Healing the heart from the brokenness of painful emotions requires the courage to move through the pain, and doing the work to find solutions. Without fail, this means catching our triggers before they manifest, examining those thoughts and beliefs surrounding the habit of negative emotions, and seeking new affirmations and self-talk that will change the outcomes around those triggered behaviors. This is where the role of forgiveness and release come into play.
How can I identify when these emotional energy loops are at play? I can become aware of areas in my body that don’t feel good, don’t feel fluid, don’t give me the ease of flexibility I expect through the practice of Intentional Sensation.*
Candace Pert’s important book, The Molecules of Emotion, testifies that emotions are stored in the body. I am sixty years old now, so I can add to this testimony that having a stiff neck has reflected stubborn beliefs I was unwilling to give up, that my left knee stiffens up when I am holding on to anger, and that my twisted tailbone may have its source in my support job of driving a school bus, but that has reflected a fear of money when finances are tight or overdrawn. Louise Hay’s book Heal Your Body holds many more similar correlations.
In areas of resistance, such emotions as anger, depression, resentment, melancholy, guilt, shame, jealousy, envy, laziness, and the kind of pride that separates me from connection to others can be found. If people allow these to trigger through blame and projection, they become destructive. Venting might make one feel good for a moment, but when those negative expressions come back to us in the form of broken friendships and trust, that no longer feels good.
If I can instead catch that emotion before it manifests, it becomes a guide to teach me what I need in my own life. For example, when I observed envy in myself, it was due to a friend who has become extremely successful as a multi-media artist. If I would like that for myself, I need to consider the things I would need to do to achieve that. Other friends have written books. I want to do that too, so I have set aside time each day to get the process of writing done. For me this has meant sacrificing an idea that “someday” I would have time to work on that. At sixty, that someday might never come, so it might as well be now.
Emotions are not always so benign as the recognition of envy that told me what I needed to do to have what I wanted. Women healers are a collective group that has expressed pent up rage at sexual abuse, persecution as witches, and the total negation of the wisdom of half of the human species. Each of us has experiences that are unique to us. Beginning the process of listening to our own feelings and emotions is the first step toward wholeness.
* Intentional Sensation is the practice of sensory attention to our body, and has been taught in the Gurdjieff work as one aspect of self-observation of the physical-emotional-intellectual complex that is a human being.