Growth Tools - Practical tools for meaningful growth

Working with emotions: Let go of the story!

“The key is to not resist or rebel against emotions or to try to get around them by devising all sorts of tricks; but to accept them directly, as they are.”
-- Takahisa Kora

I (Patrice) have been very emotional lately. My personality would say I’ve been having really bad days. On the surface, ‘bad’ seems accurate. When emotions well up within me, I feel a wild mix of things: depression, anger, panic, fear, disgust – a real nasty brew.

The experience gets worse if I add a large dose of judgment on top of that bubbling mix: “I shouldn’t feel this way!”

And it turns into a psychic black hole if I put this experience into a storyline. A story has both past and future. Basically, it says to me, “I’ve always been this way and I’ll never break free of this problem.”

We’re told emotions are energy in motion. When I can experience an emotion as energy, as mere sensation, without labeling it, it moves through me and is gone. It’s no big deal. When I resist the energy (“I shouldn’t feel this way”) or build it into a story (“I’m such a failure!”), I block and trap the flow. It becomes a big deal, both in my mind and in my body. This prolongs the experience. It’s this mental commentary, not the energy itself, that creates suffering!

What’s the truth here? I DO feel this way. So how do I work with my feelings? I feel relief when I:

  • Accept that this is how I’m feeling right now.
  • Remember that emotions are just energy in motion.
  • Stay present and experience the sensation without judgment of any kind.
  • Allow the energy to move through.

It helps immensely when I can be at peace with my warlike emotions!

“Our sadness is an energy we discharge in order to heal. … To hold it in is to freeze the pain within us.”
-- John Bradshaw

“Learning to ‘just say no’ to emotional reactions isn’t repression. Saying no means not engaging the frustration, anger, judgment, or blame. Without engagement, you won’t have anything to repress.”
-- Doc Childre and Howard Martin, The HeartMath Solution

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