guest blog Carol Terry, excerpt from Rescue Yourself a work in progress
The fastest way to freedom is to feel your feelings. Gita Bellin
Feel. A revolutionary act.
I want to integrate my experiences and commit to feeling all of my feelings. This helps me know who I am. If I don’t, I am susceptible to the media definition of who I am, what I should look like, how I should behave, what I should value. Corporate ‘interests’ will make sure I am held in fear and helplessness (unable to help myself).
Will buying their products and their image make me more desirable? Safer? Happy? Productive? Not so much. Our bodies are the conduits that deliver the unique information with which we integrate experiences and commit to becoming our whole unique selves. No-one else can integrate my experiences for me.
Maybe it is obvious. There are good feelings, some bad ones. Feelings. Feelings that can’t be helped, that give you no choice. Overwhelming grief, flash of anger, stabs of loneliness – feelings that grip and get a hold of you. You struggle for balance and struggle to Get Over it. Then there’s the other feelings – the good ones – joy, happiness, awe, gratitude. You don’t want to get over them, you try and hold on.
Maybe something overwhelms you, triggers you, and you realize you are feeling old stuff, as in a flashback. If you stay with that feeling and look really close, you might see the shadow of your own small self that needs attention because it is trying to survive. It is the part of yourself that you ignored or are ashamed of, the part you never gave energy or approval or permission.
The part you kept hidden, maybe even from yourself. It lumbers down the mountain and stops right under your nose, right in front of you, much bigger than you would have imagined, much stronger, much darker, and more destructive. Until you turn and face your grief-bear, you ignore its wonderful and scary invitation to be with that part of yourself that you have abandoned. It is hard to face uncomfortable feelings.
It is not a path for everyone. People suffer from complex traumatic effects that require professional help, or more, to untangle. But for many of us, paying attention over time, as well as in the moment brings unresolved trauma into focus and gives it some space to resolve. Facing uncomfortable feelings is, well, uncomfortable. But I have always found that they shift over time and, often, transform and empower me.
I feel energy vibrating within me; find information in grief patterns and triggers; enhance my energy flow; use patterns and emotions to inform me; re-vision stories; help others instead of getting re triggered; help others instead of triggering them. Committing to feeling your feelings is scary, we don’t know the outcome. That’s what unique means. Every moment is new in the present.
Paying attention to the inner body is a way to maintain presence in the moment and a way to listen. If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the now….It is almost as if you were listening or reading with your whole body. (The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle, p. 117)