One day during the first week after eye surgery I felt an enormous surge of emotions. Afraid to hurt my eyes by crying I had stuffed so many of these feelings they were screaming to get out. I decide to devote my day to honoring those emotions by setting them free.
A friend of mine called to ask how I was. "I am having an emotional day", I responded. My friend seemed concerned I might get depressed or something and suggested other activities that would help me ignore the unwanted emotions.
Fortunately I learned over the past few years about a more healthy response to uncomfortable emotions. So instead of listening to my well meaning friend I listened to my emotions and enlisted the help of my spirit.
Here are some things I have learned about emotions and one of the methods I use to set them free.
What are emotions?
Emotions are nothing more than energy passing through. They rise up from inside us in order to move out easily and freely. All they want to do is get out.
How do emotions assist us?
Emotions are a natural indicator that let's us know if what we are thinking or doing is in alignment with the truth of our spirit. If the emotion feels icky or uncomfortable we know whatever we are thinking is not reflecting the truth of who we are inside.
Good feeling emotions are our spirit's way of telling us we are in harmony with ourself.
What do we do with our emotions?
When an emotion bubbles up that feels uncomfortable our first response is to want to stuff the emotion back down.
Knowing that all the emotion wants is to get out we can see why ignoring it or holding it in keeps it trapped in our body.
Continually keeping it trapped in the body it creates disease.
It is easier to allow the feel good emotions to express themselves. We like that uplifting and energy expanding feeling. Thus we are more willing to open up and let them out.
How can we stop stuffing uncomfortable emotions?
Honoring uncomfortable emotions and allowing them the freedom to leave is the best way I know to stop holding them inside.
The next vital step is to invite unconditional love in to fill the space they once occupied in the body.
Here is one of the ways I do this for myself.
I pay attention to the emotions first. When I feel uncomfortable instead of allowing my mind to keep thinking thoughts that are causing these unwanted feelings I give it a new job.
I ask it to help me identify what I am feeling. Am I feeling anger, resentment, frustration, shame, guilt? What exactly am I feeling?
Then I sit with the feeling and allow myself plenty of time to feel it come up and out.
If I am unable to identify the emotion I simply invite it to come on up and out.
I tell it I am opening the door so that it can leave whenever it is ready. I do not try to force it out I simply allow it the freedom to leave.
When I feel it is gone, which only takes a few moments, I imagine myself offering love and compassion to a child or a pet that is hurt or crying.
I hold those thoughts until I begin to feel the love flowing in and through my body. That allows me to experience the love my emotions were blocking.
If the emotion I expressed was so intense I cannot recall a memory of expressing or feeling love then I simply say "I am willing to give myself unconditional love."
I repeat this as often as necessary to begin to feel the loving energy expand and return me to a place of peace.
I offer prayers of thanksgiving for this experience. I know its purpose was to help me see a part of myself that needed to be reveled in order for me to live the loving, peaceful joyful life I desire.
Next I focus my thoughts on gratitude for everything I can think of in my life now. I am grateful for the chair I sit in, the desk that holds my computer, the computer, the Internet that connects me to you. Ah, now I am feeling better.
Perhaps this will help you next time some unwanted emotions take you by surprise.