When my children were babies, I remember watching their feelings take over their bodies. Delight, bliss, exhaustion, fury would just wash over my child.
Sometimes I felt a little envious of how flowing and free the process seemed. Babies do no tempering. They don’t need to rationalize or even express what they feel in a way that makes sense to others.
Recently, I had a couple of experiences like a baby’s. Frustration and resentment just flowed freely through me. I couldn’t summon the energy to temper or rationalize or make sense of it for anyone else.
I have also been supporting clients with big feelings that are pushing at the layers of civility and threatening to seep through the cracks until the pressure builds to a breaking point.
That can feel pretty scary.
Dealing with scary
Often, we just want to push everything down further. Get a handle on things. Use our inside voices and keep emotion out of them as we explain what we need.
But we’ve already been doing that. For too long, for years, maybe centuries. It doesn’t do the job.
One of the first lines of defense I recommend against the biggest, scariest feelings (as you may guess) is Tapping. But here’s the thing: we want to tap away all the big, scary feelings, to release them from our body, to be free of them. It doesn’t fully work.
Tapping buys us some breathing room, it doesn’t clear the feelings entirely.
Why we need big feelings
And that is because those big, scary feelings have a purpose, they have needs to fulfill. They can’t go away until they do.
So…after tapping, in my most recent case: “Even though I have all this uncontrollable frustration and resentment in my body,” I did cycles and cycles of just how that feels and all that is making me feel that way. I tried tapping a cycle about letting those feelings go and realized they weren’t going to be fully released. That required Tapping in something else.
I tapped about recognizing the function of those scary feelings. Seeing how they forced me to deal with things I have been unwilling to deal with, or that I have felt unable to fully address.
I tapped in my gratitude for all the power those feelings provide me.
I tapped in gratitude for the ferocity they grant me, that gives me courage I wouldn’t otherwise access.
I tapped in permission to live with the feelings. To get to know them. To learn from them. To let them guide me.
And the good news (it’s also what my clients report) is that the feelings do recede enough for us to function. But they still give us the impetus to follow up with whatever changes need to be made in our lives. And if we start to forget to do the work they require, then they just show up again, with more force and fury.
Because without them, we’d still be where we started out!
I invite you to take the time that we carve here together through this missive, and still your body. Still your thoughts, your energy. Let everything quiet down around you and within.
Ask yourself what emotions have been swirling around unattended, unacknowledged. Know that it is safe to recognize them. Letting yourself become aware of them does not mean you are turning them loose.
On the contrary, now is your chance to ask what they are there for. Ask what they need from you. Ask what you haven’t known about yourself, that they can show you.
Perhaps, if you are open and willing, you will learn from them. Maybe they will show you something that you can do for yourself, for the world, that can, in turn, allow them to flow through, without staying and growing out of proportion.
Or maybe, they will show you that you are doing right by your Self, and thereby renew afresh peace and well-being within you.
Of course, if the feelings are intense and scary, as I described earlier, you can follow the outline of the script I offered. Or call me for further support.
I look forward to hearing about your experience with this! Please share some of your insights with me.