Touch a hot stove and your hand automatically snaps back very quickly. Our internal reflexes are built to protect us from experiencing pain and damage to the body. In the physical sense, we need these automatic responses to protect us from injury. And it is a natural blessing.
Our automatic reflex to recoil from emotional pain is also a type of self-protection, but - not a blessing. Painful emotions don't feel very good and most of us want to avoid them. But avoiding painful feelings for very long causes them to go underground, on the shelf or become that incessant mind chatter that just won't stop.
Feelings that go underground create resistance and fear around the painful experience or any situation that may be similar. We may feel immobilized like we can't move forward; blocked in an area of life. Buried emotions from a painful relationship break-up may cause us to avoid meeting new people or bury ourselves in our work. We distance or hide from ourselves as we grow older -- and life around us moves on.
Feelings that go on the shelf tend to make us go numb. It is like we have flipped a switch and turned our emotions off completely. When we turn off feelings in this way, we lose touch with both sad, painful feelings as well as happy and joyful ones. We are no longer present in our bodies to feel. Soon we have forgotten how to enjoy a laugh or give a natural smile.
Feelings that turn into mind chatter become fretting or nagging worry. The memory keeps coming up again and again. We re-evaluate every nuance of what happened, over and over. We may find ourselves turning it around and over in our minds. Or repeatedly talking about it to a trusted friend, trying to slice it, dice it, explain it, justify it, and analyze it rather than let ourselves really feel and accept what happened.
- It takes courage to face painful feelings.
- And self-awareness to recognize when we are resisting them.
And here is the good news:
- Moving through our feelings and experiencing them is so much easier than resistance!
Deciding to accept and embrace our feelings can begin just with the intention to do so. Recognize that our feelings are one of the most important aspects of who we are as spirit. Our feelings can help us identify what is meaningful to us. Our emotions help steer us toward what brings truth, integrity and purpose into our lives. Our feelings help create inner peace and joy. But emotions come in a package and we must embrace all of them.
How can we get there?
Find time to slow down and breathe deeply.
Allow yourself to feel everything.
Surrender to emotions that come up.
Experience them with compassion.
Embrace a new experience of ourselves.
Talking can help if we let the words express how we felt about it rather than justifying or explaining it. If something has been buried deeply, it may take time to open it up and process it fully. Give yourself the time you need, just as you would do for a good friend.
You may find that embracing pain becomes much easier than all the effort that goes into resistance.
And sometime soon . . . life begins to look a little richer, brighter and much more expansive.
Blessings to each of you on your journey,
Energetic Spiritual Academy,
a personal development program
Introducing a new spiritual and personal development program designed to energize, enrich and transform your life!
What is it?
Energetic Spiritual Academy is a series of 7 week modules based on the empowering concepts of intention and attention. The program teaches self-healing meditation tools, trust for your intuitive wisdom and growth inspiring concepts in a small group over Zoom.
See below for more information about the program!