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No, not that one.
I’m talking about the “F” word we humans spend our lives trying to run away from.
The one we’d do anything to avoid. By drinking, smoking, scrolling endlessly on social media, going to the gym to block them out. Or by (oh the big one)…overthinking.
The not so pretty ones. The deep ones. The dark ones. The “I don’t want to go there” ones. The ones that stir uncomfortable sensations in our stomachs. The ones that force us to show vulnerability. The “makes me want to scream my lungs out” ones. The “pain in the butt” ones.
Eurgh…vulnerability…tears. Nope, not comfortable.
I think nothing scares humans more than feelings. Nothing scares me more. So many of us are going about our daily lives on auto-pilot mode: numb, broken, lost…but choosing to face the hard feelings? No, thanks!
Why do we fear feelings so much?
As babies, we cried when our needs weren’t met. Hungry? Cry. Wet nappy? Cry. In pain? Cry. Simple.
Then as we grew older, we were told off for crying, told to grow up, told to stop making a fuss about it, told to keep it together. And bam! We began to view certain emotions as “bad.” Emotions like sadness, anger, and shame. Nope. It’s wrong to cry. “Wipe away that tear, you’re gonna scare the kids.”
And we try to block them out, we try to repress them. The problem is that feelings are made of energy. And when energy becomes trapped, humans become depressed, anxious, numb, and disease is born.
I came across a fantastic book not long ago called Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney. It discusses this topic in quite a lot of detail. Quite frankly, it changed my perspective on the topic of difficult feelings.
I’ve picked out a few quotes from this book on why “scary” emotions shouldn’t really be feared, and I want to share them with you below.
Maybe this will help more people on their own healing journeys.
“Attempting to suppress emotions is dysfunctional; it does not work. Emotions are energy. E-motion=energy in motion. It is supposed to be in motion, it was meant to flow.”
“Emotions have a purpose, a very good reason to be—even those emotions that feel uncomfortable. Fear is a warning, anger is for protection, tears are for cleansing and releasing. These are not negative emotional responses! It is our reaction that is dysfunctional and negative, not the emotion.”
“We cannot learn to Love without honouring our Rage!”
“We cannot allow ourselves to be Truly Intimate with ourselves or anyone else without owning our Grief.”
“We cannot clearly reconnect with the Light unless we are willing to own and honour our experience of the Darkness.”
“We cannot fully feel the Joy unless we are willing to feel the Sadness.”
“Repressed emotions drive us to workaholism, to compulsive exercise, to religious addiction, to self-righteous and self-destructive obsessions. Trying to keep those emotions repressed causes us to use substances like alcohol and drugs, food and cigarettes, to keep stuffing it down, to keep sucking it back in. Repressed emotions explode outwards in violence and war, in carnage and rape. We are raping the planet we live on, we are raping ourselves.”
“We are driven by repressed emotional energy. We live life in reaction to childhood emotional wounds. We keep trying to get the healthy attention and affection, the healthy love and nurturing, the being-enhancing validation and respect and affirmation, that we did not get as children.”
“Grieving is not an intellectual process. Changing our false and dysfunctional attitudes is vital to the process; enlarging our intellectual perspective is absolutely necessary to the process, but doing these things does not release the energy—it does not heal the wounds.”
“Outside influences (people, places, and things; money, property, and prestige) or external manifestations (looks, talent, intelligence) cannot fill the hole within. They can distract us and make us feel better temporarily but they cannot address the core issue—they cannot fulfill us spiritually. They can give us ego-strength but they cannot give us self-worth”
“We are not sinful, shameful human creatures who have to somehow earn Spirituality. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. We are here to experience and learn; to Touch and to feel.”
“When we become willing to feel the pain, then we become capable of feeling the Joy. The Joy of doing this healing is incredible! Our job is to heal and enJoy. Our job is to be. We are here to be human beings, not human doings.”
Can we learn to slowly just “be” with our emotions without judgment? It may feel overwhelming at first, but it could be that bit by bit, pieces of joy and light may begin to enter every aspect of our lives.
Worth it? I think so…