Emotional Processing When Your Life an Unexpected Hard Turn. . . Part 2

There are times in our lives when we feel ripped out of a situation. Here are some ways to balance your thoughts and get back to you.

If you’ve read Part 1 then you know journaling is a great start to sorting out all the feelings inside you as you try to shift your ability to cope with being yanked from what you knew as your life circumstances. I keep several things in mind when I am facing a traumatic change in my life:

1) The emotions & feelings will pass as I process the situation

2) There are 3 ways to create your narrative about the situation. I am to blame, “they” are to blame, and using only actions as the facts.

3) I am careful to use compassionate self talk so the guilt & shame don’t become too much.

4) What lesson can I learn from this? Everything in this life can be used as a learning tool to get to know yourself better.


Get out your journal again cuz we’re going to explore our current feelings and then how we want to feel. What did you see in your pages about how you were feeling?

  • Write down the feelings that came up during journaling.
  • Journal about each one and why you are feelings this way.
  • Describe situations from your past (especially during childhood) when you felt like this.
  • Go deep into the muck of your past to bring out these ghosts that have been haunting you. If this is the first time you’ve really explored your past as it connects to your emotional reactions now, it’s going to be a job. It takes time to filter your emotional responses through your childhood experiences but it’s great to be able to understand why something can trigger such a gut reaction.
  • Now write down how you want to feel. Here’s your roadmap to healing.
  • List what you need in order to feel the way you want to.


I have made pages and pages in my journals, art journals, and altered books that have helped me discover what situations trigger the way down deep emotional responses, where they originated, and how I want to feel now. I try to stick with 5 of my “Core Desired Feelings”. I learned this from Daniele LaPorte and her book Desire Map. I found it an amazing tool in my own life. It’s how I make goals – “how do I feel and how do I want to feel?”

As you start exploring the situation from different angles, you will be able to start untying the emotional tethers that have you reliving the event over and over. The pain recedes as you move away from the situation and time does help in adjusting to any new normal in your life now. That’s why I remind myself I won’t feel like crap forever and that helps me quite a bit. I will admit I take pleasure in imagining different ways the situation could’ve happened or how other’s will also be suffering. I do limit the darker fantasies, but we are all human and I don’t deny myself some mental aspects of getting even. As soon as you can, don’t have any contact with the people or situation. This helps if you don’t have to reenter where the hurt took place.

If you have any difficulty getting past anything, go to a counselor! I’ve gone to several and they always have helped with knowing I’m normal. It is really good to have someone you can talk to without any judgement.

Perception in 3 ways and where to put the “blame”

I usually find myself switching between, it’s my fault or it’s “their” fault. These are two more journaling ideas for you. Explore why you think you could have been the reason for the change and really look at it. Are some responses/feelings repeating themselves? Look at it objectively to see if some of your responses are just in your head. We humans are great at seeing the world through our perception which may not be entirely truth. Now write about why it was someone/somethings fault. The catch with trying to “see” through an other’s eyes is that we can’t. We will never be able to truly understand how other’s see a situation because we have not lived their life. That seems like an obvious statement, but I will try to understand someone’s thinking and there isn’t any way I can do that accurately.

The biggest obstacle for me is not being able to understand where other people are coming from or the”why” behind their actions.   I am finally starting to understand this and I work to be ok with not knowing.

With the situation that just happened to me, I looked at just the actions that took place & not the reasoning behind them. This helps to take emotions out of the equation and get the “facts”. This helps you get an observers perspective and that may help to take the blame out.


As I journal, I doodle to clear my thoughts or to really think things through before I write them down. Coloring is useful to calm you down too.

To help you out, here’s a mini art journal for you to print and use. Do some coloring, doodles, and journaling.

free mini art journal with feelings

Part 3 will be taking action with each of our energetic system chakras.










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