Emotional Freedom: Working Through Difficult Emotions
"Your sadness, your loneliness, your fear, and your anxiety are not mistakes. They are not obstacles on your path. They *are* the path. The freedom you are longing for is not found in the eradication of these, but in the information they carry. You need not transcend anything here, but be willing to become deeply intimate with your lived, embodied experience. Your intimacy is the doorway into direct revelation.”
When dealing with a difficult emotion most people have one of two reactions. They either reject or shut down or they react and explode. What we find over the long run is that both of these paths lead to more hurt and complications. There is a third way to work through difficult emotions and that is to do neither of the above, but to simply stay open and present to what is happening inside of us, to the direct sensory experience of the difficult emotion in our bodies, without running away or shutting down and without exploding.
Another important aspect of finding emotional freedom has to do with staying out of whatever thoughts and narrations we are weaving around the emotion, that includes our judgments of them as well as the stories around the circumstance or situation the emotion relates to. Our emotions are usually fueled by stories of the past or fears of the future. If we are able to drop all of these and just feel what is happening inside of us, the energy of it, we find that the emotion is then able to digest itself and pass through us. It is the mind that energizes what we are feeling and keeps that emotion alive and stuck inside us.
Our emotions are not a problem; at core all feelings are neutral. Have you ever heard the saying, emotion stands for energy (E) in motion? A Feeling is nothing but an alive energy that passes through us and expresses something. We are the ones who with our stories, judgments, grasping and resistance have given our emotions a positive or negative charge and through our reaction of them, create more destruction and heartache in our lives. Emotions – our feelings – hold aliveness, they are energy and we need their energy to bring depth and vibrancy to our lives, without them we would be numb and our lives stale and bland; emotions color and spice our every experience, and they are a guide to what needs healed in our lives. The problem is not our emotions but taking them personally, allowing them to define who we are and rule our lives in each moment. We forget that emotions are simply a passing movement and expression, just sensations in the body that come and go and sometime have some wisdom to impart. When we forget the neutrality and potential beneficial aspects of our emotions, we become stuck, lose ourselves in them and become identified to our stories and judgment of them. Meanwhile we miss out on whatever we could have learned.
What happens when you just feel what is happening inside you, drop all the stories you have running around in your head and just listen? What happens to the sensations inside your body when you drop whatever labels and judgments you have of them? What happens when you stop calling anger ‘anger’ or sadness ‘sad’? What happens when you stop defining one type of emotion as good and another as bad? What happens when you decide that everything has a message for you and you become willing and open to meet it all? If you lived your life unrestricted, free of labels and judgments and other conceptual prisons, you would find a sort of open freedom and ceaseless growth, where emotions arise, express themselves and pass effortlessly, without defining you and restricting your life.
Working with our emotions is about developing a kind of trust and courage to stay where we are, feel what we feel and listen deeply, before we ever try to fix it or make what is happening inside of us, however painful it is, go away. We have to be willing to sit in our discomfort and truly meet what is happening inside of us first, only then can we be the master of our experience and respond effectively and lovingly to what needs addressed in our experience. It is in this courage and openness that we find healing and the answers to the seeming problems of our lives. If we stay stuck in our mind and stick to our stories and judgments, we will miss the spontaneous movement that life always takes toward wholeness and growth.
Emotions are not the enemy, they are a direct path to healing, growth and freedom. They offer us guidance as to where we are stuck and what might need movement or surrender in our lives. Emotions are part of the perfect mess that is life, an intrinsic part of it and of us. If we are unwilling to stay put, remain open and experience what is happening inside of us we will never grow, feel whole and become free. Through our resistance or our explosions, we have created exactly what we were trying to prevent. We find ourselves stuck and repeating the exact patterns we want to change and be free off. Open yourself up to whatever emotion is coursing through you, stop fighting it, stop running from it or reacting to it, and allow it to move and flow within you without judgments or whatever story accompanies it. If you can be courageous enough to stay undefended and present while listening deeply, you will find wisdom, a guide to wholeness, buried in the very heart of the emotion you were trying to escape and silence.
For us to feel alive and honor life, we need to be willing to feel, with openness and courage, even when it is hard and realize that there is nothing that is not for our benefit, working towards our evolution. Everything is our path, what we thing is in the way - in the way of our peace and happiness - is usually The Way. Without emotions, especially the ones that we label as hard and painful, our life is stale and our growth stunted. Life is energy, it is movement, it is experience and it needs to radiate with the depth of all our emotions, no restriction. Emotions are an expression of life and always have some message and wisdom to impart us if we are willing to listen.
My job is to help you build your courage muscle so that you can stay open to and meet whatever emotion is alive for you in your life, and help you find the wisdom and message that lies at its center; so that you may live your life radically open and free, as well as find your path to joy and wholeness.
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IlsaComteAdair@gmail.com Ph: 303-324-8204
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