Processing Intense Emotions….

It seems to me that in this new age, metaphysical culture, there is so much information out there offered by the self development and spiritual “gurus” (whatever that means) about side-stepping our intense emotions, as in, “observing them” and not getting caught up in them. I am ridiculously put off by such a meager concept, which totally invalidates my feeling body, as well as it works to congeal my very feelings that are begging to be acknowledged, felt deeply, processed, and healed.  Healing can never occur while we are busy “releasing” and “observing” the deepest places and feelings that need our sacred attention on a very regular basis.  This is Soul Integration at its finest.  It’s also being human.  To dismiss, and “observe” our emotional body, with all of its complexity and velocity, seems like an insult to my sensibilities.

I have personally struggled immensely with this experience, as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), I am very deep feeler, and I have been told all of my life to “stop taking things so hard.”  My heart, and my spirit, are put together in such a way that not “going deep” has never been an option for me.  It’s not a luxury… it’s the fabric of who I am.  What happens when I attempt to side-step my feelings and emotions, especially the difficult ones, is that they burrow themselves deep within, to what they think is a very safe place, and simply wait for the most inopportune moments to implode all over my life.  For so many years, I would not let myself feel emotions that were negative or painful.  I stuffed them so far down, which resulted in some very toxic habits for me – alcoholic, black-out drinking, smoking, overeating, emoting, internalizing, hating, raging, among many chosen methods of self-abuse.  But by stuffing my negative emotions, I was not able to feel positive emotions either.  Only when I courageously let myself feel the painful in my life did I learn heartbreak is easier to get over by feeling it with a wide-open heart.

I also possess the complexities that come with an addictive personality, which, combined with being an HSP, have taught me how to take myself down (with stunning ease) into some very dark places, where I can ruminate for months at a time without even being aware of just…. how….. far….. down the rabbit hole I’ve gone.  It takes tremendous spiritual practice and astute awareness to allow, and to experience, the depth of feeling that I contain, and not get bulldozed by it.  I have tried in vain to bypass this crucial element of myself, as it feels like an unacceptable part of me. Finally, I have learned how to fully embrace this aspect of who I am after many long, hard, and painful years of self-betrayal.

It was taking myself to, and through, years of 12-step meetings where I learned about this spiritual malady that I have. This part of my addictive make-up that knows no bounds, and, at its core, is really all about not feeling valuable or worthy enough. To live. To breathe in and out. To love myself.

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