Monday, May 12, 2014
Sometimes people come in to therapy and they tell me "I shouldn't feel this way." Or "I know I should know better by now." Or "I wish I was not so angry, or hurt or dependent or obsessed."
Whatever feeling it is that is hard to bear, or feels shameful, or frustrating or overwhelming. And especially if that feeling has been around a while and has not been tended to, not been talked about, explored, understood, validated or worked through. And especially if there has been no relief or resolution. And then, even more so, if there is a person connected to that feeling - and that person does not see the effect they have had, or does not understand, self reflect or participate in the healing. And one more especially - especially if that person then blames you, or believes that you are the (only or real) cause of the feeling and the problem.
If difficult feelings sit for too long without being tended to, they tend then, to live in us in ways that cause us more bad feelings, and can effect our emotional, physical and spiritual heath. Sometimes they go underground and then pop up suddenly when we least expect it. Or they lay low, and we know something is wrong, something hurts, or is weighing on us, but we don't quite know what it is.
We feel how we feel. But it doesn't end there, and it shouldn't. Even with the worst of feelings, and in the worst of hurts, there are resources available to us and for us. There are ways to take good care of ourselves, to help our thinking shift and help us out of the bad feelings and into better ones. Even without the participation of the other person, when there is one. Even when we want our bad feelings somehow, even if they keep us connected to something or someone, or are functioning somehow to protect us, there are often ways to use what we feel to give us insight, meaning and progress and help us stop repeating the same internal stress.
Many of our thoughts and feelings are like lightening during the day.... they are there, active, operating, lighting us up, influencing our actions, reactions and choices, but we cannot really see them unless we make a conscious effort to, and to change the way we tend to them.
There are lots of methods for how to do this. There are many different therapies, spiritual paths, systems out there, each with their own approach and appeal. But in one way or another, they all require consciousness of ourselves and willingness to tend to our thoughts, perspectives, beliefs and feelings. It almost doesn't matter which path you walk, so long as you are walking. Wishing not to feel how you feel or having feelings about your feelings is natural, but, but there is more.
There is more to the story and it's good to find out what it is.