When you are ready to feel it, you can heal it
In a society that favors intellect over emotions, we have been taught that it is wrong to express our emotions - especially negative emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, shame and fear. Since we were a child, we have been told that it is wrong to cry and we should be strong. Crying is seen as a weakness and even more if you are a man. Depression is seen as a sign of failure. Society discourage us from feeling our emotions. How many times have we heard phrases such as, "Boys dont cry", "you are too emotional", "stop being a cry baby" or "it is time you man up?"
Our emotions carry a lot of messages. When they arise, we should not suppress them but instead recognise and acknowledge them. If we continue to suppress them, they stay in our bodies and set us up for projecting onto other people that which we do not wish to look into ourselves. It is time to heal our unconscious and unresolved wounds. We free ourselves from layers of baggage which manifest as diseases in our physical bodies. Very often, we run from situations that cause us to feel pain. We seek to numb our emotional pains as soon as they arise with comfort food, alcohol, porn, smoking, excessive TV, drugs, etc. The moment we seek to transmute these emotions, we seek to liberate ourselves from all the emotional baggage we have been carrying for years.
One of the reasons that we bury our feelings is because we have to in order to survive the event like the death of a closed one, divorce, separation, betrayal, redundancy, bankruptcy, etc. We go through these negative events in life and experience a range of emotions like anger, sadness, frustration, helplessness, hopelessness, grief, hurt, guilt and shame and if they are not allowed to be processed fully, they are stored in the body. It is a survival mechanism and your unconscious mind will give them to you when you are in a more relaxed state (parasympathetic state). So, most of us have emotions which have been buried for years (especially childhood wounds). They do come up into our consciousness through dreams, the people and the situations that we attract in our lives which trigger us to look at our past. But most of us continue to suppress them as they are too painful to dig out, process and heal.
Patanjali, the father of yoga, rightly said "Accept pain as purification". Feeling raw emotions which have been suppressed for years is cleansing, freeing, liberating and purifying. By feeling pain and allowing them to move through us, we are actually freeing ourselves from diseases. Diseases are caused by emotions which have remained in the body for too long. All our unresolved wounds, traumas, hurt, fears and anger are stored in our bodies. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, emotions are stored in our organs:
- anger weakens liver
- grief weakens lungs
- worry weakens stomach
- stress weakens heart and brain
- fear weakens kidney.
Very often, clients cannot feel their emotions at all. They are completely cut off from their feelings. They are too much in their head and not enough in their heart. (Head prefers known, safety, while the heart prefers new, connection, expansion and freedom.) They feel empty, cold and actually feel nothing when the therapist tells them to focus on the feelings and sensations in their body. They have been so disconnected from their bodies, heart and emotions. With some prompting and using bodywork and breathwork, they are able to connect with their body and emotions. The therapist may also encourage them to practice yoga and meditation, as they help us to bring awareness into our body.
Instead of controlling our emotions, we should allow ourselves to feel them fully. By doing so, we give ourselves permission to be vulnerable, to take risks and to open ourselves to the unknown. While it might be painful, we should be accept that it is there and remind ourselves to be gentle in the healing process. The problem when we numb our emotional pain is that we are also numbing good emotions like love, joy, acceptance, wholeness and happiness. By allowing ourselves to feel our emotions, we are welcoming good feelings to flow in our lives.
In a healing sessions, the therapist will allow clients to express emotions fully. For instance, if grief arises, they will hold a safe space for the client to feel their sadness, sense of loss and allow their tears to flow freely without any judgement. Whichever emotions arise are allowed to be expressed safely. The purpose of healing is to discover the emotions, beliefs and past event that are causing you stress, discomfort, physical diseases, or feelings of being stuck and dissatisfied with life.
If you have been holding on to emotional pain for years, it is now time to feel them and liberate yourself. Embrace your feelings and allow them to transform you. When you are ready to feel it, you can heal it. The question is, are you ready?
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