Once we clear space to BE and take courage to look honestly at what we really believe, we will find that things we believed to be true actually weren’t true. This inevitably brings up feelings.
Here’s an easy-to-see example. In our culture, Santa comes every December to leave presents and goodies for good boys and girls. At some point, a child stops and thinks about this and comes to the conclusion that this is not true. Do you remember mourning the loss of Santa Claus in your life?
Can’t relate to that example? How about any of these:
- Did you ever believe in fairies, monsters, superheroes?
- Did/do you believe your were/are good/bad at math, reading, writing, dancing, history, art etc…?
- Did/do you believe you were/are ugly/pretty?
- Did/do you believe you were/are athletic, intellectual, artistic?
- Did/do you believe you were/are clumsy, selfish, lazy, weird?
- Did/do you believe you were/are unloveable, unworthy, unimportant, misunderstood?
- Did/do you believe you have/had perfect, horrible, average parents?
- Did/do you believe you are a perfect, horrible, average parent/spouse/son/daughter/roommate?
Choose any one of these beliefs that you relate to (or pick your own) and ask, “Is it true? How do I know if it is true or not?” When we find a belief we have taken for granted as true and see that it really is not the truth (like childhood Santa), it shifts our paradigm of ourselves and our world.
We have no choice but to act on what we believe. All of our outcomes in our life have come from our beliefs. If we don’t like how our life is, we must change our beliefs to change what our life is like.
“If we change the way we view things, we change the way we do things.”– a wise person
When we recognize an erroneous belief and acknowledge, accept and process the Truth, we expand and grow. But…
We have to mourn the death of long-help beliefs that we have been attached to. That is why it takes courage to bravely see Truth.
We like to cling to our beliefs about how the world is and how WE are, because it feels stable! We know how to function in a world that we are use to. Transition and change of any kind can be hard.
And feelings (emotions) arise from accepting a new way of seeing–even when the new belief may seem positive. Often we become angry at the people or circumstances that “made” us believe a lie.
Feelings can be intense and even painful or blinding. Most of us learn to bury, avoid or resist feelings. It seems that we are justfied to do all sorts of behaviors because of feelings: hit, push, yell, insult, cry, blame, spend money, overeat, oversleep, get drunk or high, steal, use people, suicide, muder…
The key to is to learn to FEEL feelings–not think them or speak them or analyze them.
“Feelings buried alive never die”-Karol K. Truman
Feelings are emotions or “energy in motion”. They are physical chemical reactions in out body. (Think adrenaline that seems to cause survival reactions of fight, flight or freeze.) We can simply sit with feelings and learn to release them and let them pass through. This is easier said than done.
There are practices to help us learn to feel feelings with grace, poise and eventually with relative ease. This is the work of the Holding Space Practice.
The alternative is not pretty. Not pretty at all. Ask me how I know.