Feeling our feelings. This is largely a practice that we have been conditioned against. We are taught to strive for external relief to internal discomfort. Mass media plays a significant role in this. With a constant barrage of content whose specific intent is to tempt us to turn away from our inner experience and to turn our focus outward, we can become conditioned to numb with distraction. This can manifest in endless forms; the constant strive to fill one’s life with material goods, the prolonged escapes from presence through technological devices (television, social media, video games, etc.), addictions, unhealthy relationships, and so on.
It’s like the pint of ice cream after a bad breakup. The stimulating food is distracting from the painful feelings that are wanting to be processed; that are wanting to be felt. The promise of release from the discomfort, however, is temporary at best. How can we fully experience, fully process an emotion, so that it does not become suppressed and thus slowly leak a steady stream of poison into our psyche?
It isn’t a case of intellectualizing the situation or experience that is perceived to have caused the pain, discomfort or fear. When the thinking function is overutilized, we enter into the realm of overthinking, which creates a downward spiral and strengthens the hold of our negative emotions rather than releasing them. Another branch of that is the act of “venting” to others. It’s a retelling of the story that we’ve created around the source of our pain. Over-intellectualizing is actually just another form of distraction from feeling what is surfacing for us in any given moment.
If we sit with how we feel, in the face of wanting to turn away, we ultimately give ourselves the gift of truth. When we shift our focus to the vibration throughout our energetic body, we are enacting the process of extracting valuable information from that experience. This prompts spiritual growth, trust in oneself and the Universe, and an openness to receive Divine Guidance. Many times, the conscious act of giving attuned attention to a feeling can significantly reduce the anxiety surrounding that feeling quite quickly. If the distress is significant, we can experience the processing as it is presented to us in waves. We may relieve and release the tension of an emotion only to have it show up several more times before it has become fully processed.
While it may not come naturally to many of us, it is a practice that we can all learn. With time, we become proficient at honoring our inner world, and in turn become of greater service to our outer world.
Much love to all the Cosmic Warriors out there doing the work. I see you.