Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Week Of Introspection

I don't get my feelings hurt by another person very often because somethings just aren't that important. Today I did and I immediately felt tears come to my eyes and start to fall. As a person who was raised to not feel, I don't always know what to do. Just letting myself cry seems wrong to me somehow so I stop the tears.

It seems this has been a week of introspection. Here are the thoughts that have been going through my mind. Maybe some of you have the answers. I don't.

When the tears started, I was feeling left out and unworthy and little---little as in a disappointed child, a hurt child who was feeling left out and not good enough. Even writing this, the tears want to come. Why does it always come back to the inner child who obviously still hasn't healed? I guess that I just answered part of the question. How long does it take to heal the inner child? Will she ever be completely healed? Will she always be hanging around waiting for someone else to come along and hurt her? I don't know how to change any of that. As much work as I have done on myself, the inner feelings still wait in ambush to spring out of hiding when she is given the next opportunity to express her hurt. It isn't as if the hurt hasn't been expressed over and over again through the years of counseling and talking. Does it ever completely go away or change to joy and laughter? Can you have joy and laughter without the hurt and tears?

Is it as simple as making a decision to stop hurting? Is it as simple as deciding to not feel empty and worthless any more? If I decide to just feel happy am I being true to myself or am I just in denial of what I really feel?

I can feel like I am happier than I have ever been for awhile. Then sadness starts to creep in. Is this the way life is because we live in a world of duality as some religions teach. Can you really be happy all the time? I haven't found that to be true for me.

Can I stop myself from getting my feelings hurt by a simple decision to not feel that way? Am I not being true to myself by not feeling hurt and let down? Feelings are such a mystery to me.


Andrea |Empowered Soul said...

Hi Patricia,

Beautiful post, as always.

I think it IS that simple - we choose our state of being. However, that choice doesn't seem to always be available to everyone because for some, there's something else going on at the energetic level - programs running that don't go away no matter what. It happens. I see it in my practice all the time. It can be resolved, though.

I believe we're here to be happy. There's a bit of a "should" there, isn't it? Like happiness "should" be instantly available if chosen, and if not, why not? I think we know this, deep down.


Patricia Singleton said...

Andrea, thanks for your comment. This is something that I continue to struggle with.

Divine Essence said...

In my opinion, my belief, it is our choice whether we allow our feelings to be hurt by another. Even when another seems to be purposely lashing out at us, it's not really about or because of us, but rather because of some fear within the other person, which we have triggered, often unknowingly. We all act as mirrors for each other. For example, when I find that someone has lied to me, I get very, very offended. Dishonesty is a big issue for me. Although now being honest is very important to me, I spent a lot of my younger life being dishonest, with myself and others, and honestly, I'm still not always 100% truthful. So, perhaps when I get upset about someone lying, it's not the actual fact that they lied that upsets me, but the mirror image, the reminder, of my own dishonesty, that is upsetting to me. In the end, I guess, when I feel as if I've been let down by someone else, rather than sit and wallow in the 'pity party' that typically begins to prevail, I try to change my point of view on the situation, to see it from their side, as well as trying to see it from a totally objective viewpoint, neither mine nor their's.

I find myself, too, often trying to 'control' my feelings, not wanting to allow myself to cry when I'm upset or sad. But why do we do this? After all, feelings in and of themselves are not wrong or right, they just are. I don't believe you can control how you feel (emotionally), only that you can control how you react to that feeling. For example, I'm am, for some unknown reason, deathly afraid of heights. Last year, I took a trip from my home in Florida to California. Driving back, we stopped at the Grand Canyon. You should have seen me! Crouched down and creeping up to the edge of the overlook, I felt foolish, but I refused to allow the fear to rob me of the opportunity to experience the breathtaking, majestic view. I could have allowed those fears, both the fear of height and the fear of looking foolish, to stop me, but instead I chose to acknowledge my fear, both to myself and others, and in doing so was blessed with the experience of also knowing the courage which I can call forth when I choose.

I believe that 'feelings' are the very reason we are here....to experience life in all it's manifestations, whether happy, sad, mad, glad, irritated, tickled, expectant, or reminiscent. In disallowing yourself to experience a feeling, you also prohibit yourself from experiencing its opposite. Just as we can not have day without night, warmth without cold, life without death, so too must we be willing to experience sorrow, in order to know it's opposite. If a person were raised in a very wealthy, grand lifestyle, it wouldn't seem very special to that person unless they were also aware of and exposed to those in transposed situations of poverty and need. We do live in a dualistic world, and in order to experience the highs, we must also face the lows.

