You long to live your life fully. You want to create and to accomplish your goals and dreams. And, you wish to live with purpose, meaning, and to bring value to the world.
This sort of focus and forward momentum has always been a part of who you are, but, somehow, you find that your life has changed. You were on a path – maybe you were working on a show, writing a novel, building your business, or planning your vacation… Then, suddenly, it all stopped.
Now, the unknown looms large, leaving you wondering what’s next. Your dreams and goals, once so clear and vivid are now hanging there, all vague and unresolved…
Will you continue to live a life marked by creativity and accomplishment? Will you continue your creative, innovative, productive work?
Yes, we’re living through a world crisis now. It’s something you – none of us – have not had to face before. There are so many questions, and not enough answers.
Tough times require emotional resilience
But, what does it mean to be resilient during these uniquely challenging times?
Resilience is about being able to respond, recover, and persevere.
So, if you look at yourself over the last few months, how did you respond? Did you become very active? Took the time to absorb the information thrown at you? Did you freeze? Got confused? Or, you freaked out? Maybe you panicked because you didn’t know what to do?
Now that we’ve navigated the initial shock of this crisis and you’ve gone through your first responses, are you beginning to recover? Do you feel like now you’re in a place in which you can process the changes and make decisions about how to navigate your new reality? Are you able to see options to continue showing up in life?
It’s only when you’re through and beyond those initial shock responses that you can start your recovery. On the other side of shock you can become aware and connected to your challenging feelings.
Here’s the remarkable thing: being aware of your challenging feelings and working with their messages is your ticket to recovery and moving forward. This is how you can actually use those challenging feelings to continue along your life’s journeys – to create, to accomplish, to connect. This is a sign you are adapting and finding new ways to continue to live, love, and be productive.
Life is not about avoiding challenges that are thrown at you. Life is about being present with whatever difficulty or pain you face so you can work with your reality. This is what makes you feel alive, connected, creative, or productive.
In light of all these changes you may reassess your goals and make new ones. Maybe you feel called to be more mindful and build some equanimity with all that you’re facing. Maybe you figure out how to access your innate wisdom in a new way. Or, you may find yourself in a position in which you can be of comfort for others.
Normally progress occurs in laps, going back and forth between states. You can go back and forth between feeling like you’re able to cope and feeling quite adrift, but, overall, you’re moving forward and finding new ways to adapt and persevere. But then, what happens if you get stuck and can’t seem to reconnect with your emotional resilience?
Now, more than ever, we all need to be able to show up, but do you feel like you can?
Challenging times, especially unprecedented times like these, can trigger old emotional conflicts that have not yet been confronted. Despite your determination and your desire to show up, be helpful, or succeed, you can’t seem to function or figure out how to adapt.
You feel like a fish out of water, longing to go back to a world that it felt like home. The question is, do you have that option? In uncertain times like these, do any of us know for sure if we get to go back to “normal”?
Was the normal we knew, normal? Or these times are called upon us to shift to a new way of being that is more humane, more mindful or more responsible to the world?
In the face of all this, you may find you’re falling into a meaningless routine and just living one day at a time. As the weeks go on it all feels like more and more like all the same because you don’t really have a structure to keep you going. Instead, you find yourself feeling lost thanks to a lack of emotional, intellectual, and social stimulation. You ask yourself, can I do this?
But, uniquely challenging times can trigger old unprocessed emotional conflicts. Maybe unprocessed grief, fears, or self-doubts. Maybe old feelings of not feeling efficient, capable, or creative. Or, old conflicts
of feeling alone with no one to rely on. Perhaps isolated, not emotionally connected enough to feel stimulated, energized, or inspired. Or maybe old feelings of feeling unsafe are triggered.
The question is, if the present is tough enough and calls for emotional stamina, how can you take on the new challenges when old emotional conflicts are triggered?
EMDR therapy can make a difference and help you move through this crisis. How?
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Recovery – can really target your specific difficulties you have right now. Either is a feeling of hopelessness, or confusion, or anger. Either you may feel unsafe or not able to remain disciplined enough to cope. Or you can’t see options of moving forward. Whatever you feel your feelings are interfering with you persevering through the current challenges.
This type of psychotherapy can help you process your difficult present feelings so they don’t control you or keep you stuck. And, if these feelings trigger old trauma, EMDR can really target old conflicts and clean the past interfering with your present.
At the same time, EMDR has been shown to be also effective with peak performance, meaning that it can help you develop or hone your emotional skills. Therefore, you can be more productive, focused, or motivated. Or maybe you want to be more in touch with your joy, love, and sense of gratitude. Purpose and meaning. Or, find a new cause, a new answer, a new way of taking on the world. EMDR is an effective option.
Yes, it does require hard work. It’s not a magic tool to take away your challenges and give you the answers to life difficulties, crisis, or quests. EMDR is a comprehensive and complex psychotherapy approach that heals trauma, builds your character, and your emotional resilience. So you can show up in life and continue to fully live, grow, and transform to a better you even in the meads of your most challenging times.
If you have any questions about EMDR or would like to know if it’s a good psychotherapy approach for you, please contact me for your free 15-20min phone consultation.
I am Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Doctor in Clinical Psychology. I help creatives and performers with their life struggles, depression, anxiety, performance anxiety, creativity, relationships and love, PTSD, and addictions – to become their own best version. You can read more about Therapy for Creatives here.