It is difficult to stay silent inside. Many of us are massively repressing painful emotions. Meditation can be a challenge because there is often much under the surface that is clamouring to be seen and felt. During meditation, the difficult feelings that you avoid with addictions, distractions and busyness arise up in the silence to be loved first.
There are many ways to meditate, such as with mantras, that serve to force the mind to be silent. If you have not done your emotional inner work, mantra meditation can be a way to control or numb what wants to rise up into awareness. When you first invite whatever pain wants to come up to be seen, felt and integrated, your mind will grow silent naturally - and mantras will then feel uplifting.
Repressed emotions are resisted emotions. Resisted emotions take a great deal of life-force energy to push down. When emotions threaten to bubble up, you will feel anxious. Anxiety often indicates that something is arising from within that you do not want to feel. When anxiety arises there will be an urge to stuff, sedate, avoid or distract yourself away from your emotions.
Because your anxious thinking is designed to defend against resisted emotions, anxiety is most often projected outwards. It is easy to find things to attach your anxiety to. You might notice that whenever you feel an unwanted emotion, you begin to look outside of yourself for the cause, with the urge to control or change 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."
~ Richard Moss
For a long time, I thought I needed to change the people in my life so that my painful emotions would go away. After many years of bitter blame and anger towards unkind people in my life, I finally realized with utter certainty that nothing outside myself was the cause of my heavy emotional states.
Finding someone to project your difficult emotions onto seems to relieve anxiety for a time. Yet, when you blame others, you increase your confusion. Blaming others for your emotional pain eventually wreaks toxic havoc on your body. Your ego might feel better for a time but your soul will hurt.
When you understand that outside events can only trigger what is already inside of you, you can thank your difficult life events for revealing your unhealed emotional pain. Instead of finding something wrong with others you can choose to contain your difficult emotional state until it reveals a new way to love yourself.
Feeling your emotions fully will stretch your capacity for the loving presence that you usually require from other people. When you resist the temptation to find the cause for pain outside of yourself, your anxiety will burn inside of you with nowhere to go.
This way of self-loving will empower you in profound ways. Consider keeping 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 disperses.
Emotions hold tremendous life-force energy. Feeling your emotions as energy without judging or thinking about them or putting a "blame-story" on top is a powerful way to emotionally heal. To avoid judging your emotions it is helpful to say, "I love and accept this emotion."
Make it part of your creative process and draw, paint or dance the painful energy that is moving through your body. Does your emotion have a shape, a location in your body, a colour, a sound, or a visual symbol? Try to sense your emotions as an energy that needs to move, change and flow and transform.
You may fear that if you allow yourself to feel your painful emotions they might never end. What you resist persists until you finally turn and face it with courage. Yet, there is always an end. Emotions will unfreeze, move and change of their own natural accord when you determinedly make the effort to keep your heart open to yourself.
Repressing your emotions, on the other hand, will leave you feeling numb, tired, and often in significant physical pain. Facing a painful feeling with loving acceptance builds your spiritual muscle and releases your body musculature from having to work so hard to keep your 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 a feeling of being newly born. When a long-repressed emotion has had its day in your loving awareness there is no longer such a need to think so frantically in order to avoid what you do not want to feel.
Intense emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and loneliness contain large amounts of life force. When you allow yourself to unconditionally love a painful emotion until it is gone, you will be rewarded with reclaimed strength and positive energy. By turning to face what you could not face in the past, you can use your stagnant emotional energy to strongly move your life forward in fresh creative ways.
Excerpted from my Morning Pages e-course
Morning Pages E-Course
I 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 HERE.