Feel: I allow myself to feel. My emotions are part of my being. By allowing myself to feel, I heal and grow.
Instruction: Open to your feelings.
Suppressing our feelings is one of the worst things we can do to ourselves. It can bring misery, sickness, a shortened life span, and even death. Ignoring pain and anger by trying to put a lid on it will create a pressure-cooker scenario that will eventually explode. When it does, the damage can be immediate and severe. We are not meant to live under pressure, and our feelings — our emotions — are the tools we’ve been given to cope with the complications of daily life. Children who were sexually molested but told to ignore or suppress the incident can bury it so deeply that they don’t even recall what happened, only to find serious adult problems to which they seem to have no explanation for its origin. Illnesses such as anorexia or bulimia create physical symptoms that are often related to our emotions. Mental sickness can also attack and create suicidal tendencies and other concerns.
In Stone Six, we are encouraged to “let go of past hurts, disappointments, and abuses,” but if we have not allowed ourselves to feel these hurts, disappointments, and abuses, then letting go of them is not the place to start. We must first acknowledge our feelings and then seek to release them in healthy ways. Forgiveness isn’t easy for those who try to suppress their feelings, because eventually those emotions rise to the surface. Forgiveness is difficult until we’ve allowed ourselves to feel the painful emotions. Of course, there are times when we feel it is appropriate to suppress our emotions until we’re in a more appropriate place or time, but then it is beneficial to allow our feelings to rise to the surface so that we can deal with them when we are in a more appropriate place. When we understand that it is okay to feel the way we feel, then we are open to the healing process.
When we feel anger, we feel anger. It doesn’t mean we have to act on our anger. By simply acknowledging it and owning the feeling, we can begin to analyze the source of our anger and make the changes needed to feel it and then release it without damaging ourselves or others.
Today’s Assignment is to check yourself the next time you feel angry; take a moment to sit with the feeling if the circumstances permit it. Feel the rage and try to look at it from the eyes of an observer and not the one who is experiencing the anger. We can observe others and wonder what circumstances caused them to get angry, and if we are capable of being the observer in our own situation, we can often release the anger quicker and let go of the pain.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.