Caring for the Emotional, Part 1

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We are Emotional Beings - hurray!   We are created with the wonderful capacity to feel life in al facets – anger, grief, joy, fear.  Yet, there is a tendency to shy away from our emotions – or some of them.  Why do we do this?  Why would we shut ourselves off from how we are feeling? 

Often because we are taught to in childhood – ‘Sssh now, don’t be sad’ or ‘Oh, nice little girls and boys aren’t angry’.  As children, even when we call out in joy, we can be told to be quiet.  And powerful feelings - deep grief, raging anger – can feel overwhelming.

I hear people say things like, “I feel so angry, and I know I shouldn’t,”  or  “My wonderful Mum/Dad/Sister/Brother/Friend died several months ago and friends say I should be over it by now, but I can’t.”

The truth is that ALL emotions are valid.  We are entitled to our feelings.  You have the right to grieve, to feel joy, to be cross.  It is how we DEAL with our emotions which matters.

In Energy Field Healing we understand that pain in the body is compressed energy – perhaps years of it.  When we hold back from crying, or hold onto fear or anger, the energy of the emotion embeds in the energy field – in a layer of the field, a chakra, a joint, even an organ – because the physical body is energy too.  Future events with a similar resonance (energy signature) can ‘light up’ old emotions, and we feel them again, along with the current issue.  This is why a smaller loss occurring long after a massive bereavement, can suddenly trigger a huge, seemingly out of proportion, outpouring of sadness. 

Consider, for instance, the massive outpouring of grief for Princess Diana when she died.  Millions of people across the globe sobbed in public, lit candles, laid flowers. Yes, Princess Diana was a wonderful person and very well ‘known’ as a public figure.  But, she was not a personal friend or family member to most of us.  What I suspect happened is that her death, the terrible sudden death of a beautiful mother of young children, triggered old issues of loss in a great many people.  They just didn’t recognise it, so their emotions were channelled into apparently grieving for Diana and her boys.

So, what we DO with our feelings?  While we are entitled to how we FEEL, how we ACT on strong emotions needs consideration.  Just because we are angry with our boss does not mean we can explode in his or her face or walk out of our job.  HOW then, can we manage strong emotions, so they don’t overwhelm us, or cause us to act in ways we might regret?  You might try an energy therapy – Reiki or Energy Healing, or psychotherapy of some kind, and those can really help, but this blog is about what you might do for yourself.

The flexible ideal is that we move appropriately in and out of each and any emotional state as it occurs, processing it, understanding what’s happening, expressing if necessary, in an appropriate way and moving calmly on.  (!!)

What makes this difficult at times can be those childhood messages – ‘don’t be angry’ – and previously suppressed emotions.  Or an overload of too much ‘life’ coming at us at once, so we don’t have time to rest and process.  We can become like a pressure cooker, waiting to explode, we have so much inside us. 

Here are a couple of suggestions that can help us with our emotions:

The SITTING STILL AND QUIET, and FOCUSING INTO THE EARTH tips, mentioned in previous blogs, can definitely be helpful here, especially if done regularly, but also –

THE GIVEAWAY LETTER.  This is a technique where you write the letter you are never going to send.  When you are done you will destroy it.  Safe, inexpensive, private.  The Giveaway offers freedom to express in a safe way.  My advice – use a basic A4 pad and some cheap biros, not your favourite pen.  I’ve snapped many a biro doing the Giveaway!  Take some private time to do this – the emotions that rise up at first can be strong.

At a time when you feel emotional and seem to have no safe outlet, get your pad and pens, go somewhere private, and write.  I start by writing  “Dear ..….” ,  using the name of the person involved.  Thereafter it doesn’t matter if you form words with the pen or not.  You may just scribble madly across the page or stab the pad in rage.  You might talk out loud, as if talking to the person, as you scribble.

It sounds daft, but the physical act of moving the pen across the paper allows the emotion a way out of the body.  It also helps the emotion to rise up from where it has been trapped.  You might cry or shout out.  Its fine.  You might need to move to another chair, or even another room.  That’s fine too, it’s a manifestation of the energy, the emotion, moving in your body. 

As you fill or cover each page, rip it off, throw it aside and carry on.  Never mind any mess, just for now.  Keep writing/scribbling, until you feel a pause.  Take a few moments, breathe, and see if you need to do more.  Try writing a sentence to the person and see if it frees up any more emotion.

Eventually you will reach a point where you don’t want to do anymore at the moment.  That’s great.  Stop there, gather your torn and scribbled pages and put them in the bin.  It is extremely important to do this!   Don’t, under any circumstances, keep these pages, or re-read them.  There is ONE exception to this – see below.

Take time then to do something calm and enjoyable.  Make a cup of tea, go for a gentle walk, sit in your garden.  Breathe. 

When I first did this exercise I wrote to my Dad, who had been dead many years.  My relationship with him was complex.  As I wrote, ‘Dear Dad’  on the page, a wave of emotion released itself from deep inside and I felt it, like a visceral thing, coming up my body.  I began to cry and to scribble.  26 pages and several rooms later, I stopped.  About 6 months on I wrote to Dad again – a couple of pages.  A third Giveaway letter some time later was half a page.  I have not felt the need to write to Dad since, and I feel calm when I think of him now.

The Giveaway Letter can be used for anyone who has hurt, angered or injured you in some way.  It can be used for living people or, like my Dad, people who have passed.  It can be used for ANY emotion.  And here’s the ONE exception.  If you write a loving letter to someone you care for, or cared for, perhaps words you were not able to say to them at the time, destroying it may not feel right.  In that case try this: 

Fold or roll the paper carefully, parcel it lovingly with colourful ribbon or wool, and tie it in a tree or ceremonially release it into moving water.  Your loving words will be carried gently at Nature’s pace, into the unseen spaces of life, and perhaps even reach the person you intended them for. 

"Anyone can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not easy.”  Aristotle, 384-322 BC

DISCLAIMER (The Small Print)       

These are just my current thoughts. 

Thoughts can change as we learn and grow.

I can always be wrong, but am nevertheless entitled to my thoughts.

You don’t have to like my blog or take any notice of anything I say.

It is important you always make up your own mind - about everything.

I am not you, and don’t know you or the details of your life. 

Therefore, you are responsible for any decisions or changes you make as a result of reading my thoughts. 

Finally, nothing in any of my blogs is intended nor should be taken as medical or health advice.  Always research for yourself and talk to doctors or therapists you trust (conventional or complementary).