FREE YOURSELF FROM INNER BURDENS.
Do you want to free yourself from some of your inner burden? We invite you to try this ‘life review’ exercise below. This is presented in the form of a contemplation exercise. Use this opportunity to review your life and look for any unresolved experiences. Try to identify or process the associated emotion.
First, find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed. Relax and quieten your mind. Then, review your life as you read the below meditative contemplation.
TUNE IN TO THE PURE EMOTION THAT ARISES.
Start by slowly reading the discussion below. Observe what surfaces in your mind. See what reactions are triggered. Practise tuning in to the pure emotion that arises, not the storyline. This will help release the emotion & avoid the pain. Just gently & lovingly let the feelings pass! Try to do this as you slowly read the following text. Pause whenever you feel the need to do so. If you feel that this might be too traumatic, then seek expert assistance for personalized help.
QUIETLY CONTEMPLATE YOUR LIFE JOURNEY.
Sometimes our early childhood experiences can be traumatic. We were delivered into this world abruptly, and often traumatically. As a baby, we are totally dependent on someone else for our survival & basic needs. As a toddler, we were sometimes scolded. We were shown how to behave! We were taught what to do, and even what to think! Someone was always trying to control or modify our behavior! Some of these experiences might have been traumatic.
Then we were sent to school and forced to comply in a different way! We were taught to sit still and be quiet. We had to listen to others for what seemed like ages. We were made to memorize facts and to regurgitate these in tests. All this would determine our future career. This is often how it seemed!
We then battle through our higher education or vocational training. We try to keep the expectations of others at bay. It can all seem like a hassle or real struggle. We feel trapped in the system. We can’t freely do what we really want!
WE SEEK TEMPORARY RELIEF FROM OUR FEARS.
We are fearful of not being good enough. Will we be liked? Will we fit in? The pressure to comply and conform with social expectations is so high. We seek the approval of others. Can we really survive & succeed in such a world?
There are usually some good times, particularly with friends. But those moments can seem so fleeting. We seek refuge in the usual manner: alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana, and perhaps some ‘party’ drugs. Sometimes we choose another form of escape.
We search for relief from our dissatisfaction and our sense of emptiness. We might work hard, or party hard for distraction. We might use relationships, sex or addictive behaviors to help numb our inner pain.
IT’S SO DIFFICULT & WE FEEL LIKE GIVING UP.
Some relationships can be very difficult. That just makes it all worse! Why do some people not understand or accept us? Why are some friendships so problematic?
Why do we try so hard, just to fit in with someone else’s plans! We dislike being manipulated & controlled. This can make us feel angry. We might feel like rebelling.
Other times we just feel like giving up! We can become disillusioned and disheartened. We can feel so unhappy, sad and alone. Sometimes we feel guilty, ashamed or in the depths of despair.
…What emotions are surfacing for you after contemplating this?
ALLOW SUPPRESSED EMOTIONS TO SURFACE.
What was it like to read & contemplate the above narrative? Now pause and just sit quietly for a while longer. Relax your body further, calm your thoughts and see what other feelings want to surface.
Can you feel the inner pressure of some emotion that wants to surface? It can feel like it wants to burst out. Allow it to rise. Try to feel just the pure emotion that emerges. Focus only on that! Avoid the narrative and any judgment of what happened. Have a good cry if you like.
Experiencing & releasing emotion brings a sense of relief or completion. Just allow the feeling to pass spontaneously. The relief we get after a good cry comes from releasing a suppressed emotion.
Alternatively, the emotion might be felt as a physical sensation of unease, somewhere in your body. These emotions have been pent up for far too long! Again, focus on just the pure feeling. Release the story line or associated drama. Doing that will clear the underlying emotion!
THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A BREAKTHROUGH!
Releasing emotions can sometimes bring about a new realization or breakthrough. We can gain more courage and wisdom in doing this. But this is just a bonus if it occurs!
If not released these pent-up energies can cause significant problems. The primary benefit of this emotional processing is releasing these trapped emotions. Otherwise, they can build up and present as some dysfunction or disease.
…Do you now understand how pent-up emotions cause toxic damage?
RELEASING AN EMOTION REQUIRES NOT THINKING.
Dwelling or ruminating on the story will only cause additional emotions to build! Remember, we aim to feel just the pure emotion. Don’t focus on the story or judge what happened. This is what is required for it to clear. Further analyzing it intellectually is not beneficial. Instead, we should be grateful for having released that inner conflict.
Forgive yourself first, and then forgive others, if you are able. This does not mean you are condoning their actions. Instead, you are releasing your anger, hatred or resentment of them. Remember, holding onto any negativity only damages yourself!
THE RELEASE OF OTHER EMOTIONS WILL FOLLOW.
Releasing one emotion might then allow another to surface. When you feel another emotion is ready to surface, you can restart the process again. Allow yourself to briefly feel this emotion too. That experiencing of the feeling allows it to release and clear. Allowing yourself to feel, release & clear emotions is an important skill. Do this lovingly, without fear or any judgement.
…Are you starting to understand this emotion releasing process?
GRATITUDE CAN FOLLOW FORGIVENESS.
Be grateful for the release of any trapped emotions. Forgive yourself for having held onto guilt or shame. Forgive yourself for being afraid to face this for so long.
Well done in attempting this exercise! Rapidly processing our emotions is an important life skill to master. Simple emotional hygiene should be part of our daily life. We aim to process our emotions as promptly as we can. Good luck!