How Allowing Emotions is Like Going to the Dentist


I sat there in the chair feeling the tears well up in my eyes. I thought to myself, “This sucks, it’s so uncomfortable, and I did it to myself. I can’t believe I didn’t even know better. I should’ve been able to prevent this. But now I’m sitting here, getting numbed, to get deep cleaned.”

I kept thinking about how I shouldn’t be there. How irritated I was with myself for not finding a way to pay for the dentist. To argue with the dentist who didn’t give me a cleaning the one day I got in. To change my flossing habits to 2x daily. To get the other brand of electric toothbrush. 

Meanwhile, so uncomfortable with the cotton attempted to be put in my mouth, strange objects and injections being crowded, all so uncomfortable. I felt my body tensing up and fighting back. Choking. The hygienist repetitively asking I was ok. 

If I could have spoken I would have said, “I think you’re wondering if I’m dying on your chair. No, I’m not a medical emergency. I’m just full of negative self talk and fighting back the discomfort that this procedure is causing me both physically and emotionally.”

The truth is, yes, it was uncomfortable. But the main agony was all self inflicted.

All of those thoughts I had about how terrible the procedure was and all of my negative self talk arguing with the past all could have been skipped:

I was exactly where I was meant to be.

I was supposed to have gotten gum disease right when I did.

I was given dental insurance to catch it right before it was too bad.

I was getting the procedure that would get all the bacteria out.

I was learning how to better care for my teeth and my mouth.

I am young enough to bounce back.

I wasn’t supposed to go to the dentist until now.

I even was supposed to experience the extra discomfort in the chair from my mind.

Because without it, I wouldn’t of had this analogy of a blog post to write for you, my dear lady friend.

(You see how it had nothing to do with the dentist, procedure, or anything like that? It was all about what I made it mean, and fighting against reality.)