We all have feelings, the most important part is how we treat them. The analogy that I have is like a cork on the ocean. When the wave goes up, the cork goes up. When the wave goes down, the cork goes down. The cork doesn't care if the wave rises or falls. For me there are problems when I become attached to the feeling, or when I try to resist the feeling. The attachment obviously comes in connection to happiness, joy or ecstasy. If they are the only feelings I want to experience then I am going be distressed when I encounter sadness, loneliness or grief. This is a very similar to trying to resist strong feelings. Some people they will try and resist strong feelings of love or joy, as much as they resist the strong feelings of anger, depression or sadness.
When I was seeing a therapist myself, most of the experiences we had in the room were to expand my palate of feelings. I am now much more comfortable experiencing both the highs and lows of my emotions spectrum. This skilI is a practice and comes overtime. By being aware of my own feelings and then sometimes expressing those feelings to other people I have cultivated more grace with my inner world. The bonus of being more comfortable with my feelings, is that I am more comfortable with other people's feelings also. This works for me as friend, parent, lover and therapist. Some of the clients who come to see me have never expressed their feelings. That maybe at some point in their life they chose to separate their head from the heart. Or they may be smothering their feelings with food, sex, gambling, drugs or alcohol. When I suggest to these people that they start to feel more, they can have a sensation of terror, resistance or avoidance. I always encourage them to feel; slowly slowly.
The analogy I have for this situation is a pressure cooker. The client may feel that if they take the lid off the pressure cooker everything will explore everywhere. The strategy I offer is to slowly open the pressure valve and less the stream out gently. Eventually over time clients learn to feel more, more subtle sensations of contentment, bliss and wonder. Of course these feelings have cousins sometimes called ‘negative feelings’. I feel that these feelings need a voice also. For example grief should have a place at the table. Grief is natural, vital and healthy to express after the lost of a person or relationship. When the is more flow of feelings the negative ones move through like a storm, washing through with tears and then a person is left with lightness. Then a different feeling will appear for our human experience of full life. Keep feeling and expressing and reaching out when the load is too heavy to carry alone.
Published by: Jeremy Shub in Uncategorized