Sometimes my sadness, anger and self-worthlessness feel so deep and infinite, I imagine if I let myself feel them at all that I’ll be lost in them forever.
I clearly remember the first few times I let myself feel as much of these “negative” emotions as I could. I remember how terrifying it was to peer into that oblivion, to imagine being sucked into it like a supermassive black hole, never to return.
In our emotionally illiterate society and culture, we’re conditioned to always be in the “up.” To always be positive, joyful, fearless.
And that is such fucking bullshit.
Courage, from the Latin “cor” meaning heart, is not the absence of fear but the resolve to stand our ground or to move forward in the face of fear because what we love, what we CARE about (cor) in our hearts is greater than the fear we feel.
Try squelching your fear, your anger, your sadness, your anything, and let me know how it works out for you. Try faking a smile for a year and let me know how many people believe you, let me know how your energy levels are. Let me know how lonely you are.
It takes massive amounts of energy to pretend.
What can confuse us is how overwhelming the force of the emotions can be, so often masquerading as the whole story when in fact they’re telling only part of the story.
Emotions are essentially information from the wisdom in our bodies, asking to be fully felt. When we fully feel them without resisting them or trying to change them or move them, they change and they move.
“What you resist persists.” In other words, it’s time to turn TOWARDS that thing you don’t want to feel.
That’s what it means to let something go. To “let” is to allow. To “go” indicates movement. To “let it go” means to allow it to move, and the only way we can allow it to move (let it go) is by being with it fully. This is emotional intelligence 101, and this information should be taught in kindergarten.
The truth of the matter is that we cannot cut off one emotion without affecting our ability to feel the rest of them. We cannot expect to feel happy but not sad, joyful, but not fearful. We’ve got to welcome the whole spectrum, the whole rainbow, or all we’ll get is a dull, sickening, soul-sucking shadowy grayish lifeless haze.
Another common place we get tripped up is not knowing what that feeling is or where it’s coming from. For me, sometimes I’ll feel something painful coming on for weeks until I can actually name it. Then, once I name it, usually I can let it move through me (by feeling it and being with it).
For me, I need to be able to identify it. As soon as I can accurately identify it and name it, I’m able to let it go.
The difference between complaining and naming the truth of an emotion in the present moment is the degree of accuracy and truth in the verbalizing.
If I’m perceived as complaining, then more than likely I’m not fully in touch with what’s ACTUALLY going on. I’m circling the truth, but not getting to the root of it. Complaining also includes avoiding responsibility, blaming, self-victimizing.
Sometimes it takes quite a bit of circling in order to get to the root of the issue, so give yourself room to be messy.
Give yourself room and time to feel into the unwanted feelings without having to name them right away either. For me, this process can take quite a while.
What we’re doing is re-learning how to function as whole human beings after years of being cut off from these parts of ourselves. This will take time.
Most people run. And while they’re running they’re certain they’re doing the right thing. They feel uncomfortable with the feelings, so they get up and walk away.
But what they don’t understand is that when they do that they’re walking away from themselves.
But we who have chosen to be more fully ALIVE have chosen to be there for ourselves. We are committed to being there for ALL parts of ourselves, not just the ones we like.
We’re in it for the long term, the only way that is sustainable.
We stand our ground, as compassionately, as truthfully as we know how.
We set proper boundaries, first honoring self then honoring other.
We respect the process, knowing that time is on our side and that patience plus care is the secret.
And we evolve. Adopting and discarding beliefs like stepping stones, never clinging too desperately to any one path or story, gently resting and moving in the infinity of story and the great spirit of evolution.
Beliefs like stepping stones.
P.S. If you liked what you read here and would like to chat with me about it some more, I’d love to have a conversation in which these fields and emotions become AMPLIFIED so that we can get to the roots of the issues and shine a light into the darkness. Check out the page Life Coaching for more.