As adults, when we experience an emotion – a response to an external stimuli – it triggers off a bio-chemistry within us which helps us to respond. In our western world we are not encouraged to be with that emotion, but to suppress it and move on. When we do this, there is only one place it can go and that’s into our cells, our physical body – where it becomes stored. If on the other hand we let the emotion out and away, then the shutting away of the emotion is prevented, along with any dis-ease that might result.
If we were to express our emotions as young children, very freely and easily, then we might find it a strain, leave aside the reactions we would likely get from other adults. However, there is a half-way house here. We can observe our reactions, be aware of the emotion arising, feel it and then allow it to flow out of us. By remaining present with the emotion, we can let it have its moment and then as it fades away, let it leave the body – by breathing it away. When we stay with an emotion – let it burn through if you like – it does fade, it’s not part of its function that it should remain, it’s a quick response and then away.
That’s the healthy way. Too often, by habit, constraints of our culture, emotions become suppressed, stuck and hidden away. Whilst they may have gone on the surface, they are still present within our system, having an effect upon us just the same. Frustrations, depression, stress, for example, are all symptoms of suppressed emotions. More obviously are physical symptoms – if a cell has a trapped emotion it is unable to function as well, dis-ease manifests and causes us to have aches, stiffness, cancer.
It’s also healthy to be able to express ourselves full stop. After all nobody frowns when we laugh, make music, cry with joy – so allowing ourselves to express all of our inner being, is merely showing all of ourselves, not just the bits that have been labelled good, acceptable, easy to deal with.
Letting our emotions in
Getting in touch with our emotions is a first step in all of this. If we have been used to suppressing them, then allowing ourselves to feel, to know that all is welcome, is a necessary first step. In a quiet moment you may like to check in with yourself, as you breath allow what ever wants to arise just to do so, without censure. There is no need to attach to what arises, merely to observe it and let it pass by, as clouds moving with the wind in the sky. Experiment with this for awhile and when you feel comfortable perhaps move on to the next stage. Here you may feel able to let an emotion arise more strongly, let it be all consuming, let it burn through you and the deeper you go the more quickly you will pass through it. If you can keep going with this, eventually you will be able to move through, from more challenging emotions to easier ones – ultimately, it is possible to reach a pure place, a place of peace and acceptance; often experienced as love, oneness and essence.
Once you are more comfortable expressing emotions to yourself, you may like to try being ‘real’ around other people, starting with people with whom you feel safe. Letting them know how you feel about things and not being afraid of expressing emotions as they arise, and encouraging them to be ‘real’ with you.
There will be ups and downs with this, so be gentle with yourself and know that ultimately you are seeking to be healthy on the inside as well as on the out.
If you need some support with getting in touch and expressing your emotions, do get in touch. You can always email me here.