There has been a lot of discussion as of late on emotional sobriety. Two powerful words when just on their own, and yet when we put them together it is like a blow to the mind.
Emotions are a constant divide for most. We are as a society walking through this life often drinking, eating, or running away from our emotions.
To sit with feelings is trauma for many.
To experience one’s feelings can be the significant difference between living in the present and fading away into the past.
We do not want to live in self-negativity, but it is easier at times than accepting the positive. To exist in the positive is to always risk pain. If you live in the pain, one is already moving through the dark and not constantly being re-traumatized over and over.
When we acknowledge the emotions, we acknowledge that we have some sort of responsibility to feel, to embrace, to challenge, to work through them. It is often suggested that if we are to deal with emotions head on then we are less likely to be overwhelmed by them in any steady way. We learn to face them as they come to us.
How often do we qualify our emotions with the quality of the specific feeling? A feeling is good or bad. What about looking at the ability to feel one’s feelings? That is an incredible task and step.
It can often feel like emotional pain can destroy our inner peace, but truth be told, running from those emotions is what will indeed take a person’s life. If they continue to do whatever they can to cover up their emotions, they are in a never-ending cycle of inner emotional war.
What is the fear in allowing yourself to feel?
What is the real truth in giving yourself permission to heal?
I have spent my life carrying my trauma, holding my emotions, and walking the journey with these on my back thinking they were mine and mine alone. But truth be told that with each step I was a mirror to others.
Recently, I have noticed that my emotions have been at the forefront of my days. I believe there are many factors from walking through recent grief, the stress of parenting two teenagers alone, to the realities of life changing before me as I age. As I sit writing I have had tears falling down my cheeks more than once. I know where they are being released from within. The beauty is that I do not stop myself from feeling them in the moment that they are coming.
There was a time that any type of emotion terrified me to my core. I did not understand where my emotions came from. I was afraid of the story that was within me trying to be released through my emotions. I learned early on to stop that process of expression and to cover up my emotional existence with substance, to exercise, to starvation, to self-harm. I lost years of my life in this pattern.
Today, I walk through my emotions with the tools I learned and practiced breathing through each and every feeling that comes to me. I accept that they are coming into my existence for purpose and reason. If I am unable to be in the moment of that particular emotion I acknowledge it, thank it for coming to me and ask it to leave for this moment. I promise to revisit it when the time is right for me.
By doing this I do not allow it to overwhelm me. This is a new pattern for me. I trust that I am still doing the work. I am now doing the work at the pace that my emotional capacity allows for me. I recognize that the only way to heal and understand my emotions is going through them.
I am directly acknowledging my suffering. I am giving myself permission to feel in my own space and time. This is new for me. This is freedom.
My pain has meaning.
My grief is valid.
My emotions serve a purpose.
My emotions serve me.
When I discovered this new way of looking at my pain, I was set free.
The voice that lived in my head since I was a child that told me I was weak to cry; the voice that told that little girl it was selfish to express her feelings was now being embraced by the power of my own voice.
This is inner work.
When we begin to do this work, we silence the inner critic that tells us different.
Why do we need to do this? Emotional sobriety.
When we become emotionally sober, we can walk the path to healing, wholeness, and inner peace.
How do you feel your emotions?
There is no right or wrong way, but there are ways that can help you walk through them feeling empowered. I am so grateful for my many teachers and many lessons that I have learned on my healing journey. When it comes to these intense moments when my trauma comes at me faster than I can breathe, I needed a tool to bring safety and comfort.
I scoffed at the simplicity of the tool offered and ate those actions when I found it to be my guide in trauma. As the nights sky darkens this is the worst time of day for me when my emotions and traumas can take over me trying to take away my balance and power. When I feel all the tension in my body begin to rise, there are basic steps I take to immediately slow my breathing down, calm my racing heart. It is about repetition. It is about human touch. I place my hand over my heart and my stomach skin to skin, and I breathe. I repeat a short mantra that I chose in that moment and remind myself that this is going to pass. The echo of my music repeats and firmly holds me. My mantra radiates through my soul and my memory of empowerment reminds me; I am ok. I tell my trauma that I will return when I feel safe. I walk away. I take back the night from the trauma and the emotional intensity that can drown me when I am not paying close attention.
Are you paying attention? How are you weathering your storms?
I am not saying that it is easy to feel our emotions.
I am not saying that it is easy to heal our emotions.
I am not saying that it is easy to walk through our emotions.
I still feel lost sometimes.
I still feel alone sometimes.
I still feel at times there is no greater meaning to my pain. But I have seen the light on the other side when I have succeeded in staying sober in my emotions, I know there is balance and peace.
So, I do not give up. When I am living my truth, I am whole. When I am whole, I find the peace that escaped me for most of my life. My essential truth is my conscious awakening to self. I have given myself permission to exist.
I am doing my best. Are you?
I am healing in the exactly right pace for me. Are you?
I am doing my work. Are you?
Your emotions serve a purpose, they serve you.
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.