I find it interesting how often a person’s expression of any socially perceived “negative” emotions, such as sadness, anger, rage, betrayal etc are met with resistance…or with advice such as “I would strongly suggest taking all of that energy and grief and throwing it into bettering yourself.” In other words, just stuff it and distract yourself with something else, like I do. When someone does express him/herself in grief or anger then people whisper things like “he’s sure not taking it well” or “wow…she’s really losing it!” They are shamed.
Here’s the thing…what people are really saying is “you’re making me feel uncomfortable.” They don’t want to feel those emotions and so they stuff them and they don’t want YOUR emotions to get in the way of that numbing out…you might make them fucking FEEL something! So, please, leave your emotions outside the room.
Steel Magnolias – what just came up for you with those two words? Sally Field is brilliant as she draws the audience into first the sorrow and then the rage of a mother who had just buried her child. Did you feel her? Did she make you uncomfortable? Did you allow your emotion to move through you or did you numb out and then laugh hysterically at the moment of comic relief, feeling that was a more appropriate expression of emotion? How often have you heard useless platitudes given to the grieving like, “at least she’s out of her pain” or “She’s in a better place”, or maybe even given them yourself? Centuries ago, the grieving would throw themselves across the body or casket of the dead person and wail out their grief…this was actually a healthier expression of grief than what is expected in today’s society. When people try to move through the grieving process and skip steps by not acknowledging and expressing their emotions, they become stuck and they cannot heal.
This state of being held back by repressed emotions is true of all kinds of traumatic experiences, not just the loss of a loved one! It’s true of abuse of all kinds, physical, emotional, sexual and more. It’s true of shaming, betrayal, and cheating, and when we hold these things inside us because it’s not “appropriate” or safe to express them, we create triggers and baggage that negatively affect every aspect of our lives…our work, our self-esteem, our creativity and ability to manifest, and especially our relationships! If we store the trauma and emotions long enough it will manifest as physical disease. We see this over and over…people walking around like they are the walking dead, not allowing themselves to feel because they are afraid of going into the pain, which they must do to release it. When we numb ourselves to the hard stuff, we also shut down our ability to fully experience the joy and love all around us too!
Can we always fully express our emotions, our sorrow, our rage in the moment? No…there are moments we have to stuff it for a while and release it later in a safe space to avoid unhealthy results, but the problem is we are taught to just stuff it permanently. We are not taught how to express and release our emotions in a healthy way. This MUST change! We see miracles created when our clients are guided through this release process and they are awakened to the power of who they truly are. Their lives are completely transformed and they come ALIVE! Many have never before allowed themselves to express or even feel their anger before and have required a lot of coaching to fully access their emotion. In the words of our mentor, Ben Rode, “depression is just anger you don’t feel you have the right to experience” or express. Once the anger is acknowledged and fully expressed, in a safe space with no judgment, the depression lifts and one can finally experience the joy. It’s time to wake up…allow yourselves to feel! Be fully ALIVE!!!