Updated: Jun 20, 2020
Are emotions literally the source of all healing in life?
With the most powerful Solar Eclipse of 2020 happening this Sunday in the sign of Cancer, I wanted to talk about emotions and how crucial they are to healing and dealing with any life situation you are going through at the moment. In a time of crisis and uncertainty in the world, our feelings and emotions can be overwhelming and crippling at times. Stress, worry, loneliness, depression and other uncomfortable feelings can make us feel like we are drowning and are completely out of control. In this blog, I’m going to specifically talk about my experience with emotional healing, how to deal with emotions and why emotions are so so crucial to healing almost anything.
How Can Emotional Healing Help You?
Before we start this blog, I want to talk about some of the benefits of emotional healing that I myself and many others that I've worked with have experienced by doing these different steps over time.
1. Healing in ALL Areas of Life
2. More Energy
3. Experiencing Your Own Power (Emotions are powerful!)
4. Emotional Freedom! No longer feeling controlled by or scared of your emotions.
5. Feeling More Connected to Yourself & in the Flow of Life Instead of Against it!
6. Easier Manifestation
7. More Authentic & True to Yourself
8. More Love (for yourself, others and from others)
9. More Intuitive!
10. More in Touch with Source Energy! We are the vessel in which the Universe creates & experiences earth!
Our emotions are such an important part of how we experience our environment, relationships and life in general. Before getting into spirituality and healing, I used to fear emotions like the plague. Emotions= EW. I actually spent most of my life fighting them, suppressing them and escaping them with drugs or any substance I could get my hands on to make me numb. I judged people that couldn’t control their emotions or were just too emotional/sensitive. Why? Because I was too but drowned mine any chance I could. It made me feel so awkward, weird and almost embarrassed for them like, how could they let themselves go like that? But the more I got into my spiritual journey and healing, the more I realized that our emotions are SO much more than an inconvenience or these scary gross things inside of you. I think especially for those that feel on a deep level, which maybe we all do but somewhere along the line blocked it out because it was too much, emotions can be so overwhelming and make you feel like you’re literally dying at times.
No matter who you are, somewhere along the line you’ve had a traumatic experience that triggered something in you that felt like a bottomless hole of emotional pain like you got punched in the stomach which obviously is so uncomfortable and hurtful, we feel we need to protect ourselves from feeling that way ever again. So we subconsciously create different “walls” to guard ourselves from those feelings, to protect ourselves. These walls can be anything, things we tell ourselves over and over to keep us feeling comforted and safe:“It wasn’t that bad”, “They didn’t mean it”, "I shouldn't feel this way" “That’s just the way it is”, “I’ll never do that again”, “Screw them”, “It didn’t happen“, etc). Or we even blame others and make others the problem for the way we feel/felt.
The “walls” we build to protect ourselves from that traumatic experience and those emotions get layered over time and are often compared to the layers of an onion. They aren’t very strong so we subconsciously layer them to protect what’s inside from coming out or getting triggered yet again. And through doing this you separate and isolate the part of you that felt that experience from this new part of you rejecting the experience. A split forms inside you. You become the victim & the guard of the victim at one time. You create a new part of you built from these layers that is like a body guard or wall protecting the emotion/trauma inside.
Then eventually, you get to a point where you’ve lied to yourself & denied the emotion by repressing it, hiding it etc. for so long that you begin to not feel much at all, especially if you do this with every “bad” or uncomfortable experience/emotion you encounter. Then what will happen is something or someone comes along and pushes their finger in it and triggers it by making you feel even remotely close to the original emotion/experience and you go off the deep end. It’s like a button that gets pushed and you react instinctively and aggressively and once again you pick up the pieces and build the layers back up with ideas, concepts, beliefs & lies to protect yourself all over again. The problem with this is nothing ever actually gets resolved. There’s no actual healing in this. It’s an endless cycle of protecting yourself from your own self over and over again.
Our society today treats emotion exactly how I used to- like the plague. If you think about it, when you have a friend that proceeds to start crying in front of you, do you feel uncomfortable or awkward? If someone is always emotional, do you feel weird or annoyed being around them or even back off? If someone you know has a loved one that dies, do you feel helpless & uncomfortable? If someone comes to you with an emotional problem, do you try to help them not feel that way anymore? If someone comes to you and tells you they feel un-worthy do you tell them they shouldn't feel that way? If so, you likely have issues with emotion, as most of us do these days! And this has likely been instilled in you by someone in your life that reacted the same way to you when you were expressing emotion.
Why is this? The reason you feel so uncomfortable, helpless, resistant or awkward around other people’s emotions, is because you can’t take it away for them. You can’t fix it for them. Because this is how you likely feel around your own emotions as well. But why do we feel this way?
We are programmed as a society to automatically judge & label certain emotional experiences (death, heartbreak, loneliness, sadness, anger, low self esteem etc) as being “bad” therefore emotions become something that need to be controlled and "fixed" to most people. “Big boys/girls don’t cry!”, “Just think positive!”, “You should be grateful!”, "You shouldn't feel that way.", “You have no reason to be upset!”, “Calm Down!” “Pull yourself together!”, “Shhhh!”.
We immediately want to eliminate anything uncomfortable. We as a society, especially in the West, are so used to taking a Tylenol anytime we have a headache, a sleeping pill when we can’t sleep, go to a party or bar anytime we fight with a boyfriend and just reject any uncomfortable emotion or feeling anytime we experience it. We have this idea of elimination, “Just make it go away, I don’t want to feel this”.
