The gift of not moving on

©Joy Malek

©Joy Malek

As Deep Feelers, deep processing is our way of metabolizing experiences. We have an instinctual need to make sense of events, thoughts, and feelings— so we reflect, process, and digest. We may ask, “Why can’t I just let this go?” but the truth is, deep processing brings us to deep understanding and meaning.

Let’s back up. Have you ever been blindsided by your own emotional reaction? Strong reactions are like the cold shock of diving into the ocean— the feelings are so intense they take our breath away! We’re disoriented, and for a moment the internal landscape is just a roaring, swirling chaos.

According to personality or circumstance, we may sound our distress like a siren, our overwhelm flooding our relationships. Or, we may keep our exterior very calm, contending with our internal firestorm in a vacuum of loneliness.

Often, we feel confused and at a loss to explain to others what we’re experiencing. We’re hardly able to make sense ourselves of the lightening flashes of emotion and the churning fragments of meaning that have us spinning.

But this is where our brilliance emerges: Whether in a few minutes, days, or weeks, the jagged and incoherent pieces of the storm begin to organize, and fall into place as a gleaming landscape, rife with wisdom and insight.

This is our superpower: The cycle that begins with our intense intake of experience, moves into deep processing of that experience, and culminates with transformational integration and insight.

In a world that prizes “moving on,” our gift is processing deeply.

In this world of ours, deep processing is the exception rather than the rule. If you’ve ever looked enviously at others who have thick skins and a heavy coating of “emotional Teflon”— experiences and feelings seeming to slide right off them— then you know that the way we’re wired is exceptional.

The hidden treasure in our need to think, feel and process before we can “move on” is what generates the wisdom and insight that is our gift to the world.

In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing some of my favorite practices for moving out of rumination and into productive reflection! If you'd these strategies delivered straight to your inbox, just sign up below.