Most of us erect walls against our extreme feelings.
We decide which parts of our emotional experience we’re not going to have, and then, rather than face the feelings, we distract ourselves with immediate satisfactions.
Which helps in the moment, but after a while, we start to pay a price for the things we’re hiding from ourselves. That which we suppress finds a home in the body. And our feelings transmogrify into illnesses, stomach pains, muscle cramps, skin problems and other uncomfortable psychosomatic symptoms.
A smarter approach is to personify the extreme parts of ourselves in ways that allow us to be affectionate, not avoidant, toward them. To literally ask ourselves:
What does this feeling want from me?
One exercise I find helpful is forced vomiting. It’s a daily journaling ritual of emotional release where I metabolize my experiences, in writing, for three pages.
I keep asking myself, what does this feeling want from me, and see what answers come up.
And what’s interesting about the process is, by fleshing out every last feeling I have about a certain issue, eventually, I reach a point where I just bore and exhaust myself with it. I express the same thing again and again and again until I have gone through it to the other side and there’s nothing left to say.
And now I can move on.
Sure beats becoming an accomplished fugitive from myself.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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