For this post, I’ll include more of my personal journey: that of dealing with emotions. I’ve always been someone who has had had very intense emotions to deal with, especially those related to my past sexual abuse. Because of this, many emotions have come at any and all times, without apparent ‘reason’: at work, in relationships, light social times, and with family. Without any visible reason or sense, at least in the immediate context, it’s easy to hold judgment about strong emotions in our culture. It can appear to make others uncomfortable.
This isn’t particular to sexual abuse; it is quite common to anyone sensitive and emotionally open, dealing with pain in any way. Emotions are emotions. They don’t make sense. If they did, they would be thoughts, not emotions. The heart has reasons the mind knows not of, and never will. Our need to make sense greatly depends on how allowing we are of the emotion. A grand sense of joy flittering like butterflies across our hearts when we see, for example, kittens playing with string for the first time, won’t require much sense. And yet, when it comes to ‘negative emotions’, such as pain, fear, anger, self-hatred, or a mix of them that could be called inner conflict, we often simply don’t allow them to come forward as naturally. We want reasons, explanations, labels, and hopefully a way to protect ourselves against them appearing again. This is the illusion of control reasons give us.
To me, how this manifested was a desire to expunge all the emotions. They obviously caused problems, so it made sense to want to get rid of them. I thought of them as a water well containing nothing but poison stored there from all the past pains in my life. So I tried to ‘get it out’ as much as possible, whether it be via counseling, venting, punching pillows, or even meditation and trying to transform myself in that manner. Eventually, things would be ‘clear’ and I would be more ‘balanced’. Of course, things didn’t work that way, because implicit in all these actions was a fundamental lack of love for those emotions â???? which creates even more negative emotions to vent. The perception that there was something wrong with me created more problems. The never-ending process continued. Thinking there was something wrong with me because I had pain simply created more pain.
A different way of looking at them instead is what was channeled to me recently.
At this time, perhaps you would like to think of your emotions, instead of something you need to get out and express, think of them as art, as a creation that you are constantly perfecting. They’re not finished yet, but you see their beauty in whatever state of creation they are in. You don’t need to share it even, because they are so beautiful. Bring this creation, all the beautiful colors that you know, and all the love you have inside you, for you love this creation. It is the most beautiful creation you have ever made, and you derive great satisfaction from the process of creating it. Take your time. Use visuals if that helps. Look around you. Find elements of what you see that perhaps might be included in this creation of yours. You will know it when you see it – anything that needs to be included. Have fun with this process, for it is yours. It is the first thing that’s truly belonged to you.
This brought up much tears in me, because it went to the heart of who I am: an expressive person with an intense of love of beauty and art. And if I do not see myself as a work of art, then of course there will be a lack of love for Self. Corresponding to this was indeed a visual image of moving and surreal color, much like the movie ‘What Dreams May Come.’ We see art and beauty in Van Gogh, Dali, or other artists who express darkness or ‘craziness’. After all, it’s on the page and there are skills involved. However, there is an implicit dismissal of the skill involved in simply allowing emotions to come to fruition and expressiveness in this society. There is tremendous skill in this. We see this in movies, on the stage, of an actor being very true with emotions, but it is easy to discount this in ourselves. This is not the same as being able to pick the right words and expression of them. It lies simply in being those emotions, in allowing them fully.
As I reach new levels of allowing of my emotions, I’m encountering vastly new perceptions of my life and my past, and even hidden memories. Finally remembering who crawled into my bed at night, the helplessness, shame, impotent kicking, and a split of consciousness that persisted into adulthood. There are, of course, many emotions connected to this journey, much like any prisoner might feel after coming into sunlight after thinking a cell block was home for many years. There is frustration, there is helplessness, and yes, there is self-hatred. I’m finding this isn’t a contradiction in any way to loving myself. It has its own beauty; a disconnected aspect of myself that’s screaming from years of being walled away. There is beauty in goth designs, and there is intense beauty in these emotions as well. They are a valid journey home.
Love, especially for ourselves, isn’t a thing or something to gain, or anything to ingrain into our minds through writing a million affirmations or reading thousands of blogs. It’s a perception – an awareness. Shifting how we look at something, especially ourselves, creates transformations. In fact, every transformation is precisely a change in perception. There is nothing but this, because there is perfection in everything, including intense pain. In the case of emotions, my experiences have created a subtle yet powerful difference in my experience in them. There is wonder in these emotions, simply as an expression of what is. The simply perception of beauty in utter vividness is, in the present moment, more loving than a thousand affirmations.