A few weeks ago, I shared about how we medicate our feelings through our addictions and, consequently, run away from ourselves and the God within. This week I would like to share with you my experience in dealing with some of my feelings that have come up for me. And there were a lot of feelings!
I had several unexpected experiences that brought up some feelings. I felt fear, overwhelmed, impatient, angry, sadness, misunderstood, discouraged, and disappointment. Yikes, no wonder why I felt so tired. Feeling my feelings takes energy and a commitment to myself to deal with everything that comes up. To feel is to deal and is to heal.
When fear (or any of the other feelings) came up, instead of denying, minimizing or judging them:
· I welcomed them in and befriended them
· I asked what gift it was bringing me
· I allowed myself to feel one feeling at a time and for as long as I needed to
· I processed the feeling and then let it go
· I changed my thinking when I needed to
· I spent time alone and trusted what I needed to do for myself in each moment
· I said no to spending time with a friend when I needed to attend to my own soul first and what was coming up
· I stayed present and listened to what my body needed, whether that be a nap in the middle of the day, a swim in the pool or a walk on the beach
· I practiced being grateful for every experience and sent love to all involved
My friend, Kati, and I were sharing about how our feelings have been coming up and how we dealt with them. We agreed that it almost feels like waves because they often come up from behind, unexpectedly and strong. It reminds me of “spring cleaning” getting rid of the old things that no longer serve us we so can prepare for the new to come.
Feelings are meant to pass quickly, they are like clouds in the sky and it’s the nature of them to move on. I cannot live in the moment and enjoy the present when my feelings are stuck inside, whether that is resentment, anger, fear, jealously or unforgiveness. To move on, we need to allow our feelings to come to the surface in order to let go and heal. We need to learn to give thanks for the opportunities that life provides for the surfacing of our feelings.
Feelings are gifts from God and we need to take time to listen to them. We must claim our true birthright: the freedom and courage to be ourselves, to feel and express our feelings. Feelings are the gateway to who we are. They are there to help us do what we need to do next. They give us clues if something is wrong, to help us protect ourselves and keep ourselves safe. They are a part of the human condition and we all have them.
It’s our resistance to feelings that cause more problems than the feelings themselves. Feelings are part of being alive and resisting those means resisting life. Feelings are energy, always in motion. Unstuck energy lives in the body when we resist our feelings. They get stuck in the body and may appear as a lump in the throat, heaviness in the throat or tightness in the stomach. Feelings live in our bodies and may come out as headaches, stomachaches, backaches and colitis if we don’t deal with them. Repressed feelings tend to lodge in the body in the form of hidden tensions, unhealthy habits and stress-induced chemical changes.
Many of us distance ourselves from emotional pain and cover our feelings with self judgment and make them wrong. Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are. We have also learned to control our feelings, to keep them hidden away, to stuff them and smile. When you push away parts of yourself, you fall deeper into isolation, feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred and depression. Depression can be a sign we are hiding from something or avoiding action. Often it is hidden anger. Depression is inverted anger.
It has been my experience that as I let go of the feelings that no longer serve me for my highest good, like fear, anger, doubt, unforgiveness and shame, I open my heart to experience more joy, love, peace and bliss. This is the path I choose to be on today and this is the path of Love.
Wherever you are on your spiritual journey and whatever you are feeling today, trust that you are right where you need to be for your highest good and to move forward in your life. Remember, Fear is useless, what is needed is trust. Let go and let God.
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