Today I felt like every feeling and emotion ever discovered has been felt in my body. During meditation this morning I cried a deep cry from my heart and soul. I felt like another layer of immense grief had finally been peeled off and released. I finally allowed myself to send love to an old boyfriend who hurt me deeply. I have held onto my anger and grief for many years and sometimes-deep wounds take time to really heal.
What surprised me even more about this particular experience is that I have felt happier in recent times than ever before, which leaves me wondering:
Is that why this deep pain felt safe to bubble to the surface? Did it finally feel like I could face it with the compassion it deserved? Have my body and mind acknowledged that even dark emotions are important and need to be given a safe space just like joy, bliss and laughter.
As I placed my hand over my heart I wept for my anger, despair, hurt and pain that had buried itself so deep for so long. As a young girl I locked it away and threw away the key unable to face that part of myself associated with shame and guilt. As I grew up those dark emotions and feelings attempted to flow many times so I built a dam. I built it higher and higher as the years went by until there was simply no way through.
However these past few years there have been cracks in the dam and I have allowed them to grow causing the dam to destabilize. Year on year the leaks have grown and now I feel the dam has burst and instead of trying to rebuild it I have allowed it to come down and allowed the flow of emotions to move on their journey.
I have realized that blocking these emotions has enabled depression, anxiety and addictions to flourish for way too long. I also realize that these are not negative emotions but rather an essential part of myself that needs to be felt, acknowledged and listened too.
My deepest fears pushed people away, caused me to become a victim and prevented me from both accepting and giving love. I saw the world as rigid and primarily in black and white. Now I see an infinite expanse full of colour, hopes and dreams.
This past few years I have worked hard to get to where I am today and it’s an on going journey that will continue till the day I die. To experience the full spectrum that life has to offer we need to open up to every emotion good and bad. We are taught from such a young age that negative emotions are bad and we need to get rid of them. As we grow older if we can’t get rid of them ourselves well then we get pills to help us along.
What I have learnt is that our negative emotions are just as important as our positive ones because they help us make sense of life’s ups and downs. We are taught to feel shame and blame for negative emotions and very often we apologize for them.
Pushing your negative emotions down and suppressing them just makes them more potent and when they do bubble back to the surface they will be well cooked and toxic. Think of it like shaking a bottle of coke, the longer you don’t deal with an emotion the harder the bottle is shaken and when the cap eventually does come off just think of the mess it makes as it sprays everywhere. This mess will have to be cleaned up so does it not just make more sense to clean up the mess before it gets too big. Small spills over time as opposed to a huge explosion are far more manageable.
As life is not a one size fits all project what works for one will not work for another! Some people internalize and some people develop anger issues or if you’re like me depression, anxiety and addictions will flourish and grow given the right environment.
There is simply no escaping the fact that we need to change how we view this aspect of ourselves. Negative feelings and emotions are crucial for letting us know what we don’t like or if we feel scared or are in danger. They can let us know that our health is not great or that there are problems in our relationships.
I was pretty terrified at first because deep down I knew I had been suppressing my emotions for a very long time. I also knew that if I didn’t start to feel I would continue to get sick and sele-medicate so I did it initially in the safety of a therapists office and then at home alone. I journalled my emotions down, often scribbling furiously, as I allowed my feelings to flow. In time I have learned not to judge this aspect of myself, which can be hard.
I now understand that thoughts and feelings are transient and will pass through and nothing stays the same forever. This helps me to accept, feel and deal with my emotions as I go. Acceptance and awareness is key but the feeling of freedom when you finally let go is more that worth it.