- Jennifer Stafford
"The world is the externalized human mind." - Eckhart Tolle
Sometimes our physical pain has to match our emotional pain in order for us to pay closer attention to ourselves. Sometimes even physical pain and illness is unable to inspire us to commit to looking within.
Or if we do, it's brief and not sustained.
Emotional healing takes commitment to kindness towards oneself and empathy. All of this takes place in the mind.
Empathy is key to the cohesion of our inevitable interconnectedness.
Emotional healing requires the energy of love. It takes tending to ourselves with love to heal emotionally. There is no other way.
Why should we know how to feel feelings?
We cannot access healing if we do not feel our feelings. Emotions play a major role in knowing ourselves as human beings. Deep breathing helps us feel our feelings and connect with our bodies. Robots do not breathe or feel, they are not sentient. Having the capacity to be aware of our emotional experiences is what makes human beings, human beings. Humans are sentient, we have feelings. We cannot have full awareness of how we behave if we do not know what we feel, it makes having genuinely healthy and fulfilling relationships nearly impossible.
Knowing how we feel or felt helps us know how we were or are being impacted by the experiences we have in life. Acknowledging how we feel is a validation of our own humanity.
If we are not taught how to feel our feelings, when we are children we develop mental (coping) ways to get away from emotional pain. Many of those mental ways of getting away from the pain involve denial, deflecting, defensiveness, avoidance, numbing and blocking out by forgetting.
Pain helps us pay attention.
When it's physical, pain is harder to dismiss or disregard. When pain is emotional, it can be pushed to the side. Too much emotional pain pushed to the side usually leaves our inner pain no choice, but to manifest physically at some point in our lives. Too much emotional pain pushed to the side can make us feel powerless. Sometimes, when human beings feel powerless we can interact with one another like predator and prey. This is how trauma is bred.
The predator and prey dance holds no space for healing.
Predator and prey interaction brings about an, "it's either you or me mentality." It encourages unhealthy competitiveness and defensiveness, the opposite of a healthy or harmonious existence.
The "it's either you or me mentality," translates into chaos and conflict for us humans. Predator and prey interaction is traumatic for human beings for a variety of reasons, one of them being that we have emotional experiences that stay with us. Our brains are highly advanced and we can physiologically relive experiences when an emotion is triggered. When we were children we developed ways to deal or not deal with certain emotion and now those emotional navigation routes are saved and stored.
When the predator and prey mentality has been stored within us, we operate ourselves in a way that is detrimental to our humanity and mental health. Our emotional experiences are saved and stored in our bodies. Physiologically our bodies are feeling even if we are not cognitively acknowledging it.
The diseases, the disorders and the disregard for humanity is increasing evidence that there is urgency in the need for the emotional healing of human beings.
Feelings are happening, so why not heal?
Therapy is not the only route to healing. Prayer, meditation, breathwork, healthy routines, self-compassion practice; there are a number of ways to initiate emotional healing. Feel free to keep reading to learn additional ways to begin the process of healing yourself emotionally.
It is a simple yet daunting pursuit.
Remind yourself that this is for you, so it is without a doubt worth it. You are worth the commitment it takes to heal. Remember. Healing does not fix or change anything that has occurred. Healing means that we have found a way to honor our humanity after feeling hurt or wronged. Learning how to feel unpleasant feelings supports us in not becoming emotionally blocked or stunted. Emotional healing requires the energy of love. It takes tending to ourselves with love to heal emotionally. Emotional healing is like unclogging blocked arteries to the heart. We may ignore it because we don't see it, but we can feel it and eventually it overcomes us. Healing is a process that originates within ourselves. It is performed through the brain while using the mind to clear out pathways that lead us back to our hearts and bodies. There is no other way. A few healing practices...
Connecting with your body through breath with deep belly breathing practice
Putting your hand to your heart and feeling your heart beat every morning/night while taking deep belly breaths
Any kind of yoga practice
Various forms of therapy
Visualization of physical body healing
Prayer+belly breathing practice