In Touch with Healing Connections October/November 2012
The smell of woodsmoke is in the air, and the crisp mornings and warm afternoons under a deep blue sky just make me want to get out and enjoy it all before the snow flies. There is nothing more glorious that fall in New England!
It seems that once we get to Halloween, we hurtle headlong into the holiday season and it all becomes a blur. Let’s try to pace ourselves, remember to breathe and not let the busy-ness distract us from this wonderful time with family, friends and deeper meaning.
I wish you all the best for this holiday season! Blessings, Hillary
- Healing Connections is now accepting all major credit cards at the office! Finally! Clients have been asking for this convenience and I am happy that I can offer this payment option.
Healing Connections Article: Feelings…
I had an interesting experience the other day that made me pause. I was sharing with a how deeply saddened I was at the sudden passing of a good friend’s child. No grief is easy but losing a child is about the toughest grief I can imagine. The person I was talking with said “well, maybe you don’t have to be sad.” She is a dear soul and I know she meant to help, so this isn’t a complaint about her attempt to comfort me. But this experience got me thinking.
Feeling sad was appropriate and healthy in this circumstance. It allowed me to empathize with my friend and support her in her grief. Feeling real, true, honest, emotions that come from a life well lived keeps us connected, alive and vital. Not feeling can leave us stuck in a numbed out limbo of disconnection.
But how many of us have difficulty allowing unpleasant feelings, our own or others? Feelings, by design and intention, are energy that moves, is felt and expressed. When feelings are stifled, we often put on a mask (love, peace, or serenity) that is contrary to the circumstances and our true feelings. Our body listens to the messages our thoughts send – I am sad, but smiling; angry but serene; feeling no and saying yes. Mixed messages are confusing to our mental, spiritual and emotional systems and to others we are relating to. The natural flow of energy is stopped, the coherency of our system is scrambled and we become vulnerable to confusion, depression, suffering and possibly illness. Our true selves become foreign disconnected aspects of who we are which gets mirrored in a disconnection from others and the comfort we intended to offer.
Why do we do this? Perhaps we don’t know how to comfort another in their pain. Perhaps another’s discomfort triggers our own uncomfortable feelings and we find that intolerable. If I cheer you up or shame you into not feeling uncomfortable feelings, then I don’t have to feel my own discomfort. Perhaps we learned from our families that some feelings aren’t safe or acceptable; that if we express them we would be rejected, humiliated or judged. Often we are afraid that if we open up and feel those vulnerable feelings we will be overwhelmed by them and never find our way out. Whatever the reason, it is a common experience that we can work with.
Learning how to be with uncomfortable feelings can help us reclaim more of our authentic selves, allow us to be more present and relieve suffering. The first step is to begin recognizing the feelings that we quickly want to cover up with a mask. Those are the feelings that scare or shame us and the very ones we want to reclaim. Aligning with strong positive intention to be aware and open to a new way of being with ourselves is all we need to begin this process.
Once we acknowledge the feelings, we begin feeling them, learning to tolerate the discomfort that inevitably comes up. When we feel a pure feeling it generally shifts and flows into another feeling and then another. My grief may shift to joy when I recall a special time with that friend, which then may naturally shift to sadness of missing them, maybe stirring up some anger that I have no control over this loss.
Learning to tolerate discomfort, allowing what is present to be felt and acknowledged, frees up blocked energy and our true feelings. This process naturally leads to a deeper connection to ourselves and others. We become courageous, present with what is, without having to sanitize it, act it out or contain it. We feel deep compassion and connection with others. Another’s pain is not ours to fix, and we honor the strength and courage of another when we authentically sympathize and care, rather than care-take.
Of course as always, if you ever find yourself overwhelmed by feelings, memories or experience it is wise to seek out some sort of support. Life can be challenging but we never have to walk it alone. Healing does not happen in isolation, it needs relationship and support.