I never really knew how to hold space for myself.
I always felt like I was constantly being battered and beaten by my emotional nature ever since I was a kid. I would get into stupid, childish fights with my family members, and they would always say, “Stop being so sensitive.”
I would cry and feel defeated—it felt like they won the fight because they didn’t get emotional, whereas I did. As a child, I felt like my emotions made me a weak loser; as a result, I felt lonely and misunderstood.
Our current society is scared of the emotional world. So many people are numbing out with their TV, drugs, alcohol, and other addictions just to avoid feeling what’s really going on on their inside.
Emotions are energy in motion. They come to us for a reason. They are alive, and they communicate important messages to us about what is really going on and what needs to be understood. Most people don’t want to deal with them, so they shut them off.
When we shut off our emotions, they enter our bodies and can manifest into physical body aches, pains, and chronic illnesses that could even kill us. We were born on this earth to feel and stay in the cosmic space as energy balls of light and love.
Emotions communicate what’s going on and what needs to be felt and seen under the surface. They’re an aspect of ourselves that conveys important things to us and is crucial to making sure we live authentic lives and make everyday and important life decisions based on the uncoded messages these emotions are communicating.
This doesn’t mean we should react to our emotions, and it doesn’t mean we should let them bury us alive. No, it means to slow down, breathe, and connect with the emotion. We want to go into it and build an inquisitive relationship with it.
Take a step back from the reaction the emotion is causing and turn within. Feel the emotion and read the subliminal message it has in store for us. What is it trying to tell us? Sometimes, it’s just an unhealed wound from our childhood that’s coming up to say, “Hi, please see me and just be with this.”
Developing a healthy and conscious practice to allow ourselves to experience our emotions is crucial to our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.
Here are four things I like to do when I feel a wave of emotion coming through:
1. Become present with the emotion.
Let’s ask ourselves what we’re feeling, what is happening, and look at it objectively. We should try our best not to judge or criticize what we’re feeling and try to breathe through it. It does hurt, and it does bring other emotions of shame, fear, and vulnerability to the surface, but the important thing is to allow it all to come out without judgement and bring love to it.
Where do we feel the pain in our bodies? Concentrate on that area and allow yourself to feel it—to go numb. Now that we know we are no longer interested in shutting down our emotional centers, we want to focus all our attention on the pain and how it is manifesting in our physical and mental experience.
This process can also be helpful to practice with a journal. Writing the emotions out allows us to get present and also powerfully fuels the introspection of the emotion.
2. Look at it from a higher perspective.
Once we see the emotion, let’s ask ourselves, “Why has it shown up today? What message is it bringing me?” When we look at everything as if it’s happening for a purpose, we can discover why it’s coming up.
We can start to see the patterns and the lessons coming through, and we begin to move past the pain. We begin to see the higher purpose and the larger vision, which allows the emotion to dissolve.
3. Integrate the emotion.
Once we begin to feel and understand the emotion and what it has to say to us, we can let it settle and become a part of ourselves in a healthy way.
Imagine we’re in a dark forest and can’t see anything around us. We sense that something is there, but we don’t know what it is, and we’re scared of it. However, once we turn our flashlight on, we see it’s a cute bunny grazing for food. Then we relax and allow it to be a part of our entire environment and experience.
This is what I mean by integrating the emotion. The more we bring awareness and light to it, the more we can allow it to be a part of our conscious experience. Sometimes, I like to do some light tapping on the parts of my body where the emotion is coming up. If it’s in my heart or stomach, I lightly tap it with my fingers.
Tapping the feeling allows us to create a physical and tangible connection with the invisible emotion. Doing so grounds the pain and opens up new layers of healing beyond our mental faculties.
4. Thank the emotion.
When we show gratitude and give thanks to the emotion for bringing us a new level of healing and integration, we are acknowledging and sending positive energy into our entire experience. It lessens our feelings of shame and fear whenever we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We create a safe space for ourselves and send out a light frequency that calls in more beautiful healing opportunities.
When we allow ourselves to feel and bring love into our emotions, we create a safe space for them and begin to view them as gifts rather than fearful, unwanted demons. Then we can bring a whole new level of wholeness and internal peace into our lives.
As we continue working through this process, we will begin to see its long-term effects play out in our lives. The quality of our relationship with ourselves will flourish, our need to control our outer reality will begin to diminish, and our connection with others will strengthen and deepen in intimacy.
Through holding space for ourselves, we inevitably hold space for the world around us as well.
And that is a sacred gift.