*The following article is translated from Hebrew so may not be as grammatically correct as my more recent articles. *
Sitting with emotions:
“By sitting with our pain we grow wisely, when we grow wisely the pain becomes love and compassion” – Kim Ang.
It is the opposite of our automatic instinct to go in the direction of what hurts, without a doubt it is not always easy. There are many automatic ways through which we escape the emotional pain that is in our body – being on the phone, watching TV, playing computer games, being with friends, eating – these are pretty popular ways to get away from them (there is nothing wrong with these things the question is how we use them). In more extreme cases it is alcohol, drugs, even hard and exhausting work can be a way to escape.
If only we all understood, knew and lived Kim Ang’s quote all the time and remembered it. There is nothing wrong with emotional pain, emotional pain is a natural product of our authenticity. Sometimes what causes emotional pain is the distortions of reality and the negative beliefs in our minds but this is a story for another post. My question is this, what if instead of running away from our emotions we would come towards them? What if instead of avoiding them we would open the door wide when they want to enter? What if we gave them permission to be here?
When we sit with our most hidden and painful emotions we put our light into them and give ourselves the opportunity to digest them and allow them to be released. The only reason we carry pain for so long is because we have not digested it yet so we still need to experience it and digest those feelings and let them be. When I say we, I mean me, of course. There is a healing effect in sitting with our emotions and not running away. I think it also helps to know that from the experience of others, it does heal them and helps them to break free.
Today, when feelings that your brain considers “unwanted” or “unpleasant” arise, instead of running away from them you will be with them, say hello to them. You do not have to put all the big emotions inside now because it can be pretty scary at first, be gentle with yourself because it is a process. Very gently, go towards your feelings and let more and more of them get inside. Let them be here, they’re less scary than they look. I understand and know for myself that this is not an easy practice, but let’s give it a chance.