Why do we avoid our feelings? In our Western society, we have been brought up to ignore our feelings and emotional pain. Feelings mean emotional pain. I even see women, who tend to be more in touch with their feelings; habitually push them away when feelings arise in many situations. We feel vulnerable among other humans and think expressing emotional pain or feelings show signs of weakness, particularly for men.
Our society conditions us to believe experiencing and showing feelings and emotional pain as unsafe. This encourages suppression and repression. Either we have forgotten what we once felt or we have no knowledge of what trauma lurks in our subconscious. All this would be fine if our subconscious had no power over our everyday success. It, however, does.
Unknown to some of us our subconscious beliefs and feelings have more power than our conscious intents. Dr. Bruce Lipton, Biology of Belief, says, The most powerful processor of information is the subconscious mind that runs 80 – 90% of our lives. It is like an autopilot in that it can run our day-to-day life without any input from the conscious mind. For example, we may want to weigh less, yet we have a belief if we weigh less we will attract more partners and have to be more intimate. We may have some sense that we fear intimacy or maybe we have no sense of this. Either way we will be unable to reduce our weight in spite our best intentions and countless weight reduction programs.
As a law of the universe, our subconscious always wins for it accepts without reservation or examination literally what we believe and feel on an unconscious level. Because many of our goals in life have different conscious and subconscious intents, many of us end up seldom achieving what we consciously intend. We only have to look at the constant battle people encounter with weight reduction as they bounce back and forth between weighing less and then regaining the same weight back. Thus, we experience conflict and frustration or hopeless and powerlessness over our lives. We end up feeling bad about ourselves because our subconscious mind believes it is better for us to keep our chronic emotional pain, extra weight, bad habit or trauma rather than change.
Our subconscious sabotages any of our efforts to succeed to protect us from failure. We may fear success. Also, we may fear being powerful. We may fear we will get hurt. Choose to discover your subconscious beliefs and feelings or continue to ignore them and continue living a unfulfilled life.
One way requires accepting whatever feeling arises in the moment rather than pushing it down. We embrace our feelings. This challenges us as we have been taught differently in most of our families. We have been taught to avoid emotional pain because it hurts and our immediate response is to get away from pain.
Embrace Emotional Pain
I challenge you to do something different, embrace the emotional pain. Like a child when you push them away they become more persistent, demanding attention. Look at physical pain as a cry for you to pay attention to something in your body speaking to you, crying out for change, for overcoming emotional pain and healing. Choose to do something novel. Hold the pain as if holding a child or baby in your arms, and accept it as it is. Feel the emotional pain instead of pushing it away. Yes, it hurts. Pushing the pain away, however, only buries it in our subconscious where it still affects us and gnaws away at our innards like acid eating away metal.
If we learn to hold emotional pain without drowning in it or getting distracted, it can transform on its own without us doing anything. Like any new skill we need to practice to increase our ability. Another option is to find a healer or therapist who knows how to hold the energy of the feeling with you as you learn to eventually do it on your own.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, teaches about being in the present moment. Being present with our emotional pain means learning to stay in the now rather than the past or future.
Also Eugene Gendlin, Focusing, teaches a six step method to staying present with any sensation in our body, which also includes vague feelings.
These methods show some ways for emotional pain management.
When will you start to practice the skill of staying present with your feelings, embracing them and begin to transform your pain?
About the Author
Michael David Lawrience is the author of Emotional Health: The Secret from Drama, Trauma, and Pain His book provides ways for improving emotional health, easing pain and stress, healing physical and emotional abuse, and spiritual awakening. https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Health-Secret-Freedom-Trauma/dp/0615479170
Michael as a Residential and Self-Esteem Coach and Mentor has over 15 years’ experience teaching teen’s self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-reliance. See eBook Self Esteem- A Teen’s Guide for Girls https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009L4JLMO
Michael offers Bowen Therapy in person in Sedona, Arizona for easing physical and emotional pain and for spiritual growth. https://www.emotionalhealthtips.com/bowen-therapy-sedona/
Michael also conducts personalized hiking tours in Sedona for emotional and spiritual breakthroughs.