Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Are You Feeling?

From Reclaiming Our Days, Meditations for incest survivors, by Helena See, A Fireside Parkside Meditation Book,1993, page for December 1:

" 'Feel the feelings.' 'Release the pain.' What do these mean? How do we do that exactly? We're lucky if we can even identify the feelings we're having, since we're so used to stuffing and ignoring them.

We keep the tears and anguish so bottled up inside that suddenly we can't hold them in any longer. We cry uncontrollably, or rage spontaneously, or tremble in fear, or wake up sweating in the middle of the night, or get hysterical giggles over nothing. These are the body's way of releasing pent-up feelings. We can help stay in balance by letting these out regularly rather than waiting until we explode.

We don't need to be afraid of releasing these feelings. We have so often confused the releasing of the feeling with the feeling itself. But there's a huge difference. The feeling is something we carry with us, that gnaws at our gut. It's always there, sometimes in our awareness. Many times we are only aware of it when it has built up to the exploding point.

Releasing these feelings helps us heal. It's built into our human system as part of the hardware; it's how we work. Release doesn't cause the pain; holding it in causes the pain. Releasing is healing.

I will welcome the healing of my tears, rages, trembles, and laughs."

Learning to recognise what I am feeling has been some of the hardest work that I have done. It isn't finished yet. I still sometimes don't recognise my feelings for what they are. Sometimes I still can't tell you what I am feeling especially in times of stress. Sometimes when I get a headache then I know I am resisting what I am feeling. The headache is my body's way of getting my attention.

Do you always know what you are feeling? Do you know when you are resisting feeling? How do you handle stress? Do you recognise stress in your body? Where do you feel stress?


Colleen said...

Love your post. I can relate to it so well. In fact it inspired me to write a post about it. Visit my blog when you get a chance to read it. God bless!

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, thanks. I am now off to read your blog article.

Anonymous said...

i still have a hard time admitting and expressing when i feel anything negative. i think i'm too afraid. maybe the idea of at least expressing it to ourselves is a good start. if expressing it to someone else is too scary, maybe at least i can get to a space of my own and let it out. because holding it in, you're right, just causes more pain.

thank you for this post~

hope things are going well with you and the holidays are going smoothly for you. wishing you peace, patricia~~

Patricia Singleton said...

Mountain Mama, thank you. I wish you a peaceful holiday too with much joy with your family. Watching my children when they were young and my grandchildren now shows me what real joy looks like.

You are welcome for the article. Learning to let go of the pain and to just feel our emotions is a big part of healing for a lot of us.

speck of dust said...

Thanks for this post, very much relate to it! I am getting much better at being in the moment and having my feelings as they arise. I am also going to post something relating to this when I get a moment. All the best x

Nikki (Sarah) said...

I used to be so overwhelmed and afraid of my feelings. I didn't know how to express them so I numbed them out with drugs, throwing up and cutting. I learned not to be afraid - that they are just feelings that come and go. Great post.

Patricia Singleton said...

Sarah, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Learning not to be afraid of your feelings is what healing is all about.

Patricia Singleton said...

Speck of Dust, you are welcome. Progress instead of perfection is an Al-Anon slogun that works well here. I don't know that I will ever be 100% in this area of recovery.