"If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation."
When we are feeling heavy emotions we are often encouraged to “practice” higher feeling states in order to raise out of the mire. But for those of us who struggle with painful emotions, positive psychology, positive affirmations and setting higher intentions often does not work, especially when we are right in the "thick of it." When emotional heaviness looms large, it is often more helpful to surrender to our emotions instead.
When we are willing to feel our arising emotional pain without resistance, we can heal. We do not have to work so hard to change our emotional state. We can process our stored emotions through our body, layer by layer. And, as we do we can inhabit our body again. This is called "embodiment." Each emotion that we feel, heal and integrate leaves room for our soul to inhabit our human body.
Emotions are Old Energies
Painful emotions are often unprocessed energetic imprints that have been embedded into our body from the past, and they are underpinned by limited thinking. To get to the "root" of negative emotions we can honour them as old energies that need to be released. When we allow our emotions to be just as they are, they become an energetic process that unfolds, unravels and releases organically.
Thoughts, feelings and life experiences need to be digested and assimilated with love and attention. Emotions will shift on their own when we kindly and curiously witness them. We can digest difficult emotions by inviting them to move through our body. This loving presence can help to diffuse anxiety and panic attacks, and can support us to heal the painful feelings associated with anxiety, depression and traumatic pain.
Breathing Through Emotional Pain
My own emotional pain has felt intense and almost unbearable at times. Eventually, I learned to breathe deeply into my pain instead of turning away from it in fear. When my emotional pain felt overwhelming. I would continue to breathe through the pain, sometimes for many days.
Because surrendering to my emotions was an instinctual process, I sometimes feared that my pain would last forever. Thankfully, each layer of emotional pain that arose for healing always ended, and I enjoyed a period of profound presence afterward. I later understood that sustaining such high levels of kind attention to the layers of my emotional pain was a normal part of the healing process.
I grew to learn how to love "leaning into my pain." Sustained breathing into my body when I felt emotional pain has always instilled deeper levels of self-worth and deeper insight into the limited beliefs that drive my pain. As I gave unconditional love to the parts of me that felt ignored, discounted and hurt by others in the past began to believe that they were worth attending to with love, and my sense of victimization decreased.