Living Lighter Emotionally

When most people think of “living lighter” they are probably referring to losing physical weight. Emotionally Living Lighter means letting go of personal guilt and shame, forgiving yourself and others for mistakes, not taking yourself or your life too seriously, and finding the humor in everything.  

Everyone has had times, moments, events, and choices we are not proud of. We all have skeletons in our closet. While in college, I dated a guy I truly was not compatible with. He did things I did not approve of, and I often did not feel like myself around him. 

We fought regularly. My friends did not understand the relationship, and I did not know myself anymore. After two years of this, he actually ended the relationship, and I walked away in shame. 

How could I have been so stupid? How could I have wasted so much time on an unhealthy relationship? I was actually physically sick over this situation and spent months “getting over” him.

I thought I hated him for everything that happened, but eventually I realized I hated myself for the choices I had made. When I came to that truth, I was able to heal because I knew I truly loved him and had acted on that love throughout the relationship. I did the best I knew how at the time.

This is an example of living lighter emotionally ~ giving yourself the kind of understanding and compassion you would give a dear friend and then forgiving yourself. Forgiving others is equally important.  

When you hang on to hurts and disappointments from other people, when you harbor anger toward them, you are bound by negative energy. You carry invisible bricks on your shoulders that weigh you down tremendously.

Who do you need to forgive? What harbored hurts are you carrying? Consider forgiveness and let the bricks fall. By forgiving, you are releasing yourself of a powerful emotional burden. You are not saying what happened was okay, but you are deciding you will move beyond it in your life.

By not taking yourself or your life too seriously and instead finding humor in everything possible, you will also lighten your load emotionally. Finding humor in terrible circumstances may sound insensitive, but it’s not. 

Life is full of tragedies no one can explain and situations we have no idea how to handle. My grandmother had a stroke and was in the hospital. One night I stayed with her in her room. She needed a lot of help, which was something new for both of us.

She was hooked up to tubes and IV’s, but no catheter, so every time she had to get up (about every 45 minutes), we had to untangle everything, get her up, and hurry, because when she had to go, she had to go!

Deep down, this was all very distressing to both of us. We were exhausted, and she was very sick and in trouble. We could have chosen to be angry or cry about the whole thing. Instead, we started to laugh. 

We laughed about the absurdity of her needing help, our switched roles, and other hospital humor, like the “beautiful gowns – feeling like a patient princess.” We actually had a good time, although just hours before, we thought she was dying.

Humor is a choice, just like anything else. Life is not always funny, that’s for sure, but if somehow even in the midst of your personal struggles you can find a way to laugh, you give the pain less power. 

Comedians, clowns, comics, comedy tv and movies are very popular forms of entertainment for all ages. Why? Because we all need to laugh.  

 It’s time to let go, forgive yourself and everyone else. Learn from whatever mistakes you have undoubtedly made. Move on!

 Life is short and is not meant to be wasted on issues that are passed. Release your unnecessary guilt and shame. Laugh more at yourself and your circumstances. Give it a try ~ I know you will feel lighter.

© - Cindy D. Whitmer (April 10, 2010)