It’s not so much about getting tasks done as it is about getting your s*** together, as someone said in a session. She was bemoaning the fact that she thought she had done much of that; ‘working through” her emotional and psychological “baggage”. But as we were working through the issue with EMDR desensitization, she began realizing that she was in fact like an ostrich hiding her head in the sand, and had dealt with little of it.
What does this mean? It means that she is human because even simple daily tasks are things that we often delay. It’s not that important and “I’ll do that tomorrow” is what we tell ourselves. (See http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/201203/ill-feel-more-it-tomorrow-0) And, often, it isn’t a big deal if we don’t do the laundry for a few days or don’t sweep the floor every day. In fact, for some people, delaying a task actually is a good thing because they work better under pressure. See: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-age-anxiety/201104/can-procrastination-ever-be-good-thing. But what happens when we avoid doing too many things or for far too long? We usually end up getting bogged down and overwhelmed with an over-abundance of “to-dos” on our list.
And what about our emotional and psychological “stuff”? What happens if we don’t deal with these issues? Often nothing, at first. In fact, we are relieved to bury them away. Those recurring patterns of self-destruction and those bad habits that affect our health and our relationships aren’t really that bad, are they?
It is true that sometimes issues will heal with time and that some things will resolve themselves if left alone. However, the more we delay, deny and bury our feelings around those most significant and important events in our lives, and the more we reject that we have psychological pain, the worse it can become. It is kind of like a pressure cooker. Even if you’ve never seen one in action, most people understand the concept. A pressure cooker needs to be handled with care as you have to let off a bit of steam constantly, otherwise, you risk the whole thing exploding! or it starts to overcook…
In psychological terms, this can mean that when we deny our feelings for lengthy periods of time, various physical, emotional and psychological issues can begin to emerge. People can subjugate their life traumas into physical illness, and other distressing events from the past can actually sabotage your present day relationships. Depression can occur as a result of cumulative stress and loss. Anxiety can become a factor due to unresolved events from the past.
Sounds dramatic but everyone is human and we need to acknowledge that not everything is “just fine”. If the same theme keeps coming up in your life, there may be a reason for it: maybe it is time to deal with it!