Have you noticed how much time you spend trying to control the way you feel? When negative emotions arise you might seek validation for feeling as you do by blaming another person or an outside condition. Perhaps you see your feelings as an indication that you are a failure and condemn yourself. Or, something may have happened in your experience that you have no control over and it seems like there is nothing you can do to feel better. In each of these scenarios in the effort to control your feelings you are practicing resisting feeling your feelings. As a result, pretty soon this feeling of struggle turns into a repetitive pattern and you find yourself in a disheartening emotional state more often throughout your day. You may not have control over other people, outside conditions, or world politics, but you do have the ability to stop beating up on yourself for having uncomfortable emotions, and the reason you might want to do so is that they have the potential to show you what you want to live more satisfied and fulfilled. If you do not try so hard to get rid of what you deem as unwanted emotions, and instead go with the flow and make peace with where you are, you will allow a shift in the underlying energy that the emotions represent. The emotion you feel in any moment of time is vital to the evolution of your path to joy – it is a temporary indication of what you have going on in the present. It is not an indictment of who you are; it doesn’t mean you are in the wrong place. Emotions are a manifestation of what you’ve got going on. Think of it as a gas gauge that indicates you are out of gas so you can go do something about it.
Make Peace Emotions
Emotions that we deem as “bad” are showing us where we are holding resistance to making the changes we want in our experience. Like peeling the layers of the onion, our so-called negative emotions or feelings of struggle show us where we are introducing tension into the equation and what needs to be released to come into balance with a state of well-being. When negative emotions are triggered by conditions or circumstances, transitions or life-events, we can be sure that our core beliefs influenced that emotional reaction based on a limiting perspective of ourselves. We work against ourselves when we try to push those feelings away because we are not allowing the emotion to show us the core belief in the way of moving into a more satisfying feeling. Of course, we want to feel better, but the path to feeling better becomes further and further away as we get ourselves into a stuck place due to more and more resistance. Denying, hiding, suppressing or trying to do things in an effort to get rid of feelings does not make them go away, and does not change the feeling.
As we make peace with our feelings and surrender pushing against them in our tendency not to feel them when they arise, we loosen the “charge” or intensity of the emotion. In this process of allowing ourselves to accept what we are feeling we find self- compassion. We free up the emotional hold of the negative emotions when we let go of whatever judgement we have made about having the unsatisfactory feelings. In the process of releasing resistance to feeling our feelings we alleviate the futile cycle of attempting to defeat the negative emotional grip, all the while keeping it active in our psyche with our attention to the uncomfortable feelings. What follows from feeling our feelings and not trying to change them or make them go away is a natural opening up of our awareness to what is underlying these negative emotions – beliefs that can be shifted to more loving, supportive and positive thoughts; and as they are the emotions release. In the thoughts that come to us next, the emotions are soothed and begin to subside.
The Path Forward
Changing how you feel within is the sure path to the freedom, happiness and joy you truly desire. To allow that change to happen release all the reasons why you think feeling your fear, sadness, hurt or abandonment is beyond your ability. Appreciate the truth that you are a human being who feels and acknowledge the spectrum of your feelings – whatever you are feeling in the moment. Even the thoughts and feelings that make you think you must be doing something wrong or else you would not be living it. Out of acknowledgement of your feelings – without self-judgement or self-criticism – a resolution comes through. Because out of that experience of feeling contrast is born the clarity of desire. A problem actually has the potential of producing an answer that puts you in a better place, closer to your desire for joy.
In order to stay in harmony with who you really are, you must go with the flow of your desire for creating your happiness. Harmony is really a matter of giving up practiced resistance to feelings. Feeling your feelings, acknowledging their importance to your path forward, strengthens the relationship between who you really are on the inside and what you want to flow into your experience. You do not need to run away from unpleasing feelings in order to invite well-being into your life. Relax and stop railing against or condemning your problem. Instead of getting up tomorrow morning and reactivating self-blame, appreciate the resolution that is coming into being as you adjust to a more peaceful, loving acceptance of your emotions.
If you are afraid of feeling your feelings or worried that you will never not feel bad if you acknowledge emotional discomfort, contact me to discuss how my emotional coaching program, The Surrender Solution, might help you release resistance and get back into the flow of emotional well being.