"Attempting to suppress emotions is dysfunctional;
it does not work. Emotions are energy: E-motion = energy in
motion. It is supposed to be in motion, it was meant to flow.
Emotions have a purpose, a very good reason to
be - even those emotions that feel uncomfortable. Fear is a warning,
anger is for protection, tears are for cleansing and releasing. These
are not negative emotional responses! We were taught to react negatively
to them. It is our reaction that is dysfunctional and negative, not
"The way to stop reacting out of our inner children
is to release the stored emotional energy from our childhoods by doing
the grief work that will heal our wounds. The only effective, long
term way to clear our emotional process - to clear the inner channel to
Truth which exists in all of us - is to grieve the wounds which we suffered
as children. The most important single tool, the tool which is vital
to changing behavior patterns and attitudes in this healing transformation,
is the grief process. The process of grieving.
We are all carrying around repressed pain, terror,
shame, and rage energy from our childhoods, whether it was twenty years
ago or fifty years ago. We have this grief energy within us even
if we came from a relatively healthy family, because this society is emotionally
dishonest and dysfunctional."
(Text in this color are quotes from Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls)
Emotions are energy that is manifested in our
bodies. They exist below the neck. They are not thoughts (although
attitudes set up our emotional reactions.) In order to do the emotional
healing it is vital to start paying attention to where energy is manifesting
in our bodies. Where is there tension, tightness? Could that
"indigestion" really be some feelings? Are those "butterflies" in
my stomach telling me something emotionally?
When I am working with someone and they start
having some feelings coming up, the first thing I have to tell them is
to keep breathing. Most of us have learned a variety of ways to control
our emotions and one of them is to stop breathing and close our throats.
That is because grief in the form of sadness accumulates in our upper chest
and breathing into it helps some of it to escape - so we learned to stop
breathing at those moments when we start getting emotional, when our voice
Western civilization has for many years been way
out of balance towards the left brain way of thinking - concrete, rational,
what you see is all there is (this was in reaction to earlier times of
being out of balance the other way, towards superstition and ignorance.)
Because emotional energy can not be seen or measured or weighed ("The x-ray
shows you've got 5 pounds of grief in there.") emotions were discounted
and devalued. This has started to change somewhat in recent years
but most of us grew up in a society that taught us that being too emotional
was a bad thing that we should avoid. (Certain cultures / subcultures
give more permission for emotions but those are usually out of balance
to the other extreme of allowing the emotions to rule - the goal is balance:
between mental and emotional, between intuitive and rational.)
Emotions are a vital part of our being for several
1. Because it is energy and energy cannot
just disappear. The emotional energy generated by the circumstances
of our childhood and early life does not go away just because we were forced
to deny it. It is still trapped in our body - in a pressurized, explosive
state, as a result of being suppressed. If we don't learn how to
release it in a healthy way it will explode outward or implode back in
on us. Eventually it will transform into some other form - such as
I became willing to do the emotional healing in the
summer of 1987 when I set myself up to be abandoned on my birthday one
more time. I called a counselor that I had been told was good with
the emotional work. It turned our that he was in the middle of moving
to Hawaii and wasn't doing counseling anymore. But he said I could
come over and talk to him as he packed.
2. As long as we have pockets of pressurized
emotional energy that we have to avoid dealing with - those emotional wounds
will run our lives. We use food, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, work,
religion, exercise, meditation, television, etc., to help us keep suppressing
that energy. To help us keep ourselves focused on something else,
anything else, besides the emotional wounds that terrify us. The
emotional wounds are what cause obsession and compulsion, are what the
"critical parent" voice works so hard to keep us from dealing with.
3. Our emotions tell us who we are - our
Soul communicates with us through emotional energy vibrations. Truth
is an emotional energy vibrational communication from our Soul on the Spiritual
Plane to our being/spirit/soul on this physical plane - it is something
that we feel in our heart/our gut, something that resonates within us.
Our problem has been that because of our unhealed
childhood wounds it has been very difficult to tell the difference between
an intuitive emotional Truth and the emotional truth that
comes from our childhood wounds. When one of our buttons is pushed
and we react out of the insecure, scared little kid inside of us (or the
angry/rage filled kid, or the powerless/helpless kid, etc.) then we are
reacting to what our emotional truth was when we were 5 or 9 or 14 - not
to what is happening now. Since we have been doing that all of our
lives, we learned not to trust our emotional reactions (and got the message
not to trust them in a variety of ways when we were kids.)
4. We are attracted to people that feel
familiar on an energetic level - which means (until we start clearing
our emotional process) people that emotionally / vibrationally feel like
our parents did when we were very little kids. At a certain point
in my process I realized that if I met a woman who felt like my
soul mate, that the chances were pretty huge that she was one more unavailable
woman that fit my pattern of being attracted to someone who would reinforce
the message that I wasn't good enough, that I was unlovable. Until
we start releasing the hurt, sadness, rage, shame, terror - the emotional
grief energy - from our childhoods we will keep having dysfunctional relationships.
I don't remember anything that he said to me that
day - what I do remember is that as I sat in his house watching him pack
I had a feeling, and a visual image, that I had just opened Pandora's Box
- the monsters were loose now and I would never be able shut that box again.
Doing the grief work is absolutely terrifying.
The word I came up with to describe how I felt was terrif***ingfying.
It felt like if I ever really owned the pain, I would end up crying in
a rubber room for the rest of my life. That if I ever really owned
the rage, I would just go up and down the street shooting people.
That is not what happened. The Spirit guided me through the process
and gave me the resources I needed to release great quantities of that
pent up, pressurized emotional energy. To release enough to start
learning who I really am, to start seeing my path more clearly, and to
start forgiving myself and learning about love.
I still need to do the grieving/energy release
work from time to time. There is still a hole in my soul - a seemingly
bottomless abyss of wish-to-die-pain, shame, and unbearable suffering.
But it is a much smaller hole and I don't have to visit it very often.
The wounds don't go away. They have less
power to dictate my life as I heal. I needed to own that wounded
part of me in order to start getting to know, and have compassion for,
me. I also needed to learn to have a balance because we can't live
in those feelings. We need to own them and honor them in order to
own and honor ourselves - but then we need to learn to have internal boundaries
that will allow us to find some balance in our life, allow us to to trust
the process and our Higher Power.
We are on a Spiritual journey - and the Force
is with us. It will help and guide us as we face the terror of owning
how painful our human experience has been. The more we are able to
feel and release the feelings / emotional energy, the more clearly we can
tune into the emotional energy that is Truth - and Love, Light, Joy, Beauty
- coming from The Source Energy.