Many people spend time resisting their emotions instead of feeling them, running away from the pain.
I refer to this as the pain of pain. The pain of pain is the original discomfort, plus the discomfort of resistance. It’s possible to spend your entire life in this place, resisting your emotions.
This place doesn’t feel good. It divorces you from your true self, leads to doubt and confusion. You can’t find a moment of peace because your entire being is wasting all of its energy into subduing this monster of resistance that seems to grow more fierce with each passing day.
The good news is, there’s another way. Something more expansive exists beyond this wall of pain, and I’m about to show you how to discover the magic that lies beyond.
1. Separate your feelings from the thoughts around those feelings.
Let’s say, for example, you have a job you hate.
You feel sad and frustrated about this job, and resist those feelings.
One reason is because accepting your feelings about a situation is the same as accepting the situation itself.
In this example, thinking about accepting where you work can bring up a lot of fear.
Is that condemning you to stay there forever?
It highlights a string of other negative thoughts.
But I don’t know what else to do!
I have to stay here. It’s how I pay my bills.
In this moment, it’s important to separate your feelings from your thoughts about those feelings.
They’re two separate things, and separating them will help you work with your thoughts and feelings in a more powerful, positive way.
Allowing yourself to stop resisting your emotions and accept the situation can feel scary, but it’s the first step to finding a solution.
The truth is, sometimes people subconsciously don’t want to find a solution because that brings up deeper layers of doubts and fears. More on this in a minute.
First know that resisting your emotions or the experiences they represent keeps you stuck.
It may feel like you’re being valiant and fighting the good fight, but you’re really spending all your energy wishing what is, wasn’t.
This is a losing battle.
Instead, accept how you feel, accept your life, which is simply saying — this is how it is right NOW — and know that doing this creates the space for change.
Action step: Journal down your fears. Why are you afraid of right now? Are those fears true? What is ultimately true?
2. Know that no emotions are inherently good or bad.
One reason resisting your emotions is so common is because society calls them negative. They’re not negative, they’re just not pleasant. There’s a big difference.
It’s hard to open yourself up to feel something if you consider it negative, scary or useless.
Society has us believing that painful emotions have no value, and need to be fought or medicated away.
People often feel worthy of love or friendship only when they’re happy. We value people who are always cheerful and happy, and expect people to face loss or difficult times without skipping a beat.
Pop spirituality often has people believing they can’t create good things in life unless they’re happy all the time. This isn’t true or realistic.
The ultimate truth is that life is full of high moments and low, and each season of our lives contains emotions to match. This isn’t good or bad, but a the cycle of life.
Loving yourself isn’t about judging yourself when you feel sad, but having compassion for yourself. Rather than saying things like, “why am I STILL feeling sad?” Tune in and ask — “What do I need? How can I show myself love today?”
Knowing that emotions have value, even painful ones, is a powerful step to stop resisting them.
Action step: Shift how you respond to yourself when you feel emotional pain. Rather than criticism or judgment, treat yourself with curiosity and compassion.
3. Ask your emotions what messages they have for you.
Painful emotions, like all emotions, have messages.
When you open your heart to your sadness or anger or jealousy, or whatever pain you feel, and simply ask yourself — what message do you have for me? — you will receive guidance to live a more soulful life.
Painful emotions can also illustrate our deeper fears, stemming from unhealed wounds, about what is or isn’t possible for our lives. A good way to investigate this is through shadow work.
Back to the example of someone experiencing pain because she doesn’t like her job, we can look at this one layer deeper.
This person may feel sadness they hate their job, but really have deeper fears or limiting beliefs around finding work she enjoys that pays well.
She may not be connected to her true gifts because of unhealed wounds related to feeling like they’re not good enough, or that they make her too unusual to be worthy of love.
This makes it actually safer for this person to resist her emotions and blame her job for her unhappiness rather than honor the message from within that she has important gifts to share with the world.
Honoring these soul messages can me scary, and so many people cling to resistance and pretend they’re not powerful co-creators to avoid stepping into that power.
This is all very subconscious, but can be illuminated through ongoing practices like journaling and simply feeling your feelings.
Action step: Feel your feelings and ask — what message do you have for me?
4. Know that emotions are energy in motion, and you won’t get stuck in them.
Another fear people have is that of getting stuck in the painful emotion, or feeling like they will never pass. Again, this comes from society’s deeper fears that emotions are negative.
Modern society, the patriarchy, is more linear than the feminine cyclical traditions, although this is changing.
With this linear type of thinking, we’ve lost connection to the truth that just like a rainbow follows the rain, happiness follows sadness.
This is how things naturally flow.
Emotions are energy in motion. They flow through; that’s what they’re designed to do.
When we resist things, we stay stuck in them, and ironically people resist emotions because they feel afraid of them, but this very fear keeps them stuck in the pain.
Honoring your fear of what will happen if you allow yourself to feel will help you stop resisting your emotions so you can create the soulful life you desire and deserve.
Action step: What fears do you have about feeling? How can you see them differently? (Ask your inner wisdom. Your soul has all the answers!)
Be sure to download the world’s most powerful meditation to release painful emotions below!
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