And what I’ve learned on my spiritual & healing journey is that emotional blockages are the cause and source of so much of the suffering, illnesses and even physical pain that we go through. I’ve seen different sources even say that this has been medically and scientifically proven now. The ancients even knew this to be true. Many holistic healing modalities also know this to be true. It’s not emotions themselves that create the source of illness (physical, mental, spiritual and emotional), but the suppression & rejection of the emotional experience that leads to unresolved trauma, psychological issues, mental health issues, physical pain, illness, dis-ease and so much more of our issues in life as a human species.
When you suppress an emotional experience, it goes somewhere. Your mind literally stores it in your body. Then you put stress on your mind and body to keep it down and covered up on lock and key, and by doing this, you reject the most truest part of who you are at a source level. Now I do want to add that I am not a doctor nor have a fancy degree to state that I’ve done studies on this etc. I have my own experience with myself, friends, family, students and clients. I believe the best source of understanding information is through experience. Coming to an understanding from experience is different than reading a book or listening to someone else. That’s why I invite you to consider your own experiences and if they relate to this blog and to try the exercises later in this blog for yourself to find out if you agree with this information. If not, that's fine too. So let’s break down how this “emotional suffocation process” starts and how it leads to so many blockages and issues in our lives. If we understand how it starts, then we can understand how to heal almost anything whether past or present.
The process of emotional rejection starts when we judge the emotion and feeling as something “bad” or that shouldn’t be there. By doing this, we immediately react in fear which leads to separation instead of accepting and understanding. The reason we judge it is because we've seen other people judge themselves for having the experience and others have judged us for having an experience. This is why one of the worst things you can do, is not validate someones emotions. By saying things like "You shouldn't feel ugly, you're literally crazy for thinking that way because you're beautiful!" or "Omg, don't cry, suck it up, be strong!" or just anything in the sense of rejection or showing rejection to how someone feels, will make them judge themselves for feeling that way, therefore reject their emotional experience causing it to be separate from who they are and something they should fear which will cause more issues for them in the long run. Have you ever had a child fall down right in front of you, then look at you to see what you’re reaction is before freaking out or not freaking out? That’s what I am talking about. The best way to deal with emotion & validate how someone else feels in a moment like that is to first practice on validating your own (which we will get to) and 2nd to let them know that what they are feeling is valid. They are completely okay and normal to feel that way. We ALL have emotions, there are not abnormal, "good or bad" emotions. They just are.
The second stage is resistance. When we resist our emotions, they don't go away. You may feel numb or temporarily free from them for a certain amount of time but they will come back. You cannot live life and experience only what you perceive as "good" emotions. Life is full of dark and light. Most of us have been resisting so long that it's literally became a subconscious habit at this point. When you resist the experience, it gets stored as energy in your body. Emotions are energy. That energy then gets stored in different parts of your body which will later cause pain and physical issues in some way shape or form.
So now that we've went through how the process of emotional trauma and blockages happens, we are going to talk about some ways that you can heal yourself by working with your emotions to release trauma and heal! This wont be the easiest thing in the world, but expressing your emotions won't kill you and will actually give you freedom! When we express our emotions, they no longer have power over us!
STEPS TO EMOTIONAL HEALING
1. Start Paying Attention to How You Feel: Whenever you have any kind of emotion come to the surface, pay attention to it!
2. Emotional Judging: What you'll notice when you start paying attention to your emotions and feelings, is that you will have a strong reaction to immediately judge it as "good" or "bad", and if it's "bad", you will likely try to resist it in some way by repressing it, escaping it, distracting yourself or numbing it.
3. Accept Instead of Resist: Once you notice yourself pushing the emotion down or trying to fight or resist it in anyway, practice accepting it and sitting with it instead. Our emotions are apart of us. Our emotions are energy that allow us to experience the full spectrum of life. Treat your emotions like you would treat a child. Nurture them. Care for them. BE WITH THEM. This make take several times to practice before you undo the deeply rooted habit of resisting them. And thats 100% normal and okay. Just keep at it! I've been doing this for years and am still working with emotional healing. There's no time limit. And the benefits and emotional freedom are completely worth it!
4. Express: Your emotions come up in the first place as your reaction to an experience in which needs to be expressed. This is why anxiety can feel like you want to jump out of your own skin yet you're likely completely frozen. Emotions are an expression of our experience to the world around us. There are several ways I tell my clients and students to express emotions! We will go over some but I really want you to trust your own emotional guidance system in that moment. In that moment, you will eventually know how your emotion needs to come out. Trust it. When you do, you will have no regrets because we stayed true to our own internal guidance system (Source). When we don't, thats when the regrets take over. But this may take some time of listening and getting to know your emotions/yourself, before you intuitively know how to work with and express them. So heres some easy ways to express your emotions (pick one that feels right with your emotion at the time): crying & letting it all out, writing/journaling how you feel, getting vulnerable and communicating your emotions out loud or to someone else, screaming in your pillow, running, punching pillows, dancing, hugging someone or hugging yourself, laughing, playing a musical instrument or listening to music. There are so many ways to express how we feel, the importance is that you do what feels right in that moment to get your emotions out of you!
5. (Advanced) Re Experience: I would either suggest doing this step with someone else that is trustworthy and understands your process like a friend or spiritual teacher/healer or at least once you've worked with your emotions long enough that you feel ready. This step is about re experiencing a particular memory and experience that was very emotionally difficult for you in which to express the emotions that you've been rejecting and keeping buried within you for so long. By finally getting these very raw and painful feelings out of you, you can start the process of healing!
By not denying our emotions we can heal ourselves in all ways.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Feel free to comment below or tag me on socials with your thoughts and progress with your emotional healing!
XO Tawny Michelle