We spend a lot of time longing for the keys to our happiness.
Sometimes the best path to realizing our happiness, however, is by first uncovering what stands in the way of it.
Many of us struggle with emotional and mental stresses that leave us overwhelmed, numbed out, or lacking control in our lives.
There is an elusive truth underlying the freedom from these stresses, and that truth is as simple as a universally recognized candy container.
Emotional freedom is attainable, and it can be as straightforward as plucking a Pez from its dispenser.
As we grow up, most of us are taught to take our deepest hurts and stuff them deep down inside ourselves.
Just as we fill an empty Pez dispenser with candy pieces, burying them one by one, over the course of our lives we also stuff unprocessed traumas deep down inside ourselves.
By the time we’re adults most of us are filled up with an enormous stack of painful experiences that have had nowhere to go.
Many of us don’t even realize that a cause for our confusion, loneliness, and emotional distress is the fact we’re bursting at the seams with unresolved hurts and traumas that have accumulated throughout our lives.
Some of us desperately lunge for the “happy” pills that are marketed to us in every magazine and billboard we see.
We want to distract and medicate ourselves in any way we can so we don’t have to experience the very feelings we’ve worked so hard to unconsciously suppress.
The simple truth is that just as these traumas found their way into us, so must they be released from us.
Some of us will go to therapists, devour self help books, go to support groups or incessantly complain to our friends about how badly we want the pain to end…ironically, without ever being willing to actually touch the pain in the first place.
This can be scary. We’d rather walk around it and talk around it and look at it from all angles without actually touching it.
We’d rather intellectualize it, suppress it, ignore it, or continue to push it all down.
We’d rather do just about anything than actually feel it.
The path to freedom is simply to start with what is most on the surface, and allow ourself to feel it so fully that it can no longer remain stuck inside of us.
What does that look like?
Well, what would it look like if we were a child who was free to fully express our hurt, pain, fear or sadness?
Yeah, that’s what it looks like.
Once we’ve fully processed it, felt it, released it, the next suppressed hurt will rise to the surface.
Just as the next piece of Pez in the stack will instantly pop up and bring itself to our attention.
It may seem like there is no end to the sadness, anger, hurt or pain that has been pushed down inside of us.
The truth, however, is that there is only so much in there and as long as we are choosing to fully let it move through us, we can be free of it.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Shannon Costello/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum