As human beings we are blessed with the ability to feel a whole array of emotions but yet we are programmed to flee from the very blessing that makes us human.
Why are we so fearful of emotions? We enter life free of judgement, free of restrictions and barriers, but as we start to make our way in this world we are taught not to feel, we are not allowed to experience our emotions unless they are deemed ‘positive’ or enable those around us to feel comfortable. We start to suppress our feelings so early on in life – as children we become familiar with being told to ‘cheer up’… ’be positive’… ‘stop crying’ so we learn to adapt our behaviour to please the adults or to get the attention we seek, our thinking minds begin to work out that in order to get the attention we crave we have to behave in a certain way or achieve things that our elders and peers can be proud of and so the conditioning of being unable to welcome feelings quickly takes hold and we are left with a sense that we are somehow wrong or missing something and we start to search for a way to fix ourselves. This mental slavery has meant we fear feeling, we dodge it at all costs.
When you start to practice mindfulness or any meditation practice you begin to open yourself to feeling. We spend a lot of time working with the feelings we have hidden from and at times these trapped feelings can arise thick and fast. At times they can sweep you away and fear rises up and the desire to run takes hold or there is another trap in which you can start to identify yourself with the feeling and actually hang on to it as though without it you wouldn’t be you. There’s a familiarity in the suffering that your ego is quite attached to. I don’t profess to have the answer (there probably isn’t one that can be put into words!) but I’d like to share with you a way in which will allow you to let go of the suffering…
Now is the time to allow yourself to feel. Open yourself fully to this moment.
Try now… put your attention on your breath and for a few moments just notice yourself breathing.
Who is noticing you breathe?
Now go a little deeper, scan your body – notice any physical or emotional sensations.
Who, or what is noticing the sensations?
Now as you sit witnessing your emotional state… who is it that is witnessing the feeling?
Imagine you’ve taken a step back, you are simply witnessing the feelings stirring within your body, allow your attention to gently find the space from which you witness. Is it stillness? peaceful? calm? A nothing-ness? In this space you are pure awareness, pure awareness witnessing feeling, witnessing pain, sadness, heartache, happiness, joy… whatever the emotion, you are pure awareness simply witnessing and allowing the experience of the emotion to move through your physical being.
So you see there’s nothing to fear. You can experience any feeling from a place of awareness, you can experience the darkest parts of your shadow from a vantage point of absolute calm and peace – and the consciousness that is you and you are a part of, will hold you gently and with pure love.
Feel now, live now, love to you all