Emotions – Energy in Motion
Do you notice how young children express their feelings immediately as they arise; they cry/tantrum/sulk as if their world is collapsing and then a few minutes later, they’re smiling through their forgotten tears. Emotions like anger, grief or fear are a normal part of the human experience but often they’re not allowed. How can we ever gain mastery over these emotions if we’re not allowed to connect to what we’re actually feeling in the first place?
True maturity lies in learning how to handle our emotions in an effective, even compassionate way and then move on with our lives, unencumbered.
Emotions are Energy in Motion. So what occurs then when this Energy in Motion is blocked, trapped and stagnated? Physically this shows up as tensions throughout the body; clenched muscles, held breath, damaged digestion and an overwrought nervous system (to mention just a few). Emotionally we manifest a whole range of false behaviours designed to disguise what we’re actually feeling by masking it with something else.
An example from my own life
At a party years ago, I was coming to the punch line of a story when some bloke cut through me as though I wasn’t talking at all. Because I was never allowed to express my anger as a kid, this event left me incoherent with anger. I was so furious that my throat was clenched and constricted, my stomach was in a knot and my head felt as if it was going to burst. I had no means whatsoever of asserting myself because I was completely paralysed by the struggle to keep the anger bomb within me from exploding. At that period of my life the only way I knew how to handle anger was to suppress it. With so much buried anger, my emotional response to being interrupted was way out of proportion. Because of the chaos going on within me I felt completely disconnected from the people around me and could only retreat into a hurt silence.
The Gift within the Wound
We all of us carry emotional wounds from our past, but at some point in our adult lives it’s imperative to heal these wounds and set ourselves free from their draining burden. Some years later I set about gaining mastery of my anger; to discover that it was masking my pain at not being seen or heard, which was in turn linked to my grief at not being “good enough”. So I had to travel the long dark tunnel of connecting to all these unwanted emotions – finally! The really surprising thing however was that the further I progressed, the easier and more fulfilling this journey became. There are so many ways of reconnecting to our original buried emotions. So many ways of releasing pain, grief and anger in a neutral way that doesn’t engage in battle with another.
It’s profoundly freeing to no longer have to hide from oneself or battle with storms of emotions that utterly drain confidence and self respect.
When we’re no longer on the defensive, no longer expecting put downs or attack from others, we release so much energy that was previously tied up and unavailable to us. Becoming open, relaxed and natural we uncover the Gift within the Wound. All the qualities that I needed on my healing quest became my gift; far more compassion for both myself and others, a much greater depth of patience and an ability to allow people space to be as they truly are instead of having to conform to any of my expectations. And above all, the “energy in motion” of freed emotion imbued so much vitality and colour into my life that my relationships with family, friends and acquaintances all blossomed.