THE EDGE OF EMOTION

THE EDGE OF EMOTION 

Risking feeling

Feeling feels risky.  So much so that we often stay on the edge of it.  Feeling emotion means something is going to change, which is destabilizing to our sense of the known.  It is a mini death and rebirth, and most of us don’t like the death part very much.  Death of an idea, dream, or way of being.  Oftentimes we think we are feeling emotion, but we are just on the surface of what is really going on.  To authentically feel, rather than regurgitating triggered surface emotions, is the difference between acceptance of what is and resistance to it.  Acceptance is hard for most, so rather than feeling we stay in the spin of frustration, irritation or mental activity, which keeps us from having to actually feel even though we think that we are.  

Why is it that we avoid feeling like it’s the plague?  It boils down to the fact that in general most of us don’t like to feel heartbreak, and heartbreak is what authentic feeling feels like.  It’s tender, raw, and vulnerable.  The heartbreak we feel is in association with something occurring that we wished was different.  Perhaps it was a way we were treated that we didn’t like, a need or desire that wasn’t met, or some situation that went down in a way we wished it wouldn’t have.  The tendency for most people is to start to think about the situation or event rather than feel what they feel about it.  They rationalize, they judge or condemn, they feel irritated or maybe aloof and disconnected, they can’t seem to let it go no matter what amount spiritual self-talk they do around it.  There is a tendency to feel at a loss or confused about “what to do” and many attempts to figure it out.  The intense mental thought of needing to figure out what to do or say is a high indication that there is resistance to what is, and deeper more real feelings to be felt.

There is a phrase I heard in chiropractic college that went “you have to feel it to heal it”.  What it boils down to is that healing is accepting what is.  When we accept what is, change then effortlessly flows from acceptance.  There is no more needing to figure anything out or mental looping about it.  We simply know what to do if anything needs to be done.  Sometimes there is nothing to do and that can be super challenging for our minds, particularly when we really want something to be different, hence our prolonged resistance to actual feeling.  However as soon as we do feel the heartbreak of the dream, the idea, the hope, or the thing, acceptance ensues and it becomes easy to let be what is.  This leaves us with inner peace and spaciousness of mind.  We become receptive rather than insistent.  In our receptivity the path of what’s next is revealed to us.   

FREEDOM THROUGH EMOTION 

Action from love

Sometimes the difference between thinking our emotions versus feeling our emotions can be tricky for us to discern.  A good indicator to use for yourself is that if you don’t feel freer than you aren’t actually feeling, but rather you are caught in a story about feeling.  Another way to discern this is the amount of time you are “feeling”.  Emotions, when felt, have a very short time span.  Typically a few seconds to a few minutes at most.  If you are going on hours, days or weeks of “feeling” something then you are often in the story of it rather than the feeling of it.  Now after you feel something deeply there can be residual feelings, but your general disposition is lighter and more free even if some residual effects are still present.  Also after feeling there you are softer and in a slower pace of being.  

Emotions are simply energy.  When we feel the energy of emotion we liberate fuel.  Fuel for acceptance and change.  That acceptance or change can be of ourselves, or it can be in relation to the outer appearance of our lives.  Change occurring through acceptance, or said another way, change occurring through love, is different than the way we typically try to make things happen.  While there is still intention, vision or goals, there is also more of a listening to the unfolding and participating with it rather than an attempt to push or force to make happen.  While this might seem more apparent for our outer world, it goes for our inner world as well.  Say for example you have a tendency to think you are not valuable or have nothing of value to give.  You could try a million self-help methods to change these thoughts about yourself, go to every class and workshop, and on and on, really throwing everything at it.  Yet when you start with acceptance, coming from love in your attempt to change these thoughts, you don’t insist that they need to be different.  It’s a bit of a paradox, but as soon as we stop insisting something be a certain way or be different than it is, it relaxes and often reorganizes itself.

