Lesson #58: Move through feelings to get to the other side

Opening up to feelings

Feelings. They’re a part of life, but most of my life was spent avoiding them. I could hardly even name them. I had about three feelings to my repertoire .. good, bad and sad. I learnt to disconnect at an early age. I learnt that my feelings were a problem to others. I learnt to ignore, avoid and hide my feelings — even from myself. It seemed to work for my mother. She appeared to be always happy and bubbly. I figured that’s how I was supposed to be. But I could only do it so much .. then I had to escape onto my own. It felt like hard work. People felt like hard work.

It’s only in the past few years that I finally opened up to my feelings, and started to work on healing the disconnection.

The cost of disconnection

Being disconnected from feelings (and people) is a little like being part of the ‘living dead’. In disconnecting from the hard and painful feelings, we are also disconnected from the happy and joyful feelings. I think of this like a flatline .. a heart reading that shows no activity and indicates death.

Life is full of ups and downs

I’ve started to reframe it when feelings come up, and to appreciate the rollercoaster ..

This too shall pass

I now see the ups and downs as part of life.

At this very moment I’m feeling down. I did some morning writing and I can easily identify at least five things that have contributed to this feeling. But I know that one of the best things I can do is to acknowledge the feeling, perhaps look at the factors that have led me here, and then take action to move forward.

Finding gratitude

I have SO much to be grateful for and I am grateful every day. Having a gratitude practice is a great way to appreciate the many wonders of life (and there are always many). I’m particularly grateful, right now, for the many tools and practices I have been using over the past few years to turn my life (and my experience of life) around.

I’m grateful for the following practices / tools:

  • the enneagram in helping me understand myself and others
  • breathwork / conscious breathing in bringing myself back to life and releasing stuck feelings
  • somatic experiencing — bringing attention to feelings that are stuck in the body and honouring those feelings
  • journaling — clarifying my thoughts
  • coaching — having the accountability and support of a coach
  • dancing / 5 Rhythms — using dance to express and release feelings
  • friends — developing friendships where honest conversations, vulnerability and support are present
  • life vision — having a life vision that moves me forward and inspires me
  • daily practices — smoothie, stretches, writing, habits, .. (these practices keep me healthy and moving forward)
  • decluttering (good for a fresh burst of energy and inspiration .. so much energy is stuck in clutter)
  • writing these daily lessons (I get to feel a sense of contribution, clarity/completion, connection and creativity)

Shifting how I feel

In writing this lesson I can already feel myself moving the the other side of the dip. Looking at my tools above, there are a few I haven’t made it to today .. including my morning practices (which can feel so hard when we’re feeling down). After I finish this ‘lesson’ I will get onto what’s next (smoothie and stretches?).

How I fell into this hole

I realise I avoided going into what ‘pulled me down’, and that this avoidance was me not wanting to be vulnerable. But I also know that it can be easier to understand ourselves through reflections of another.

In essence (without the details), the undertow that pulled me down in this instance came from:

  • allowing myself to get swept away by a particular ‘addiction’ that, like any addiction, only offers short term relief, followed by a backlash from whatever that addiction offers relief from
  • self talk around how good (or not good) a job I’m doing with bringing up my son
  • chats / texts with two people I have a complicated relationship with and have felt disempowered around in the past (both people (I think) I love)
  • somewhat ‘fallen off the wagon’ with my meditation practice
  • a general sense of overwhelm around all the pieces — my house, my life, the world, my contribution, overthinking … I mean, there is SO much scope for overwhelm in this world ..

In conclusion

To sum up .. I called this lesson ‘moving through feelings to get to the other side’. This has been a big lesson for me. Learning to sit with, and not run away from, feelings has been life changing for me. In a similar way that moving towards fear opens us up to expansion, moving into feelings does a similar thing. Perhaps it even IS the same thing since there can be a lot of old fear around our capacity to be with feelings.

I definitely recommend support in this process because though we need to be with and acknowledge the feelings, we also need to keep moving.

Sometimes the hardest part is gaining a foothold for climbing out of the overwhelm. I offer a free Discovery call where I can help you to see where you’re at, where you’d like to go, and what is stopping you. You don’t need to stay stuck.

Finishing with a poem

I will leave you with one of my favourite poems, which expresses so beautifully and simply the process of breaking out of old, unhealthy patterns and moving forward:

Autobiography in five short chapters

— by Portia Nelson

I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.

By Larisa-K from Pixabay

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Orly Grace writes lessons from life to inspire and empower. She shares more creations and offerings on her website: www.circlesoflife.net

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Orly Grace

Orly Grace

Orly Grace writes lessons from life to inspire and empower. She shares more creations and offerings on her website: www.circlesoflife.net

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