Tears, Fears, and other Boogeymen
“Fears, Tears, and other boogie monsters”
“You want something to cry about it? Oh I’ll give you something to cry about!” How many of you heard this message growing up?
Today I will explain in simple terms how we’ve been tricked and trained into emotional black out and what it’s costing us!
Did I want something to cry about? Really?
I knew who brought me into this world, and I knew who could take me out!
My mom could be terrifying!
What was happening in my little body in those moments as I fought to hold the tears back for fear of what might come?
Electrical impulses from the hypothalamus, a gland located in the brain, traveled along nerves that directly connected to my adrenal glands and stimulated the release of stress hormones. This is also known as the fight or flight stress response.
Over time I, like many of you, learned that acknowledging these untidy emotions was dangerous! I shut it down. It’s not safe. Don’t go there!
How does this show up in our adult lives?
Insatiable shopping sprees, excessive TV watching, comfort eating, smoking, drugs, alcohol addictions of all kinds!
Our lives are armored with these trigger behaviors that act as body guards, protecting us from feeling. “Ew what is this, an unpleasant emotion? Oh no you don’t. I’ll have double whiskey on the rocks thank you very much, with a generous side of shoe shopping.
There are 2 main ways to be at the mercy of your emotions.
We’ll call them suppression and hysteria.
Let’s start with suppression. Ever try holding in a fart? It can really cramp your style!
Just because your not feeling your emotions doesn’t mean they aren’t stinking up the room!
Suppressed emotion shows up in passive aggressive behaviors.
It distorts your perception, stunts your growth and poisons relationships.
Clear on the opposite side of emotionally slavery we have Hysteria, with it’s selective amnesia, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior.
Hysteria can be a volcanic result of suppression. But for some it’s a lifestyle. It’s not what I mean by feeling your emotions. Hysteria is more like spewing them all over other people. I know because I’ve done a lot that in my lifetime!
Somewhere outside of extremes is an intimate dance of emotional maturity.
At first I thought it was some wuwu psycho babble nonsense, and then one day I experienced it.
I was led through a powerful experience!
I actually felt the emotions and sensed them in my body. Instead of thinking about them, and reacting. It was scary, my hands trembled, I was sweaty and uncomfortable. But I stayed with the whole school of emotions that were swimming inside, shame, guilt, grief, and anger. It was no longer about a story, there was nothing I had to fix or make happen… A voice inside me seething, “run and DO something for godsake, save yourself girl!”
I just breathed. I noticed a felt body sensation for each of these emotions.
I stayed with them they moved and dissipated. That was it? After years of suppressing them, then years of spewing them all over everyone else, this was all they wanted, just to be felt?
Yes that was it. Turns out, my resistance to feeling them was far more painful than the emotions themselves!
It has been said that the heart has the power to ignite the intuition just as the mind has the power extinguish it.
You won’t die if you open your heart and feel these unpleasant emotions. You will however begin to feel safe in your own skin. You will deepen your relationships with people you love, change the areas of your life that you find unsatisfying, while noticing the urges to self-sabotage with addiction are waning.
I invite you to turn on the light, look under the bed, and peek into the dark closet of this quarantined part of your being.
Gift yourself the freedom to feel ALL of it. Is it that simple? Yes, It is easy? NO!
It’s a practice. As you practice your life WILL change!
Go ahead feel it, I DARE you!