Trying to Find "Better Feeling States" Can be a Form of Resistance
"If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation."
We are often encouraged to “practice” higher feeling states in order to raise out of emotional mire. But for those of us who struggle with painful emotions, positive psychology, positive affirmations and setting higher intentions often do 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.
You do not have to work so hard to change your emotional state. When you are willing to feel arising emotional pain without resistance, you will heal. You can process your stored emotions through your body, layer by layer. And, as you do you can inhabit your body again. This is called "embodiment." Each emotion that you feel, heal and integrate leaves room for your soul to inhabit your human body.
Emotions are Old Energies
Painful emotions are unprocessed energetic imprints that have been embedded into your body from the past, and they are underpinned by limited thinking. To get to the "root" of negative emotions you can honour them as old energies that need to be released. When you allow your 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 you kindly and curiously witness them. You can digest difficult emotions by inviting them to move through your body. This loving presence can help to diffuse anxiety and panic attacks and can support you to heal the painful feelings associated with 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 afterwards. I later understood that sustaining such high levels of compassionate attention to the layers of my emotional pain was a normal part of the healing process.
I melted into the love of "leaning into my pain." Sustained breathing into my body when I feel emotional pain has always instilled deeper levels of self-worth and deeper insight into the limiting 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, I began believing that those exiled parts of me were worth attending to with love, and my sense of victimization decreased.