Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, and somewhat tying into Friday’s ‘Emotions’ topic, I am thankful for the ability to compartmentalize my thoughts and feelings.
Day #8 – Compartmentalization
What is compartmentalization? It refers to the habit of consciously separating specific aspects of one’s life from others in order to not dwell on bad feelings. These aspects can be things like work and extended family and so on, or they can be things from the past vs. the present, and so on.
Here are a few thoughts:
– A key component of compartmentalizing is letting go. Letting go … is really hard. It doesn’t mean forgiving and certainly doesn’t mean forgetting. It means saying that something will no longer have power over you. Maybe someone did something very hurtful at your wedding … or when you were pregnant after a long road of infertility and multiple miscarriages. And maybe in spite of attempts, you know the situation will never resolve. So what do you do? Let it be a constant source of emotional pain and turmoil? No – let it go. Remove the power and take back your life. Just understand that doing that will forever change the relationship you have with those people … if one exists at all.
– Compartmentalizing doesn’t mean you don’t deal with the issue. If it is a real and pressing issue, failing to deal with it means it will just blow up later. Compartmentalizing means building a firewall so you can separate things to deal with later from things to deal with now. Separating your work issues when you are at home – although personally being at home is the BEST time for Lisa and I to address work issues in a safe setting.
– Too much compartmentalizing can be bad … because your ability to, as the Beautiful South song says “Just put them in an incubator and we’ll deal with them later ” is not unlimited … and you really DO need to deal with all of these things either by confrontation or letting go.
Letting go has allowed me to remove the power others have over me and my life … which has also unfortunately limited any positive interactions with people I have known my whole life. But ultimately it is about doing what is most healthy.
How do you feel about compartmentalizing your feelings?
And of course, a song … “Harden My Heart” by Quarterflash
And better yet, “We’ll Deal With You Later” by The Beautiful South