We tend to fear heartbreak; we protect ourselves from feeling anything that may prompt us
into a feeling of losing control. A place one of my clients calls "the hot sticky mess." We evaluate and judge some emotions as good and some as wrong. All emotions inform us of our truth. Emotions are the wisdom of the heart. We cannot honour our hearts if we only allow ourselves to feel certain things. The societal and internal pressure to be strong, to cope, to always be in control robs us of our gentleness and our compassion. When something traumatic happens, often the advice given by so many is to stay strong, to be strong. I find this well intended loving advice sad in a way. When we are vulnerable, we find new strength and resilience that can help us heal. We ARE strong, feeling the waves of emotions that help us heal is not weak. It takes courage.
So many of my clients and myself find coping mechanisms to suppress the pain, the heartbreak, the disappointment, the anger, the grief. Coping robs us of the experience of our suffering, and so we can stay stuck repeating patterns and responding to old hurt for many years (even lifetimes). Finding a safe space to express our feelings whether it be with a therapist, a healer, a friend, a journal is critical to our healing. Processing our feelings requires patience, gentleness, and safety. It demands that we allow ourselves to move through it. Having a good cry, vent or outburst can do wonders for the soul. The challenge is not everyone can support us through this journey. Many of us are unable to witness someone else's pain without trying to make them feel better. We respond to the pain from a place of fear and want to fix it and make it go away. Processing requires us just to feel it, feel it until you no longer do. A process I refer to as moving through the eye of the needle to the other side. It will pass and the journey will provide you with new insights, perspectives, and tools. So many of us apologise for our feelings, for our expressions, for our vulnerability. We hide it, and we hide from it. The process of experiencing our truth through our emotions is a vital part of the healing process.
Permission to experience our emotions does not mean letting our emotions lead. Having an emotional outburst at work or in the middle of a shopping center may not help, although this is frequently what happens when we do not honor ourselves with space and time to witness and process our emotions. Creating space and time to acknowledge your feelings in your life is vital to your healing. Whether this is while you meditate, write in your journal, have a long bubble bath, go to a therapist, healer or on workshops or with friends that can hold the sacred space for you, the important part is to make time and space to be with your emotions. To feel them, to express them, to honor them with love and compassion. When we suppress our emotions, we go numb. This numbness, unfortunately, works with all emotions. If we suppress our pain, our anger, our anxiety, our fear we also numb ourselves from our joy, our gratitude, our elation, our happiness. It goes together. We can't choose to feel some and not the other.
Another way we interrupt this process is with analysis. We want to answer the question why. Our search to understand can often make us think we have processed something but the pain still exists. I have seen this with so many clients that have experienced and survived abuse. They have analysed and got very clear as to why the other person abused them and even may have forgiven and discovered empathy for the individual. But, they have not stepped into their pain, anger, insecurity, fear, sadness, etc. about what happened to them and the understanding can even make you feel more guilty about how you feel.
No matter what happens or why it happens, your truth of the experience lies in your feelings about it and this needs to be allowed a voice for you to honor yourself in your life. Please never apologise for how you feel no matter how invalid or unjustified it may seem. Healing happens when you can reflect on your truth and surrender into the wisdom it offers you, even if the wisdom is that your expectations are unrealistic, you cannot change them if you have not allowed the emotions a voice to explain their purpose in your life.
So, bring your emotions close. Get intimate with how you feel. Don't judge them and be smart enough not to act on them in the moment but ask them for the wisdom they have for you. Every emotion brings you closer to your truth. Lovingly give your emotions space to offer you a view of your experience and then you can choose to act with wisdom. Emotions are not instructions to act, but they are clues to your deepest truth and with awareness your choices become different. When suppressed you remain closed to the wisdom, when acted on immaturely you may find yourself in unexpected situations but with exploration, reflection, curiosity and love your emotions help you heal. Once you know this, then you can embrace that emotions are not something to be feared and your vulnerability becomes a source of great power and strength.
Sending love and blessings