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The Way Out is Through

This article captures much of what concerns me about the mainstream spiritual movement. Be positive, raise your vibration, and attract what you want. The message repeated again and again is to focus on the good and more good will come to you. The unspoken message is that if bad things happen, it is your fault for not keeping your vibration high. The problem is life is not always good, and the truth is, it is not your fault.

We have bad days. To deny these negative feelings, to believe that feeling them is inappropriate and to be avoided, is to deny ourselves the truth of being human. No one is perfect. No one is happy all the time. We are meant to grieve. We are meant to get angry. We are meant to be sad. We are meant to experience every emotion humanly possible. To deny your feelings, bad or good, is only denying yourself and denying the truth of life.  

Feelings are like seasons. Without winter we can’t have spring. After summer must come fall. One season is not bad and another good. All are necessary to maintain the balance of life. The same goes for our feelings. Happiness is amazing to experience, and yet sorrow helps us know what we value. Anger is a great tool to help us identify and act against what is not serving us or others. Grief is an acknowledgement of love and the noting of transition – ours or others. If we do not experience all of these feelings, we are not truly living.

hiding our feelings
Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Often, we perceive feelings and being emotional as weakness. It is the opposite. As Fred Rogers said, “Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”

To hide from the unwanted and undesirable feelings, many of us numb our feelings. But facing our feelings, all of our feelings, is not only living fully it is also necessary to our growth. The last months of 2019 I was plagued with medical issues, and I didn’t like it. I stupidly cut my foot open, requiring stitches and weeks of healing. Once my foot was back to almost 100% utilization, I came down with a doozy of a cold, keeping me on the couch for another seemingly endless week. I resisted being ill. I was angry that I could not do what I normally did and begrudgingly had to ask for help. I created an awesome pity party for my predicament. To top it off, I tried to deny these feelings because they were not positive and helpful to me or others.

What finally released me from these emotions, was sitting with them. When I stopped, accepted my situation and how I was feeling, and then explored what I was learning from this episode (awareness of my codependent tendencies and finding gratitude for things I take for granted) then I was released from the experience and the emotions. Instead of ignoring how I felt, instead of trying to be positive when I felt crappy, the way I found release from these not-so-awesome feelings, was by feeling them. The way out of the negative experience was by going through it.

What do you find difficult right now? What do you not want to experience? What are you avoiding?

What is this experience trying to teach you? What can you learn from what you are going through?

Do you have the courage to feel completely? I hope so. For the only road to release, is through. If you need some support as you go through, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your support system. Hang in there; it is better on the other side.