Below the surface
Have you ever noticed that especially very intelligent people may have a persistent problem in one or more areas of their lives? If that is the case, stay with me in this writing, because I would like to discuss this in the context of emotions, feelings and emotional pain.
First , let’s have clarity about the concepts of ‘feeling’ and ‘emotion’. In common parlance, those two are often used interchangeably, but there is an essential difference. And this difference is exactly the key to healing emotional pain.
Your feeling is your life stream. You feel the beating of your heart, you feel what is the right day rhythm for you , you feel when it is time to go to sleep or to take certain steps. It is a continuous flow ( although you may lose touch with it , when you are exclusively with your attention in your head, when you are trapped in your mind). Feeling does not have the ups-and-downs of emotions, in which the things that happen are judged to be good or bad.
It is the depth of the ocean, where everything is alive without the undulating motion of waves at the surface. To feel is to be conscious. This means there is a knowing in it. By feeling you know if something is true or not. If something is not true for you , you withdraw your energy from a person or situation. Consciously or unconsciously. The criterion is enthusiasm. The etymology of this word is Greek: en theos, “in god”. Let your enthusiasm be your daily benchmark in making decisions. Since it is your power of life , which is willing or not, to support a plan. Everybody knows how hard it becomes to accomplish a task if this is missing. For heavens sake, why would you do it otherwise? This brings us to emotions and emotional pain
An emotion is a stagnation, it is a form of resistance that occurs when you don’t understand. Emotions are linked to the mental plane, to your thinking. Let me first give an example of an ‘up’ emotion: you are travelling in India and all of a sudden you meet an old friend from high school. Happiness, and at the same time a lack of understanding , you can not grasp how you could have met him here. The first thing you ask your friend is “what are you doing here ?!” With an ‘up’ emotion, the lack of understanding is usually solved quickly.
Now an example of a ‘down’ emotion: you have booked a vacation and you arrive at the airport where you are told that your flight is overbooked – you and your entire family cannot depart. You get angry, you are upset or whatever the emotional reaction may be. Again, this is a reaction of not understanding – “how is this possible, I have made a reservation and I paid”. Your emotion is a form of resistance: at that moment you refuse to accept the situation.
If you persist in this resistance, you might decide the following action: although you really needed to relax, and certainly were not up to a long drive in your car because you are already in traffic jams all year round, you decide to take the car to reach your particular holiday destination. Your lack of enthusiasm, your feeling, says ‘no’, because you are actually too tired to drive, but your mind set , which is limited and not very creative , driven by the ego says “don’t let yourself be pushed around”
You override your need for relaxation , you ‘park’ it in some corner and lock it away. Because this is not convenient right now…. This is how emotional pain is created.
In this example, it is rather simple to later on check for yourself why you are still having a back ache or pain in your neck. It is not so easy, however, to liberate the emotional pain that has its roots in your childhood or in past lives. Just as with the example above, you have not only locked it away but with the help of your mental cleverness you have constructed a firm ego around this pain. This can vary from a hero-personality – “I am always capable of handling anything” – to a victim personality - “this is always happening to me” . The smarter you are on a mental level, the better you know how to cover up emotional pain with a range of ego characteristics. So smart, that one day you have forgotten that you were just hiding pain, and that you really think that this is the person you are.
But this emotional pain stays active ‘under the surface’, from the corner where you had hidden it so carefully, because this pain is part of your life energy. It wants to join in but from this position it starts to act like a saboteur. Regularly this pain knocks on its prison door to be liberated. Life wants to flow, because that is it’s nature
What to do about it? Go back to your feeling. Let the language of your body speak. Emotional pain gets stuck in the body and the body never lies. Find a safe surrounding where you will not be disturbed – where your ego does not have to ‘perform’ – and go with your attention into your body as deep as you can and feel where the pain is located. Right, that is not a pleasant thing to do at first, but if you concentrate on breathing quietly and just observe this pain – without judging it, without fighting it, or even wanting it to go away – such a block can dissolve. You acknowledge what is there and acknowledgement is love. Love heals. It is miraculously simple.
Furthermore, use your emotions to learn. OK , something is happening which you had not counted on. You’re angry, disappointed or anxious, there is this lack of understanding , you are wondering ‘how this could happen’.
Investigate the assumptions and convictions you were taking with you into this particular situation. Apparently, there was something you did not know, otherwise there could not be a lack of understanding. Investigate, whatever it is. Then decide on the basis of your feeling whether this situation fits in with your inner truth.
Be honest with yourself. Your emotional ups & downs clarify where your ego is standing in the way of your happiness. The result of your honesty might be that an ego , carefully constructed over many years, now has to bite the dust… However, the life energy regained this way, is a tremendous compensation.
And, if life at a certain point in time is not giving you what you expected, evaluate calmly and closely in the here-and-now what it has brought you,
Ans Carels , april 2005