The Essence of Meeting Emotions
- The physical body is primed to experience emotions. They’re normal.
- Things get complicated when our thinking minds try to make sense of what’s happening. This creates rumination, worry, confusion, and irritation. Your mind just can’t let go of the story.
- Avoiding emotions will keep you stuck in them.
- Even though you want to avoid them, turning toward emotions is the path to being free of their grip.
- Turning toward our emotions creates a new and friendly relationship with them.
- Taking a slow and conscious breath is a helpful first step.
- How to turn toward? Welcome all sensations, even the ones hiding out in the shadows of your body. Let everything be welcomed in the stillness of your being.
Being with Your In-The-Moment Experience
Here’s the paradox when it comes to emotions. Logic will tell us to avoid them because who wants to feel pain?
But turn toward them and worlds open up. Without paying attention to the story running in your mind, you get to notice your in-the-moment experience.
There are physical sensations…energies…vibration…and the space these experiences arise in. It’s a moment of peace when you meet your feelings as they are.
Avoiding feelings is divisive within and separates us from ourselves. We might call it inner war.
Turning toward and meeting emotions is the path to coming to peace with ourselves.
But don’t take my word for it. Right now, go inside and be with whatever is occurring. Without the mind’s interference, what do you notice? You’re simply allowing what’s here to be here—and it’s way more peaceful than resisting.
A New Relationship with Emotion
I received an email recently from someone who is on fire to explore her experience—even if it hurts (because that’s what it takes). And she made an amazing discovery. She is starting to notice how much fear underlies the addictive behaviors she plays out in her life.
What a revelation! Caught in the addictions, the fear goes unnoticed. But making the courageous move to be curious about her inner experience, she realized the depth of the fear that’s been driving her unsatisfying behavior.
Then her question was, “How do I overcome this fear?” Which means, “How do I win the fight over it? How do I conquer it?”
Basically, she is asking how to get rid of the fear. From my experience, that’s not possible.
First, she avoided the fear completely, not even realizing it was present.
Then she wanted to get rid of it.
And I am suggesting a third approach, which is to get curious about it.
The invitation is to form a new relationship with fear—or any emotion—that is friendly and kind.
- Instead of panicking when an emotion is present, or hating that it’s here, you take a breath and say, “Hello, Emotion.”
- You explore how it feels in the body.
- And you make space for it to appear then float on.
This is the paradox when it comes to emotion. We turn toward our feelings with loving acceptance, and they stop derailing our happiness.
Like a miracle, we discover that by including our emotions and letting them be, there’s peace…lightness…and the sense that all is deeply okay.
What About You?
Please leave your comment below (or click here). I’d love to hear your thoughts and reports!
NOTE: Please join me live this Sunday, August 12, when I’ll be in conversation with Grace Bubeck about my new book, Suffering Is Optional. There will be plenty of time for live Q&A. I would love to see you there! Please click here for the info.