I had an experience this week with someone that triggered me and brought up some uncomfortable feelings. Allowing myself to feel 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. As I allowed myself to feel my feelings without judging them and then releasing them, I was then able to identify what had triggered me in the first place and what I needed to change in me. I know that if I “spot it” in another person, I “got it” too. I didn’t see it at first but as I sat with it and meditated, I was able to see how I had done the same behavior in my own life. I forgave myself for my actions and felt compassion for myself, which enabled me to have compassion on what happened with the person in the first place.
I also used the Emotion Code to release trapped emotions. I identified 2 feelings one of them that had been trapped when I was 11 years old. I knew exactly how and when it got trapped. The other feeling that was trapped was when I was 55 years old. I was able to release both feelings.
On the subject of feelings, I would like to share an article that I wrote for Aspire Magazine several years ago. I hope you find it helpful in dealing with your feelings.
FEELINGS ARE A GIFT FROM GOD
When feelings come up, instead of denying, minimizing or judging them:
- I welcome them in and befriend them
- I ask what gift they are bringing me
- I allow myself to feel one feeling at a time and for as long as I need to
- I process the feeling and then let it go
- I change my thinking when I need to
- I spend time alone and trust what I need to do for myself in each moment
- I journal my feelings and share them with a trusted friend
Feelings are gifts from God and we need to take time to listen to them. It’s essential that we 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 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 them 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. Often, illness is an expression of feelings repressed. When terminally ill cancer patients were able to express their feelings of guilt, rage, fear their cancer often went into remission or at least symptoms became less acute. Not all illness is emotionally induced. Be gentle with yourself. If you discover that you’re using illness as an escape, or pushing yourself until you get sick, learn to change that behavior. Honor your body, rest, relax and enjoy.
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 not being able to forgive. 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 fears.
When you push away parts of yourself, you fall deeper into isolation, feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred and depression. Depression is the classic disease of women. If we don’t express what we’re feeling – what’s bugging us in a constructive healing manner, very often the result is depression. Depression is like a fog that settles over us, limiting our ability to see what we are really feeling. Feeling depressed when we have had a loss is normal and healthy in the grieving process. Depression can be a sign we are hiding from something or avoiding action. Often it is hidden anger. Depression is inverted anger.
We may have a problem with judging our feelings and making them wrong. We might say to ourselves “I shouldn’t feel this way, after all I have a good husband, home or I’m spiritual and shouldn’t feel fear because it means I’m not trusting God.” Many of us have learned to control our feelings, to keep them hidden away, to stuff them and smile. The message I received was “I will give you something to cry about.” I felt ashamed when I cried or had any feelings at all. For many years, I was totally out of touch with my feelings. We are used to distancing ourselves from emotional pain and cover our feelings with self judgement. When you push away parts of yourself, you fall deeper into isolation, feelings of unworthiness, self-hatred and depression.
Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are. Messages from society are that feelings are bad or dangerous and we try to avoid them at any cost. We need to accept and feel our feelings in order to move through them. If someone cuts me off in traffic and almost causes an accident, I will feel angry which is a normal emotion. If I have road rage, and follow them, it’s the action that’s wrong, not the feelings.
We often confuse our feelings. We think we’re hurt, but we’re really angry or we feel angry to avoid the hurt and fear underneath it. It was easy for me to feel the hurt first and difficult to feel the anger because my anger was blocked for many years. I felt self-righteous and prided myself that I never got angry. I was taught at a young age that sweet little girls don’t get angry. Through therapy, I realized that being a people pleaser, I was filled with anger. I stayed very busy to avoid my feelings, always having to accomplish something, to prove to myself and others that I was worth it. I had to be strong and couldn’t relax and just be. I believed that to feel fear, depression or loneliness was to be less than. It felt shameful, vulnerable and embarrassing to allow those feelings to surface.
There are many ways to avoid feelings and stuff them. We may eat over them, drink or drug over them. We may shop, overwork, stay busy, gamble or be in a codependent relationship where our focus is on taking care of others and always at the expense of ourselves. When we stuff our feelings, especially anger and resentment, an innocent bystander may get the brunt of our anger and then we look like the crazy one when we explode over nothing. Or we may be passive aggressive and get back or get even at the right time at the person we are upset with. We are not being emotionally
honest when we hide our feelings and stuff them. Feelings are like a pressure cooker and if you don’t allow the release of some steam, they will explode.
Ignored feelings can be a cause of projection and color our view of the world. If we are angry, the whole world looks angry. If we are fearful, never trusting anyone or taking risks, the whole world looks fearful. When we suppress or repress an emotion, we lose control over how we express it, even though we will express it, often destructively.
When we are aware of what we are feeling, we can choose how to express it constructively. God wants us to identify our feelings and then be compassionate and loving with ourselves. We need to ask ourselves “What am I feeling, when did it start and where does my body hold it in the form of tension”?
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, feelings are a gift from God and they give us clues what we need to do next in our lives.
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