs are not met by individuals or businesses, it is tempting to blame yourself or treat them as enemies. When you acknowledge that your needs are valid but this is not a good match, it gives you the freedom to peacefully disengage and look elsewhere. (See 100 Percent On Your Own Side.)
“Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.” We constantly judge ourselves in comparison to others. Their lives seem smooth and effortless compared to our ragged struggles. When we remember that their struggles and situations are invisible to us, we can be kinder to ourselves. (See Create: Walk into Fog.)
“I am already good enough.” When you receive stinging criticism from yourself or someone else, this phrase helps you regain perspective. With an external message, also try reversing “I” and “you” to see if the criticism is more true about the speaker.
“I don’t need fixing.” When you seek support, remember that at the core there is nothing wrong with you. Move toward support that invites you to feel more whole rather than more broken. (See Demand Respect, Not Victim-Blaming.)
“It’s okay to be where I am right now,” and “I am having the experience of…” Yes, it is uncomfortable to be desperate and in pain. It is also okay to be here until it shifts. It will shift, eventually. Meanwhile, breathe, notice your experience, and wait it out. (See Not Again! Tame Your Fiercest Patterns.)
Do you have phrases that reliably help you? Make signs and post them where you will see them in the midst of desperation.
Comfort reading is different for each person. Do you have well-worn books, perhaps from childhood, that you pull out in desperate moments? Sometimes I turn to writing instead, spilling my thoughts into my journal to discover what lies underneath and around the desperation.