Today I took one step further in embracing my deep capacity for feeling.
I’ve noticed that whenever I feel ‘too much’ emotion, there’s an automatic disconnect inside me that takes place. It doesn’t matter whether its joy, sadness, anger or pain that’s present. It’s as though the emotion triggers a circuit breaker inside me and I automatically switch off.
The habit began back when I was seven years old. In those days I was so sensitive. I’d rescue every spider and slug that fell into the bath and I burst into tears the day I heard Stevie Wonder was blind. I think I installed the disconnect pattern so that I could be a ‘normal’ boy instead of a freakishly empathic one.
I woke this morning with this despondent sense of ‘over-it-ness’ that I sometimes get. I really didn’t want to feel it, and this was compounded by the fact that it’s the new year and everyone I know is ‘being positive’ and talking about ‘smashing it’ on their social media feeds.
I wasted an hour mindlessly scrolling Facebook. That’s one of my standard ‘not-feeling’ patterns. Eventually I took the hint and decided it was time to sit and do my morning meditation practice and find out what was really going on.
Unlike the slow start I sometimes experience, today I was instantly plunged into deep water. I felt the cool, liquid darkness of my emotional body hidden just below the surface of my skin.
My very first thought was: “I’m depressed.” As I heard the words they became clear 3D text in my mind’s eye. The letters transformed from ‘DEPRESSED’ to ‘DEEP REST’.
My primary urge this morning had been to lounge in bed. That’s not what was meant by ‘rest’ though. The underlying message was about being ‘rested in oneself’.
I dropped deeper into presence and the apparent fatigue gave way to the abundant energy concealed beneath.
The more I dropped into it the more I felt all my emotions swirling around.
They didn’t feel so bad.
The night before I’d watched the last three episodes of ‘The AO’ on Netflix and read two stories from ‘Fragile Things’ by Neil Gaiman. These are also ways that I escape feeling but, as a result my imagination was loaded with metaphor and ethereal imagery of other dimensions and worlds.
I got the strong sense that: FEELING IS ACCESSING POWER.
Everything I’ve ever tried to run from was because I didn’t want to feel a feeling.
Every time someone kills themselves its because there’s a feeling they REALLY don’t want to feel.
What if we knew we were capable of feeling deeply into everything, all the time?
Would we be so brittle and afraid?
My phone is my meditation timer and since it was almost dead when I began, the timer never rang. I just sat until I was until I felt complete. There was a pleasant sense of satisfaction and of being energized in a deep, slow way.
Several hours have passed since then and I still feel solidly grounded in myself.
What I learned today is that there’s no need to try to change what I’m feeling just because of what time of year it is or because of what I think other people are doing.
As long as we don’t try to run from them, all emotional states are perfectly valid, otherwise we wouldn’t be experiencing them!
Instructions for deepening your self connection.
- Take fifteen minutes each morning to sit with yourself in quiet meditation (set a timer).
- Rather than practice some ‘technique’ just sit there.
- Allow whatever thoughts or feelings are there to be there, don’t try to do anything.
- If you notice yourself trying to ‘do’ anything, stop and resume sitting there.
- Rinse and repeat for a week and journal the results.
—Photo Credit: Flickr/Tomasz Pietek