Personally, I think that if I feel like crying, then I should allow myself to cry. I don't always; very often I try to stop myself too, but I think that is because I feel even more vulnerable when I allow others to see me cry...because to me that means I'm revealing a 'weakness' that I think can be used against me.

One of my companions in this time of my life is a beautiful female calico. She was a stray, who, about 1 1/2 years ago, began coming to our yard, and when she could she would eat the cat food I put out for our pet felines. When she first started coming around, you couldn't get close to her. She wouldn't even go near the food dish unless you were at least 5-10' away. From her actions, it was very obvious that somewhere along the line, this dear one had experienced pain and discomfort at the hands of one of us 'humans.' Determined to show her that we aren't all bad, over time, with patience, love, and respect for her feelings, I have been able to show her that contact with 'humans' is not always a negative experience. Now, although she still isn't 'cuddly,' she will come into the house and visit for a while, even allowing me to hold her a bit and give her affection. I can see her as a reflection of my own wounded 'inner child,' who needs to be shown that not everyone is manipulative and abusive. 'Sissy' now has the experience that a human doesn't always offer food as a means to trap or hurt her. When I find my own inner child responding in fear, I know the importance of acknowledging that fear, and helping her to see that there can be other outcomes when you allow yourself to trust someone.

Will my inner child ever be completely healed? Someday, yes, I'm sure, but it may not be until I've finished the journey of this lifetime. Is it the same for everyone else? I don't know, and sometimes I think it's definitely not. After all, look at how many people aren't even aware of the existence of their inner child, whether wounded or not (I'm not sure that there is anyone whose inner child doesn't have some form of wounding, even if it was just lying in a wet diaper for too long). But there are those who seem to breeze through life, unaware of the depth that pain can reach. Are they able to experience the opposite height of joy? I don't know, and in reality, it really doesn't matter to me personally, for I can only work with my own 'tools,' one of which happens to be a very wounded inner child.

It is painful to own this wounded child, to experience all her hurts, distrust and sadness. But would I want her to be gone? After all, she is a vital part of me. I know that I can not erase her. Nor do I want to ignore her. So, I can only allow her to be, just as I've allowed Sissy, my adopted companion, to be. I can allow her to be frightened and mistrustful, but I can also show her that it isn't always that way.

This is a very confusing and emotional area for me too. At 50 years old, I find myself dealing with some serious health issues, Lupus, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, gallstones, high cholesterol, and borderline high blood pressure. Four years ago, after 14 years of marriage to a good man, I chose to end my marriage because I realized that I had changed, I was no longer the same person he had married. In changing, my needs had also changed, as well as my values, and I realized that my husband was no longer the man who fulfilled those things that I wanted in a husband. The irony of the situation...it was through his emotional support and love throughout those 14 years that my own growth and change took place. Today, we are still married (legally), and although he now lives with someone else, we remain friends. On my part, I still love the man, but still don't feel that he is someone I would choose to spend each day with. On his part, I'm sure he still loves me, and I think he still feels responsible for my welfare to some extent, but those are his issues to deal with, if and when he chooses. If his values and ideals were someday to be more aligned with my own, then I would probably want to be with him again. I can only live in the now, though, and right now, I've not met someone whose lifestyle, values and ideals mesh close enough with my own to consider a relationship. Am I happy? Yes, most of the time, but I have days, sometimes even weeks though, that I feel sad, lonely, abandoned, unworthy. Sometimes I wonder if I was running away from something in ending our marriage. I don't think so, but tomorrow I may see things differently. Ralph Waldo Emerson says it perfectly, for me: "I wish to say what I think and feel today, with the proviso that tomorrow perhaps I shall contradict it all."

All I can handle is now, and I hope to do it as gently and lovingly as possible.

Patricia Singleton said...

Beth, thank you for taking the time to leave this lengthy comment. It says so much of what I too believe when I am not in the middle of the chaos of feelings. I refuse to get stuck in a pity party and sometimes don't know how long I should just go with the feelings before it becomes too much. Thank you for sharing your heart-felt words. It always helps to know that others feel as we do sometimes. In being honest about where I am on any given day, I sometimes worry that others may say, "Here she is again, feeling sorry for herself." I don't want my blog writing to come across that way and I do want to be honest about every part of my journey. Sometimes, I need the encouragement of others who are having a better day than I am.

Jenny said...

I can relate to this on so many levels. I have dealt with depression for several years, it gets better but sometimes it comes back with a vengeance. That has happened recently and I'm trying to dig my way out, but it's a slow process. I've heard numerous people tell me "You have the choice to be Happy!" I can understand that to a point, but at some point, you lose that choice, not by any fault of your own, but your emotions are stronger than you think most of the time and sometimes they need to be heard, or felt. It sucks a lot but you have to feel the bad to get to the good sometimes.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jenny, I can sympathize with you. I thank God that I don't have clinical depression to add to all of my other issues. I went to a psychiatrist once and asked. He said no, that what I felt was normal for my life experiences. Looking at the good in my life is one of the things that keeps me going.

