Avoiding emotions represents a false sense of security and essentially numbs us to reality.
So now I tend to feel my emotions instead of trying to numb them out. Sometimes that sucks but I have learned that this too shall pass. The challenge is to not to label our emotions as bad. At some point in our lives, each of us faces the loss of someone or something dear to us.
It is a normal part of the human experience to navigate through feelings of grief.
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross talked about the five stages of grief people go through following a loss. Sometimes people get stuck in one of the first four stages. Their lives can be painful until they move to the fifth stage, which is acceptance.
The five stages of grief are:
- Denial and Isolation: At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.
- Anger: The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if they are dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. The person may be angry with themselves for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.
- Bargaining: Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, “If I do this, will you take away the loss?”
- Depression: The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.
- Acceptance: This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.
The grieving process has mirrored my personal growth journey.
Hitting the surrender point represented the death of the old me. Initially, I went into denial and I isolated from the world for months. I then turned to anger at my parents and those who had failed me during childhood. It felt familiar and safe for me to be in a place of victimhood during this period. I bargained with my soul and with my understanding of God for many months, feeling that the only way to pay for my past and relieve the mountains of pain would be to check out. I most certainly felt the full brunt of the most debilitating depression. I became a danger on the roads while driving, I left my belongings everywhere, I became nervous in crowds and preferred to stay home and I felt incapable of finding or sustaining a job. With the help of 12 Step, counseling and coaching I began to move into acceptance and began calling things by their right name.
Even though in life we may slide into dark places, these dark places are still parts of the whole that is Source/Universe/Higher Power/God.
The challenge is to feel our emotions instead of trying to numb them out. Sometimes that sucks but eventually it will pass. The challenge is to not to label our emotions as bad.
The irony is the emotions and feelings we want to get rid of are often signposts that are driving us toward our Inner Divinity. They are really just indicators pointing us toward the change and growth that are a necessary part of our spiritual evolution.
There is a blueprint for the way we see our worlds and the way we think the world should be. And it comes from all kinds of outside and past circumstances. But it’s not the outside and past circumstances that ultimately define us; it’s what we choose to make that outside and past circumstance mean.
Enlightenment is really just acceptance in high gear!
Could you accept that the dark parts of your life that you may be trying to hide and deny are still parts of the whole magnificence of who you are?
Is there somewhere in your life where you are avoiding the full range of your feelings and emotions?
Is there some part of your past that you are choosing to avoid and deny?
Leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.
Much Love & Welcome Home,