At Chapel of Awareness, we often talk about, practice, and teach the stilling of emotions. This is an extremely valuable skill when you aim to do healing or readings. Our emotions are biological, and they can effect our perception of reality. It is beneficial, even necessary, to exist in a state of benevolence when conducting a healing or reading; otherwise we may fall victim to a false perception. Accuracy and integrity are paramount within our institution, and we do not take risks when it comes to the spiritual health of our members and visitors. Something we don't often talk about is acknowledging, feeling, and accepting emotions. This is an extremely valuable skill when you aim to live.
Once a day I remind myself I am a spirit driving a meat-coated skeleton; and once a day I remind myself I am here to experience being a meat-coated skeleton...human. I am here, you are here, every person is here to experience being human- not to experience being a spirit. We do that on Spirit Side, and we aren't there right now. We are not humans having a spiritual experience, we are spirits having a human experience; and emotions are human.
It seems human emotions commonly manifest in two ways: total denial and suppression, or a lack of control and understanding. One seems emotionally controlled, and other other seems certifiably bat-shit crazy; but the suppression, and ignoring of emotions is just as dangerous as having no control over them at all. Benevolence is not equal to Stoicism. Instability is not equal to sensitivity. It would be catastrophic for healers and mediums to confuse suppression with control, or for us to confuse a lack of control as an expression of sensitivity. It could be catastrophic for anyone, even those who aren't into all this spiritual woo woo shit.
People seek pleasure, and avoid pain (for the most part). It is not surprising we neglect our emotions...especially the painful ones. How often do we just: "Suck it up, and move on"; "Ignore that guy, he's a jerk"; "Get over it"; "Stay strong"; "Fuck cancer!"; "I HOPE YOU GET MAULED BY BEARS!"? (I actually said that once). We're often so quick to avoid emotional pain that we skip over it entirely, running as far and fast as we can towards anything that offers us relief. Drugs, alcohol, food, television, social media, sleep....we pile all of these things on top of our emotions, expecting to hide them. When we exhibit no emotional control, we are also suppressing our emotions by skipping the part where we process them...and going right to the part where we tell someone "I HOPE YOU GET MAULED BY BEARS!". When we completely freak the hell out, kicking and screaming, we produce an impressive adrenaline dump that may as well be drugs. In both cases, there is no effort to navigate or understand our own waters, which are the only waters we need to learn. Hidden things still exist, even if we cannot see them. There is no way to hide negative emotions, they find a way to be present and destructive in our daily lives- passive aggression being a prevalent presence in the lives of those who suppress emotions.
Our emotions are important to acknowledge, they are messengers. These messengers serve a purpose, and they will not go away until their purpose is served. The longer we ignore them, the more motivated they become to deliver their message. Ignored long enough, they become desperate and do anything, anything, to be heard. We must release them. I personally have left my messengers unheard for far too long, and had the unfortunate task of cleaning up an emotional apocalypse. Have you ever put a glass bottled beverage in your freezer to cool it down, forgot about it, and returned to find it exploded? Yes, it was like that...except the bottle was me, and the freezer was my life.
I had convinced myself I was okay; and when I realized I was not okay, I thought I'd feel worse if I acknowledged my pain. As it turns out, you do feel worse when you are dealing with your emotions (especially the pent up ones), and it completely fucking sucks. That's right. Totally sucks. I am not going to lie to you. It sucks, it really sucks.
Reading that most likely does not inspire you to dig up and deal with your emotional baggage; but I assure you, it is only temporary...like pulling a loose tooth. Ironically, much like anything we all avoid in life, you feel much better once you deal with your emotions. The reason for this relief is that your messenger has finally been heard. Its purpose has been served. Once your messenger's purpose has been served, it no longer needs to exist; and therefore you release that emotion. It dissolves.
How do you translate messages from your emotional pain? Just ask, be quiet, and listen; but be willing to dive deep. People often tell me they understand the message of their emotion; but they still don't go away. Our surface emotions are easy to identify; but they are likely not the messenger...just a symptom of a greater, deeper pain. Here's a recent example from my life (when my kitty passed away):
"Sadness, why are you here? What message do you have for me?"
"You are sad because you are human, it is natural to feel sadness in loss. Time will heal this. Remember the joyful times, and you will soon feel joy."
Great. So it goes away now, right? Not so much. I had this gnawing sorrow following me everywhere I went- not even dreams of my kitty reincarnating as a Llama perked me up! But...I got the message! Why wouldn't it go away? Why was it worsening? Sadness wasn't my primary messenger. I took some time to go through an extended EFT session (click for link to helpful, not boring instructional videos, and video series) with myself, and dig deeper. I tapped out sadness, and it felt gone; but there was something else I was feeling. It was heavy, and toxic. When I sat with this feeling, it made me feel angry and hopeless. I took the time to tap out anger and hopelessness; and the messenger became clearer. After some deep breaths, and a few quiet moments with this feeling, I finally identified the messenger: guilt.
Guilt is a powerful messenger. It vibrates slow and low; and has many symptoms: anger, hatred, hopelessness, sadness... Guilt is so powerful and complex, it's often difficult to isolate. It feels terrible to face guilt...it's like being sent to the principle's office times a hundred. Despite how uncomfortable I was, I moved forward to get my message from guilt.
"Guilt, why are you here? What message do you have for me?"
"You feel guilt because you refuse to forgive yourself for even the smallest mistakes. You worry needlessly. If you cannot forgive yourself, I will stay, and make it very difficult for you to learn from your mistakes."
It was true. I felt so guilty about all the things I could have done better with my kitty towards the end of her life. I couldn't stop thinking about everything I did 'wrong"; and it was eating me alive. Once I had received my message from guilt, I knew I had to accept everything I had done "right", and everything I had done "wrong". Facing guilt was gut-wrenching! I hated myself for a solid day; but as I accepted everything that happened, guilt steadily streamed out of my body, and left. The message was delivered, received, and understood.
As heavy as guilt is FEAR. Fear is the brick wall we build in front of ourselves in our path. Fear does not protect us, nor keep us safe; but awareness will. Awareness is not an emotion, it is a state of mind that is stunted and blocked by fear. Fear is the only emotion that can truly inhibit you from developing psychically, and spiritually; and it will not go away until you deal with it. Fear is a liar; but fear also brings us an important message: "There is a broken part of you which feels unsafe." The "who, what, when, where, and why" is entirely contingent on the individual. Fear's message isn't easy to hear; and it's even harder to discover, navigate, and heal. Fear is the Mother Ship of most negative emotions, and if you can dissolve and release it...most of the other bull shit you're feeling goes with that Mother Ship back to space. Sayonara!
Listen to your messengers. As painful as it may be, they are here to help you. Our emotions can guide us to better versions of ourselves; as long as we are willing to listen, understand, and release them.