To Feel is To Heal
Welcome awesome you!
I came across this today and wanted to share:
Blessed are emotions,
for though some make you weep,
you’re better to have known them
for the secrets that they keep.
poem from “Choose Them Wisely” by Mike Dooley (p. 103)
One thing that I’ve been practicing this past year is “feeling my feelings.” Seems a bit odd to make a practice of it, but I bet most of you are unaware of how many times during the day that you feel an emotion – anger, jealousy, disappointment or sadness and quickly dismiss it with a “judgement” thought.
Perhaps you say to yourself (as I still catch myself doing) “I shouldn’t think that/feel that – it’s not nice.” Or you may quickly suppress the emotion with “it’s not ok to judge, they’re (the other person) doing the best they can.” But guess what? So are you! You are doing the best you can and emotions are like the weather – you can’t control them. HOWEVER, you can choose to gleam the gold from them.
There is “information in that sensation” (as quoted by Abigail Steidley) and that information provides the gift of emotional, spiritual, mental and even physical health. When we allow the emotion – which is energy in motion – to be felt, we are opening ourselves up to the possibility of hearing our neutral voice of intuition.
We may get an understanding of “why” we were triggered by that person’s personality or behavior and this opens us up to a deeper understanding of what we may be yearning for at the moment or if there is an action that we want to take. With anger, a boundary may have been crossed; with jealousy, what is it that you are yearning for? With disappointment, did someone let you down? With sadness, what needs to be released?
You’ll be amazed that by allowing the emotion to be felt, it’s sharpness dissipates and you are left with a calmness and intuitive possibilities of what the next step may be. Perhaps, you need to express to someone what bothered you in an interaction with them. But, now having allowed yourself to feel the emotion, you have empowered yourself to approach the person from a calmer, more centered space. The choice is theirs in their response, but you have done your part in getting clear and this energy is very different than if you approached them with confusion or rage (firmness and directness, perhaps but not blame or shame).
This honesty of expression can provide an opportunity for closeness rather than distance. Or it may provide you with clarity if the other person chooses to respond in a way that doesn’t feel good to you – you will be in the peace of mind to discern whether they are capable of the kind of relationship you value.
If it was jealousy or sadness that you allowed yourself to feel, then notice what you may be needing more of or less of in your life (at this point of time). These feelings may provide information for yourself that does not need to be shared, but just recognized by you.
Here’s the protocol :
When you feel an emotion or notice yourself saying “I shouldn’t feel this way” , pause and breath. Yup, it’s that simple – pause and inhale deeply. That deep inhalation puts your body in the parasympathetic state of relaxation and allows your mind to open up to intuitive thoughts. Let the emotion be felt, even if it feels uncomfortable.
You may choose to define it or not, but just that moment of allowance will either bring you information or bring you a minute of compassionate understanding for being as G-d created you – simply human.
(for more insight into how informative feelings can be, please check out Karla Mclaren’s book “The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You.” It can be used as an emotional reference guide.)