Healing through Feeling: How to Sit with Your Emotions


By: Gaia Staff  |  November 21, 2013

What if all we had to do to change our experience was simply feel what we feel? Unfortunately, the feeling is what can be most difficult. Simply feeling and not doing can seem strange and terrifying, especially when we think that in order to do something, we must do something “now”. It’s easy to imagine that some feelings may very well destroy us.

Whenever my life experience pushes me to face what I truly feel, my mind jumps in to tell me that I will never accomplish anything- that I need to give up this feeling thing, shut up, lose myself in another job and contribute to society. But I’ve done that…three times. What I’ve discovered each time is what does not work: it does not work to use silence, a job or even a noble purpose to distract myself from the discomfort I feel. To do otherwise goes against our very name. We are not doings; we are beings with incredible creative capacity. The fact that I have created elaborate situations three times to avoid facing myself is proof of this.

I have finally allowed myself to truly feel the quality of life I have created. Some days my only experience is fear, rage and shame. I watch in awe at the elaborate stories swirling in eddies and whirlpools in my mind. I feel self-indulgent and wonder how long it will take for these emotions to twist and turn through my body. I long to rush their progress. I long to sedate, ignore or run to someone to help me “fix” the discomfort, but I’ve already done all of these things and none of them work for long. They simply cover for a while until the familiar sensation rises yet again. So here I am, feeling all that is… no matter what label it has.

Some days I cannot do anything but sit, notice and observe. I feel useless and broken when I’m not “doing”, and no one telling me otherwise can change how I feel- it shouldn’t. We all must feel what we have created no matter how uncomfortable it is. A river can be dammed, but only for so long when a flood’s coming.

We humans have created a lot of difficult stories and circumstances that we think are the reason for the discomfort we often experience. But what is hidden cannot remain hidden forever. A gem under the mud of a raging river must, at some point, encounter the rays of the sun. The raging river of life can feel uncomfortable as it rushes over our attempts to sedate, medicate and hide what really lies inside, but at some point what lies within will be seen anyway. I can spend years feeling sorry for myself because it’s so uncomfortable for me to show you who I really am, but unless I do I remain hidden, chaotic and unable to interact with my world in new ways.

I long for a world where everyone feels safe. Where we’re able to allow a feeling to run its course without needing to jump to conclusions and create a story about why it’s there, or a need to beg another for “help”. I long for us all to be patient with the flood of discomfort until the authentic response-the gem-rises from the churning of the feeling.

Many days I still see myself choosing to react in fear, anger and shame when I encounter differences or areas where I initially felt uncomfortable. Some days I want to force my “authentic response” but the irony in this effort is not lost on me. Force will never ever elicit an authentic, truthful response to life. My discomfort in telling the truth will never bring forth the result I imagine. Only the truth will reveal the next step. So I feel, even when I tell myself bizarre stories about what the feelings mean. So I write, even when I know I may hear another’s story about what my words mean and that I may not agree. I write, not because no one has ever felt like this before or because no one has ever written this before, but because someone feels this right now and my words may sink in where others have not before.

If all human beings could simply sit with all the feelings we share for one month, with no requirement to act or speak but simply to feel, what would come? What might we realize? Would we finally allow all the suppressed energy under the surface of our “fines” and “okays” to move through us and transform us so we could finally experience how we are already immersed in peace instead of making the mistake of thinking that we have to “make peace?” Would we then feel the forgiveness that comes from realizing each and every one of us is attempting to experience unconditional love in a conditional world? What would we create then?

“Don’t hide your heart but reveal it, so that mine might be revealed, and I might accept what I am capable of. “

Rumi

If you liked this article, be sure to watch our video Secret of Water to keep exploring.


 

Myra Nicks

“Simple solutions for sustainable self” is the phrase I’ve been using recently to express how I focus my intention and attention. These words encapsulate where I am at currently in my personal journey and what I intend to contribute in my connections with others.
Writing is my main craft and I use it as a tool to explore both internal and external realities. I was eight years old when I received my first journal and started writing. My dual passions have always been writing and spirituality.  I have practiced my craft in over 100 personal journals, in university as I studied for my journalism degree and wrote a regular spirituality column in the student newspaper, in my role as a web content specialist for the Alberta Motor Association travel website and in my personal spiritual journey as a tool for internal transformation.
Other passions that fuel my life are yoga, dance, music, and cooking up amazing adventures in food and drink for the people I love.  Yoga and dance have assisted me in moving through many mental, physical and emotional challenges over the past fifteen years. I have experimented with many styles of yoga and have found that I connect most deeply with kundalini and yin. When it comes to dance, I simply enjoy exploring the movement my body naturally wants to create! Music-wise, I have had the pleasure of witnessing Edmonton’s music scene become vibrant over the past ten years.  A wide variety of shows – heavy metal, classical, punk, reggae, and more – have inspired me throughout the past few years. My latest adventures in nutrition have been in crafting delicious herbal teas and creating smoothies that both nourish and energize me. I delight in creating spontaneous parties for friends, throwing together “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” in the kitchen – reveling in the smiles my efforts bring.
The values that run through my life are a commitment to building and nurturing healthy relationships, a strong desire to create clear communication channels, and a passion for creating environments where people are sustained in ways that work best for them. These values drive my desire to excel at building connections that support innovative ways of thinking which in turn lead to creative solutions.
Website: www.myranicks.ca
Blog: www.myranicks.wordpress.com
Twitter: @MyraNicks


 

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