Anonymous said...

Where we choose is to me the key point. Once the feelings are there, they should be allowed. If we hold them, this is resistance and we will have to release them later. Any sense of "unhealed child" is just that - unexperienced pain.

It is true, those old pains will tend to more easily trigger current reactions. If we study the release of attachment, we see at first we realize we have reacted after the fact. We think - oh, I shouldn't have responded that way. Next time. As we get clearer, we see ourselves reacting in the middle of it. We think - look at this - why am I behaving like this? Then, when we are clear enough we will see the response as it arises and can choose before we react.

Of course, there will be issues where this is easy and other areas where we need work, where reactions are more common. Perhaps in this case, they touched a button. Some people are experts at finding peoples buttons. (laughs)

In any case, allow the feelings if it's an appropriate place to feel them but don't invest in them. That is, have the experience, then release. If there is a touchpoint, there may be some other feelings that follow behind. But each will come like a short wave and be gone. It is holding feelings and resisting that causes them to stay. Learning how to allow and feel gratitude are keys to being OK with what is, right now. Whatever the experience.

I've found this also works for physical pain too. The key is, the system wants the signal to get through. If it is not fully experienced, it builds up. Then bursts out unpredictably, even in accidents.

As you allow your feelings, the mode begins to change and you start to process feelings differently. They are more easily allowed. Soon, the backlog starts to clear and a richness with begins to shine out. That happiness starts to be there, for no reason.

Clarity does bring with it the opportunity for more clearing. So more baggage may come up. Just allow and soon enough, happiness will become the dominant experience.

Also, don't neglect the group. We are in this together, so when there are major 'feelings' in our environment, it may influence us. If we just see there is a feeling and allow it, it will move on like the passersby it is.

Patricia Singleton said...

Fornow, it is the allowing part of emotions that I still need to work on. I am further along than I once was and that is a very good thing. Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom with a fellow traveler.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome. Allowing is the key to the entire process. In the world, the key is doing. For inner growth, the key is allowing, the opposite.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. You would find Isha's techniques helpful with this.

Not sure why it's called me "ForNow" - thats the name of another blog of mine. Usually it uses the handle, Davidya.

Patricia Singleton said...

Davidya, I will check out the book about Isha that you recommended soon. I had not heard of Isha before visiting your blog.

Angela Chen Shui, "The Soul Alignment Coach" said...


Thank you for your beautiful post. Please continue to share your heart, your journey, because you shine your Light so brightly for others when you do.

I spent what feels now like 'forever' doing emotional release every single day as one method for spiritual growth and re-union with Self. Moving emotions sets you free, sets denial free and allows peaceful, loving lulls with revealing insights to bubble up in its place.

It felt most times that I would die from the releasing. But I lived to experience the ending lull that follows every crashing wave of emotions. And I'm still here.

Now, after all this time, if there is something that's bugging me that I just can't move, I always go back to releasing the emotions and understanding, insights come as the pain, confusion, stress and darkness flow out...

I've enjoyed finding your blog and You. And all your wonderful blog comment-Companions. What a gift being here Is.

Patricia Singleton said...

Angela, you are very welcome and thank you for your encouragement. I have been blessed with wonderful online commenters, some of whom have become my friends. Have a glorious day.

Deb Estep said...

Dear Patricia,

You have done good work, but just because emotions can overcome you does not mean failure.

I imagine there was a time when that was a constant state of mind for you and now... it's fleeting.

Your heart is open to others and it's also open to yourself.
If it were not, you would be a cold and closed off person.

Tell that little part of you it's okay to have a ~moment~ like that.


Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, thank you. I don't see myself as a failure. Feelings do still sometimes confuse me. Yes, this does happen less frequently than they once did. Happiness and I were once strangers. Now I experience it more and more frequently. That is a good thing.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there!

This is such an important post!

I think that we ALL have the capacity to dismantle the conditioning from our children that has not been healthy for us. We should FEEL...we should not attempt to live and NOT FEEL. We have to learn to be emotionally disciplined and mentally disciplined... but that is very different than training ourselves to just become NUMB.

I also must say that I agree with Divine Essence about OUR CHOICE to feel whatever it is we feel. No one makes you mad or sad or glad... you decide what you want to feel and you are the one who provides to those emotions.

Feel welcome to drop by my blog anytime you'd like.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Patricia Singleton said...

Lisa, thank you. I can agree with what you said. I just tend to forget it when I am in the middle of the emotional upheaval.