Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. — Carl Jung
Have you ever noticed how much time we spend each day lost in our thoughts? According to Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University, we have approximately 60,000 thoughts per day and 90% of them are repetitive. Thinking is so addictive! As a consequence we easily lose touch with reality and we disconnect from our body, paying attention to it only when we feel strong pleasure or pain. This has a direct impact on our emotional life, preventing us from processing what we feel. Do you think that I am exaggerating? Keep reading 😉
The Latin derivative for the word emotion is emotere and it means energy in motion. In other words, a healthy way to process a feeling is to accept it and allow it to flow through us. This happens also in nature, where animals tend to discharge excess adrenaline energy when a thread has passed. For example when a zebra survives being chased by a lion, it instinctively starts to tremble, shake or jump around to let go of the residual stress.
How do we normally handle our emotions? If you think about it for a moment you will soon realize that most of the times we do not allow them to flow freely. We either grasp at positive sensations or we try as much as possible to avoid feeling discomfort. This tendency of either holding on to a feeling or repressing it is exacerbated by our obsessive and judgmental thoughts about it. For example, when we do not take responsibility for something that happened to us and blame someone else for it, what we are really trying to do is to avoid feeling pain and hurt. By constantly telling ourselves the story of how disrespectful they were towards us, we keep fueling the anger, hiding more and more the underlying pain. The result is that we build up a lot of emotional energy inside ourselves that is not free to flow through us. Not a big deal, you might think. Are you really sure about it? 😉
What happens to this emotional energy when we block it? It does not go away. It remains stuck in our bodies, showing up as muscle tension, pain, numbness or, in more severe cases, as sickness. For example, every time we perceive that a feeling is too much for us to handle, we unconsciously repress its energy and store it in our body. This happens also when we face traumatic experiences, especially when we are children. These old emotions can stay stuck inside of us for many years. Since we are disconnected from our bodies, we are not aware of them and we do not realize how much of our personal energy is needed to constantly repress them.
If we do not find a way to release these emotions in a safe way, they will dictate how we live our lives. In fact, since small things happening outside of ourselves have the power to activate the pain hidden inside, we desperately try to control situations and people, to avoid feeling discomfort at any cost. The author Michael Singer, in his book The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, has a beautiful way to describe this concept. He compares an unprocessed feeling to a thorn stuck in an arm, hitting a nerve. Since we feel pain every time something or someone comes too close to it, we live our entire life keeping everything and everyone at a safe distance. All our choices are made such that the thorn does not get hit. This is how powerful these stored energies can be! In the short video below Michael Singers explains this idea.
Is there a way out? How can we remove the thorn and free ourselves? Releasing old emotional energies is a process, you can find all the details in How to Release Your Emotional Baggage? Feel Your Feelings in the Body 🙂
You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. ―
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