When an emotion arises within the body, it should be given attention to, be felt and then expressed, because the very nature of emotion (hence the name energy-in-motion) is movement and it asks to be released. If we don’t acknowledge our emotions and then let them come out, they find a shelter in the corners of our body (both physical and emotional) and start to grow, sabotaging our joy and lurking for the opportunity to escape and finally be expressed through creating us difficulties in normal day-to-day situations. The more time passes, the harder it gets for them to find their way out of our body.
When we embark on the journey of being really present to our feelings, acknowledging them and giving ourselves time to release all that pent-up energy through crying, shouting, working out, complaining or simply sitting with them, there’s a trap we can easily fall into.
Being with our emotions means bringing our awareness to them, watching their movement, colours, intensity as they move around our bodies - we don’t even have to label them as a particular emotion, but simply notice how and where we feel its presence. This process may seem simple to do, but it is not. Our mind adores to grab our hand when realizing that the Ego is somehow endangered and in order to protect it, it starts to create stories in our head and although we may believe we are being present to the emotions, we are giving our attention to mind’s story that provokes new wave of emotion and often even more waves (we tend to fall in the rabbit hole of re-chewing a mental image and as a consequence making ourselves suffer double or triple times then it is really necessary).
What happens then is that instead of processing the emotion, we are holding onto it and feeding it regularly with our thoughts and focus. I fell into this trap more times then I can count and now I am really working on catching myself and questioning whether the emotion I feel is “original” or is one reinforced by my mind, while I was believing I am letting go of it. While for many of us talking about our emotions and expressing them verbally is a great method of releasing, in certain occasions it does more harm than good and it is when we don’t bring our vulnerability to the act of speaking out. If we talk from the Ego’s place about our emotions, leaving the vulnerability out, we are just talking, we are not FEELING. And remember, emotions have to be felt before they can leave for good. The more we talk, (avoiding the feeling part because it is too uncomfortable) the more we draw our focus on it and the more thoughts on the subject follow up. We make ourselves suffer creating a pity party that grew way out of proportions. We drag around for 5 years emotions that could have been released in 5 minutes.
So, how can we make sure not to fall into this trap?
What works for me is intentionally setting aside time in which I’d be alone with everything that’s inside: I can cry, I can complain in my journal, I can burn photos, scream into pillow, break glasses... whatever I feel urge to do. In my case, there is always some physical action included as I noticed that physical movement facilitates the purging of the emotional baggage. However, when the time is up, I have to go do something else, move my focus away before the mind starts talking shit and dragging me back to the story about the situation, as that way I’d fall into toxic cycle of thoughts followed by emotions followed by thoughts.... produced solely within the mind.
I think many psychological problems have their root in inadequate processing of the emotions that is omnipresent within our society and not mysteriously so - our parents and teachers never taught us about what to do with our feelings because they didn’t know as their parents and teachers didn’t teach them to do so and so on. But, as we are waking up and rising to a new level of consciousness as the collective, we should get more acquainted with our emotional-self, raise the awareness of it and start growing new generations that won’t be so cut-out from their feelings.
So, what’s the plan? How do we start this emotional-revolution?
Just take care of your own emotions. Cultivate loving presence for that part of your Being and give it as much attention (and even more) as you give to your physical body. That way, by regularly clearing our energy field, we are contributing to the frequency of the collective energy and creating a better, more loving and lighter world for all of us.
Lots of love,