All the things we desperately think need to be different about ourselves or the world find resolution through acceptance.  The mind can’t grok this and yet it is so.  Acceptance doesn’t mean inaction, rather it means action from love.  To be clear action from love doesn’t mean that our perspective, idea or way of approaching something wins over because we think it’s more altruistic, evolved or better than the alternative perspectives.  This is called righteousness of which our world is rampant with.  Action from love is listening to the inner impulse to move in a particular way or direction, taking action in that direction, and then listening.  Seeing what you feel now and now and now, and following.  When you allow your emotions you see that they guide you moment by moment.  This doesn’t mean that all of your ideals will be met or creations created, but it does mean that you will always be coming from your alignment, from who you are, from what you desire to be, now and now and now.  This is to fulfill your destiny.  It is to be your mission.  It equates to success at all levels of your being.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Empathy & empowered feeling

Empowered feeling

Emotional resilience

Woman with heart. Lotus positionMany people have a story that their feelings are too much and as such feel a like a victim to their emotions.  They try their best to not feel certain emotions as they fear that the emotion will overcome them and they will be lost in a particular feeling state indefinitely.  In this scenario what is happening is that we are giving away our power to our emotions.  We are essentially saying that our emotions are bigger than us (rather than a transitory aspect which we experience) and we are not realizing that we are the creator of our emotions to begin with.  

When we don’t realize that we are the creator of our emotions than we will always feel on some level like they are simply happening to us.  When we have this relationship of emotions happening to us we often feel powerless to change the way that we feel.  This can leave us feeling trapped until either the emotional state or the active trigger which seemed to create the emotional state passes.  

There is a way beyond having to wait it out, but it requires you to step into the next level of knowing yourself as the creator of your life, including your emotional state of being.  This is what I call having emotional resilience and empowered feeling.  It implies that you know you are the creator of your feeling states and thus you are ultimately in charge of how you are feeling at any given moment.  It means that you have to step completely out of the frame of mind that something can “happen to you” and realize that you are choosing what you experience.  This can be a big step especially when something really feels like it has a hold of us and we’ve completely lost sight of ourselves.  

This shift in consciousness and in identity is what allows you to take full responsibility for your feeling state.  In this way you can feel whatever you feel without needing to blame people, triggers, circumstances or conditions.  You realize that you are ultimately in charge and ultimately the only one who can change your emotional state of being at any moment.   

Empathy 

Feeling beyond our own skin line

oneness fieldThis moves us now to feeling beyond our own emotional states into the world of empathy or feeling others.  Empathy is actually our natural state of being. I find it ironic that people have found a way to pathologize that which is inherent to us and to seek ways to treat it.  Someone has actually coined an “empathy disorder” characterized as someone who is too sensitive to the emotions and energy of people, animals and the environment beyond their conscious control.  The condition implies, as all do, that you are somehow a victim to what you feel/experience, rather than the knowledge that you are again ultimately the creator of all that you experience.  

I want to invite the perspective here that to be un-empathetic or non-sensitive is actually to be disconnected from your feeling body.  Part of being human is that we have an emotional body, to feel is natural, and to feel beyond one’s own skin line or to perceive feeling in that which is seemingly distinct and separate from you, such as another human being, plant or animal, is simply the waking up of your interconnectedness with all.  It is not a pathology, it is who and what you actually are beyond duality.    

Historically most all feeling, whether within or outside your own skin line, has been labeled as non-rational, hysteric or even impossible. In that way we have come to permission/create some feelings and not others. We’ve also learned through cultural conditioning that some feelings are bad or wrong, while others are good or right.  As you suspend your need to label some emotions as bad, wrong or too much, you will stop finding the need to pathologize your feelings and realize the gift of feeling and empathy.  The true pathology or problem is not in feeling or in being sensitive, but instead in repressing or dampening out that which you do feel. To feel is what is required to bring humanness back to being human, to bridge the gap of the illusion of our separateness from one another and wake up to the fact that we are ultimately one being.

Embrace your feelings, stop labeling them and stop judging yourself for having them. Rejoice that you can actually feel as there are many who still can’t find or feel their emotions. Know that you are the ultimate creator of all feeling.  Your feeling, your sensitivity, is an enormous gift that this world needs. Please recognize it as such and continue boldly in feeling all that which desires to be felt through you.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado