I have had several moments recently where I feel like a bowling ball that landed in the gutter.
Fear, upset, being stuck is like falling in that gutter. I’m a gutter ball.
And the more I freak out about it the more I feel like that ball, slowly rolling down the gutter.
When I hit those gutters in life, it never occurs to me to just let myself be there and feel it.
That would be crazy. My mind says, “If you feel this fear and pain, it will never go away – don’t do it!”
But that resistance to the painful feelings is the very thing that keeps them right with me.
I was feeling hopeless, scared. I woke up in the middle of the night and was awake for hours, which is not normal for me.
I retreated into myself, into my house. I put on a happy face for the kids and husband but wouldn’t open the blinds to the world.
I finally realized I was in a loop of painful feelings. It didn’t matter what I did to try to make them go away.
Affirmations, positive thinking, meditation, prayer. Nothing was getting in, nothing was changing. Fear had me in a headlock.
Somehow I remembered reading about the power of actually feeling your feelings to be able to heal. I had to try it.
As I contemplated this notion, I had the thought that I don’t really know what’s on the other side of feeling these painful emotions. It was truly unknown territory for me.
That was the first crack in my ego’s armor – being willing to not know what could happen and not have the answer before letting myself feel all the feels.
I planned it out. After the house was empty one morning, I grabbed a tissue box and got back in my bed.
I entered my fear. I told myself the story. Over and over.
I listened to my internal dialogue – “I can’t win, I’m letting people down, everyone will be mad at me, I’m alone.”
If I thought I was resisting the painful feelings or trying to fix them, I would stop and let myself feel it. I cried. I sobbed.
After an hour, I suddenly stopped. The internal story seemed to run out of gas. I got up, got dressed and went on with my day.
There was no internal drama as I got into my to-do list. I wasn’t in a state of blissful peace, but I was definitely more clear-headed.
It was the start of centering myself again. I was leaving my scared, small self and coming back to my universal, big self.
It was like the gutter guards came up (you know, the gutter guards that they use for little kids’ bowling birthday parties?), and I got redirected back to the center of the lane.
Humbling? Very. Feeling my feelings gave access to detaching from limiting beliefs that my ego clings to for dear life.
But trying to heal pain with the same rationale that created it is a recipe for more pain.
By letting myself feel the painful feelings, I gave myself the permission and compassion to take the time and space that I would give any friend to be expressed, heard and not judged.
My creativity and spirit returned. I could turn my attention authentically to empowering thoughts. Affirmations were validating and energizing. Meditation and prayer brought peace again.
I continue to work on this approach for healing and wholeness.
I am more tuned into my feelings. I consciously choose to respect and feel them without judgment. I am learning to trust that there is something good waiting for me on the other side.
What is your experience with feeling all the feels? How has it helped and healed you?