I want to share some good news and bad news about growth as I've experienced it over the years. Hopefully, these reflections I share in this column may touch you and be a support for you in 2018.
The good news: becoming aware and working with our psycho-physical tensions will lead you to feeling more fully, more deeply: being more fully alive and being more centered and connected to your core.
The bad news: what lives underneath these body's tensions or defenses that are asking to be felt are the unprocessed emotional wounds like fear, rejection, abandonment and betrayal that are recorded or held within our bodies.
Feeling our body tensions and learning how our tensions are ways we all hold against body-based emotional wounds is the deepest healing path I've discovered. As we feel and unravel the stories held within our defenses, we begin to soften them through this befriending process.
As this unraveling of tensions occurs, we expose and feel the unprocessed emotions that can "inhabit" our hearts, our guts, our bodies. This is the good news AND the bad news. As the old adage goes, "what you can feel, you can heal."
As defenses are disarmed, we may then feel our fear more fully or maybe our despair or our longing. So to have our joy in a real way we also need to make room for our emotional pains.
as I alluded to above, is that these painful feelings can be healed! All wounds that were born from a relationship can be healed by relationship. It's not just about us sitting with our own pain! That's just half the healing process. Being able to have our fear or our sorrow and at the same time having a moment of loving or safe connection with someone is the way to heal and care for your emotional body and soul. All feelings need and deserve connection and love. They don't have to stay armored around within our bodies.
Here's a phrase of healing I want to offer you. I will use the emotion of fear but you can put in any emotion that feels challenging or painful to feel. Imagine saying to a caring friend, "I feel frightened and can you be with me, can you just be here with me as I take in your presence and support to my fear." Revolutionary, huh?
What might you have to feel in order to say this to someone? I know for me it's humiliation or shame, as if acknowledging my fear to another is an admission of "there's something wrong with" me vs. there's something painful within me that deserves acknowledgement and support and not humiliation! But we may have to "go through" a feeling or an anticipation of humiliation as we reach for support!
To be able to tolerate a painful emotion and then reach for connection or support is not an easy journey, but a heartfelt, powerful and soulful one!
And yes, being vulnerable with another means we need to know that this person has the capacity to be with us, not try to fix us, or whatever. To reach to those who have heart or compassion is what we all need to heal these hurts or wounds that live in our bodies, minds and souls.
For many of us, reaching to another human being from a place of vulnerability feels impossible. Instead the first step can be to imagine someone (whether it's a person, animal or some presence from the world of spirit-an angel, God, the spirit of a tree) with us as we touch our deep vulnerability and imagine drinking in or absorbing their support.
To imagine this supportive presence with us and we are feeling our pain and to take in one drop of love at a time into one cell of pain. In that meeting place where the spirit of love meets the emotional body where there is pain, healing and transformation occurs!