Remember Cousin “Itt”? The crazy ‘hair-in-the-face” cousin on the “Addams Family”? Oh, wow, who in the world thought of this one? I’ll tell ya. Probably someone going through menopause or some type of hormonal storm. I’ve seen Cousin “Itt” in the mirror in the last few years. Shocking, I know. But I have a strategy in play now
What to do when we feel more like “Cousin Itt” than ourselves?
- Talk to yourself nicely. Yep. Do it. You’re not crazy, I promise. We must talk to ourselves with kindness and praise, using our empowering “I am” statements. They speak louder and truer than our demeaning criticisms.
- Believe. Believe with confidence that “This too shall pass”. I know, easier said than done. But it will. Nothing ever stays the same. (good or bad, change will come).
- Don’t. When in doubt, we don’t do it. If we don’t have clarity about a next step, we don’t pretend we do. Waiting is NOT our enemy in this odd space, waiting is our friend.
- Be honest. Acknowledge feeling “off” is part of life. Everyone experiences this. We’re normal. It’s really ok to let someone know we don’t feel as ‘dazzling and smashing’ as we appear. 😉 Lock “guilt” and “shame” in the closet. They don’t belong here. Say “I love you” more, not less.
- Be quiet. Yes, really. Trust me on this one. Zip that lip. If we don’t feel like “us”, then we need to wait until we at least agree with ourselves before waxing “eloquently” in conversation. 😉 Why does the crazy-brained one want to talk so much? I don’t know.
- Say “no”. The world will not collapse if we “bow out”. I can hear your “buts”. They’re flimsy. Give it up, sweetie-pie. Say “NO” It’ll be ok.
- Nourish your body and soul. We must listen to our inner small voice. Pray, read, listen, meditate. To the best of our ability, we need to choose the good stuff. Sleep longer, eat the veggies, laugh heartily…we KNOW what we need. Maybe 20 minutes of “I Love Lucy” is just the right entertainment for the night. Take a walk, look for beauty, drive the scenic route…
- Ask. Ask for what we need. There are no mind-readers in our house. (I was surprised to learn this). We have to really be intentional to communicate what we know we need. There are plenty of times we won’t have any idea, but when we do, we MUST grow up and ask. We all take turns needing. Next time, we can be the giver, but right now we are the ask-er. Own it.
- Apologize. If we did not make it through #5, chances are we might have some apologies to make. It’s ok. Grace is available. We don’t need to make excuses. Just apologize and mend quickly. Love deeply. Share freely to get back to every part of us possible.
- Breathe. (10 minutes to peace) I’m talking about the deep in your soul kind of breathing. No shallow huffs and puffs. Set the timer for 5 minutes of the deepest and longest breaths you can manage. Now set it for 5 more minutes. Let’s close our eyes (continue to breathe deeply) while imagining the most beautiful and restful place. (I choose a beach for my destination). Stay there 5 minutes. Don’t leave. I know we’re tempted. Stay. It’ll be worth it.
Before we know it, we’ll be feeling like ourselves again. I won’t lie, I know this season can last from minutes to years, but in the process (no matter how long) we will always be glad we were proactive. No loss in trying, right? And in the end, we might find that we have grown so that the “old” us isn’t the best version anymore.
Now, let’s not kid ourselves, those raging hormones and volatile emotions (Itt) will come knocking again. I think it helps to have a plan when the doorbell rings. And we might just have the courage and foresight to dead-bolt the door.