Many of us do not notice how repressed we are in our emotional lives. We can spend most of our energy trying to control and orchestrate our life to avoid what feels painful inside.
Much of our emotional life is non-verbal, and if we were to be really honest with ourselves, we often cannot put a finger on why we feel so upset.
Because our emotional patterning was laid down before we had words - from birth to age seven, we find the stories for our inner discomfort much later. This is why healing through visual self-expression, and being present without words is often helpful for clearing the emotions that cannot be named.
A Daily Creative Practice
It helps to have a daily creative practice to move through emotional repression. Creative play helps to express what we have repressed in our emotional bodies since childhood. Imagery, symbol, colors and patterns are often richer than words and can express emotions in a more all-encompassing way.
Rather than always trying to verbalize a reason as to why we feel as we do, we can release emotions through the process of visual self-expression. If we do not have some kind of wordless creative practice, our emotional repression can become our defended "comfort zone."
Our comfort zone protects where we hurt inside. Emotional repression takes a considerable amount of life energy that could be freed up for living a vibrant life. Committing to an emotionally healthy life means feeling uncomfortable, and having compassion for our inner hurt.
True creativity involves engaging with life exactly as it is arising right now, no matter how uncomfortable you feel on the inside or what challenges are happening on the outside.
Making the uncomfortable - comfortable - is the process of bringing unconscious material up in layers to be accepted, loved, and integrated.
I track the non-verbal movements of my subconscious mind into my conscious awareness through spontaneous art making.
Because I like to deepen into my creative practices, I usually commit to one modality for a period of a year to see how deeply I can go into the process. I am always profoundly changed at the end of each year.
We are given outer signs and symbols each day that can help us to evolve from unconscious to conscious human beings. We can learn how to invite these daily symbols and be open to their messages. This creative synchronicity is the intersection of our human life with the Divine.
Fear arises whenever we cannot accept something inside of ourselves. When we are in emotional pain, our awareness often feels very close to our body. This contraction of life energy most often indicates an old hurt that has not yet been healed.
We feel contracted, dense and nearly completely self-involved when we are in emotional pain. It is hard to notice what is going on outside of our tight and personally embroiled awareness when we are upset.
This hurt place is where we withdraw our full engagement away from life. This inner rejection of past hurt is an indication that something needs to be felt, accepted and integrated into our present-moment experience. Whatever we are feeling is what is healing.
The purpose of emotional pain is clear. Something hidden needs to grow into the light of awareness so that we can unconditionally be present for it, integrate it with love, and move forward towards a deeper engagement with life.
I like to randomly open a book to find my insight for the day. One day, I was contemplating full engagement with my own life, I intuitively opened one of my favourite books, "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer and read this:
"You should be experiencing the life that's happening to you, not the one you wish was happening. Don't waste a moment of life trying to make other things happen; appreciate the moments you are given. Don't you understand that every minute you are closer to death? This is how to live your life. You live as though you are on the verge of death because you are."
~ Michael A. Singer