When we experience something new it wakens our senses up. We become more alive to whatever it is we’re feeling within the experience. Being connected and accepting our feelings in every moment allows our mind to become more flexible. We then discover how freeing it is to flow with changes instead of resisting them.
Sadly we currently live in a time where many people have developed anxiety and depression because their ‘feelings’ have been suppressed.
Everyone wants to feel free to express who they are without being judged. But all to often, when we find ourselves wanting to express different views from those we are connected to like family, friends or work colleagues, an area of our brain called the amygdala gets triggered by the ‘anxious feeling’ detected in our stomach and it literally prevents us from speaking up to avoid the risk if being rejected. This happens because the amygdala’s job is to protect us from hurt or killed.
Over time this suppression becomes ‘the norm’ a subconscious habit. We bend our natural selves out of shape to fit in and bury our true selves (our feelings) within causing us to suffocate and ‘die’ inside creating pain inside ourselves to avoid hurting others we are close to.
Unfortunately, our feelings come as a package and by avoiding one such as pain we sadly lose them all. Through developing an avoidance of feeling pain we lose the other feelings such as love, joy, compassion and kindness within ourselves. This leads us to feel numb or nothing, unable to offer any real feelings or opinions, living life as just a series of reactions to our thoughts and the opinions of others.
When we lose the ability to express how we feel and who we are, what we are left with is the brain and it’s now in control. Fear is activated by the brain and become the driver of our decisions and every new experience becomes a nightmare. This is where anxiety kicks in. The amygdala is now ultra sensitive and acts like a tough security guard, constantly on the alert for any potential danger .. real or imagined. Our stress levels go through the roof causing even more pain in the body.
When our senses are lost deep inside we seek to find them ‘outside’ ourselves. Being detached from oneself creates a need to be attached to another to feel complete or whole. This can show up in many ways:
Needing another’s love to compensate for the love lost within,
Needing to be cared for by another to compensate for the compassion lost within,
Needing kindness from others to compensate for the kindness lost within,
Needing to be entertained by others to compensate for the joy lost within.
When we are attached to another they ‘fill the gap’ within us and we feel better, but putting the keys to our happiness in another’s hand has risks which causes fear. After a while we begin to feel they are extensions of ourselves and literally believe 2 become 1.
This idea is where more pain is created. We’ve already been hurt through ‘losing ourselves’ to please others and now we become fearful of losing the other and being hurt ‘by losing all over again’. So we start to worry about them and begin to control them in case something bad happens and we lose them. This kind of behaviour destroys the relationship, because now the other is ‘losing themselves’ to avoid hurting you and to stop you from worrying, and so a painful cycle is created.
Whatever we resist persists and resisting pain keeps us in a painful cycle.
How do we get out of it? With kindness, patience and allowing ourselves to feel pain when it arrives, accept it, sit with it, understand it, be with it and feel it completely. When we do this it we allow the healing to happen, the pain begins to settle with the kind attention you are giving, and as with all feelings it eventually eases and disappears.
By meditating daily to quieten the mind we are able to ‘release’ our natural feelings that have been buried for so long and set ourselves free to live in acceptance.