It is difficult for most people to be still and silent. Most of us are massively repressing painful emotions. Trying to meditate is a challenge because we have so much under the surface of our normal thoughts clamoring to be felt and seen.
During meditation, difficult feelings that we avoid with all of our addictions, distractions and busyness always arise in the silence first. There are ways to meditate, such as with mantras that serve to focus or force the mind to be silent.
This kind of meditation is more of a trance or a controlling/numbing of what wants to arise into awareness, rather than a sense of open awareness that is willing to feel what wants to come up to be seen and understood.
Repressed Feelings are Resisted Feelings
Repressed feelings are resisted feelings and they take a great deal of creative life-force energy to push down. When emotions threaten to burble up into our practical life we will feel anxious. Anxiety indicates that something is arising from within that we do not want to feel. When anxiety arises there will likely be a painful emotion seeping up into our consciousness that we are trying to stuff, sedate, avoid or distract ourselves away from.
Because most of our anxious thinking is designed to defend ourselves against resisted emotions, our anxiety is most often projected outwards. It is easy to find many things to attach our anxiety to. You might notice that whenever you feel an unwanted emotion, you will immediately assume that something must be wrong with your outer life. You will begin to look outside of yourself for the cause, with the urge to attack, blame, or try to control anything or anyone that you think is causing your emotional pain.
"In the less conscious person suffering is perceived as coming from the outside. This defense against suffering or more accurately against the expansion of consciousness that can embrace suffering in a new way is a defense against the very movement of evolution."
Blaming others for our emotional pain only serves to create havoc in our outside world. Finding something or someone to to blame and project our difficult emotions onto seems to relieve our anxiety for a time - but we very quickly will be filled with more guilt, pain and confusion than we started with. When we understand that outside events can only trigger what is already inside of us, in a profound way, we can thank our difficult life events for revealing our stored pain.
Instead of finding something wrong with life you can choose instead to contain your emotional state until it changes on its own and reveals a new way to grow. For many years I thought I needed to change my outer life so that my difficult emotions would go away. After a time of bitter blame and anger, I finally realized with utter certainty that that there was nothing outside myself that was the cause of my heavy emotional states.
As I stopped projecting my emotions onto my outer life, my discomfort intensified inside. Repressed emotions often become stronger at first until they begin to move as they were originally intended to move. Energy in motion = emotion.
When we allow the energy of built up pain and the pressure of repressed emotions to have their time in our witnessing awareness, we will feel profoundly stronger, and surprisingly we will discover that we can handle much more of life than we could from our suppressed state. We create a larger and more powerful sense of self by learning how to handle our emotional pain.
When you resist the temptation to find a cause for anxiety outside of yourself, your fears and anxieties will burn inside of you with nowhere to go. Feeling emotions fully stretches our capacity for witnessing presence, and this changes us in profound ways.
Staying open and present to difficult emotions takes a great deal of willful effort at first. Containing and allowing difficult emotions to intensify, peak and release into a state of relaxation feels utterly exhausting in the beginning. But is possible to learn to love the process because there is joy and relief on the other side.
Emotions hold tremendous life energy. Feeling your emotions as energy without thinking about them or putting a blame story to them is a powerful way to creatively work with whatever is arising in the moment for healing and understanding.
Keep your heart open to your fear, your sadness, your anger, or your despair as long as you can without distracting away from it. Build your presence muscle. See if you can powerfully stay with your uprising pain until it changes, and then offers you fresh insight about your life.
Feel the energy of your emotions move and shift through your body with as much curiosity as you can muster. Make it a creative process and draw, paint or dance the painful energy that is traveling through your body.
Does your emotion have a shape, a location, a color, a sound, or a visual symbol? Try to sense your emotions as energy that needs to move, change and flow. Do not feed your emotions with negative thoughts. See if you can notice what you are negatively believing about your life when you feel emotional pain. And, question if your limiting thoughts are really true.
What we resist persists until we finally turn and face it with courage. Most of us fear that if we allow ourselves to feel our painful emotions they will never end. Yet, there is always an end if we do not resist them. Emotions will unfreeze, move and change of their own natural accord when we determinedly make the effort to stay open.
Feeling deeply with no intention to change a resisted emotion can even feel exquisite if you can learn to ride the energy of the feeling. Emotions change much more quickly when we pay loving attention to them.
Repressing our emotions leaves us feeling numb, tired, and often in significant physical pain. Facing a painful feeling with acceptance builds our spiritual muscle and releases our body musculature from having to work so hard to keep emotions stuffed down. It is hard to verbalize how it feels to come through on the other side of a challenging emotion. It is like coming clean or as a feeling of being newly born.
When a long repressed emotion has had its day in our awareness there is no longer such a need to do so much or think so frantically in order to avoid what we do not want to feel. Coming out on the other side of an emotion that has been avoided for a long time imbues us with new-found power, courage, and a much stronger sense of presence.
I could describe this strength of presence to a painful emotion as feeling "original," authentic and utterly at peace. It is as though we fully recover and remember who we were before we repressed the emotion. When we allow ourselves to unconditionally love a painful emotion until it is gone, we are rewarded reclaimed positive energy.
Intense emotions such as fear, anger and sadness and loneliness contain large amounts of life force. And, they always hide a positive growth process that is trying to emerge. By turning to face what we could not face in the past, we can use our once stagnant energy to create, and move our life forward.
I personally have stacks and stacks of written journals that have carried me through difficult emotional passages, and have helped me to clear out deeper pockets of psychological and emotional pain to make room for more inspired creativity.
I share some of my personal journal writings with you in this course, as signposts on how to transform difficult emotions into mental clarity and inner peace. READ MORE....