Healing Feelings
By Jon Terrell, M.A.

When we feel stuck it can be excruciating. It can often feel like we’re going to be stuck in those feelings forever.

And we can be caught in these uncomfortable feelings for quite a while. It may be anger, or grief, or anxiety, or some other emotion. We feel bad and don’t know how to feel better.

Have you ever felt that way? How do you deal with these situations? And most importantly, what can you do to prevent being stuck in these feeling-states?

What are the keys to healing feelings?

How We Deal With Uncomfortable Feelings
Common Strategies That Don't Work

  • We can blame the bad feelings on another (“What she/he did to me”) or on ourselves (“What is wrong with me”). These are remarkably popular strategies but they usually don’t help us feel any better. In fact, they compound the problem by adding a mental layer of judgement over it.
  • We can try to get out of the uncomfortable feelings by distracting ourselves. We live in a culture of distractions. We run away from the uncomfortable feelings in our body. We distract ourselves with food, entertainment, work, play, and consumerism...buying temporary pleasure. My meditation teacher called this "whipped cream on the garbage." Or we try to spend our way out of the difficult emotions with new gadgets or clothing or whatever. And in doing so we can become even less aware of our body and the present moment.

Until we dig down into the parts of us that are hurting and feel our feelings we will just need more and more and bigger and bigger distractions.

  • We can try to avoid feelings by numbing ourselves out...with alcohol, drugs, television, internet. This strategy can destroy our life and our relationships.
  • We can even try to avoid or “rise above” our feelings with positive practices such as yoga, meditation, massage and other healing modalities. This strategy can work for awhile...but we eventually end up back where we started unless we seriously work our practice. And that often means feeling our feelings, getting passed the whipped cream and into the uncomfortable emotions.
  • We can try talk therapy. Talking about feelings can help, and the various healing practices can help, of course.

But what really needs to happen is for us to give time and space to the suppressed feelings we’ve learned to avoid. To face into the discomfort we’ve buried is the key to healing feelings.

By bringing these feelings to our attention, into our awareness we  begin to honor  and accept them, so they can evolve and we can grow and heal. That's the first step.

Then, we work them through. This builds our EQ, our Emotional Intelligence, the wisdom of our hearts.

All the uncomfortable feelings are actually just stuck love. Guilt, shame, anger, grief, fear, jealousy, envy...all of them. I know this to be true because I see the transformation at every emotional healing retreat.

And each time it is a miracle. Grief becomes joy, anger becomes passion, fear becomes excitement. What has caused us so much pain becomes the source of growth, awakening and healing.

Feeling, Healing, Dealing
What keeps us stuck is stuck feelings. Feeling them heals us. This idea goes against so much of what we’ve been conditioned, by society, parents, teachers, to accept. We’ve been taught to hide our feelings by phrases we've heard like:
children should be seen and not heard
don’t cry, or don’t be a cry baby
don't be afraid
don't be a scared-e-cat
only sissies are afraid
don’t be angry

Each of these sayings trick us into denying our feelings, denying parts of ourselves. Denying and suppressing cuts off our life force...it goes "underground" and can fester and darken.

To be whole we need to reclaim who we are. At Shalom Mountain Retreat Center we say “All of you is welcome.” As you welcome back all of you into the present moment you awaken, you heal, you reclaim your power and your freedom. The background thoughts, judgements and negativity disappear.

You come home, to your heart, to your body, to the only place that is, which is now.

This is what our Emotional Healing Retreats are all about.

The next step is to step back into your life and change behaviors, the old habit patterns based on the old you.

After we've transformed our fears, done our grieving and changed anger into passion and aliveness, we come back to ourselves and are free to live our lives, unburdened. But as we come back to our life situation, the old story and conditioning may reappear, trying to lure us back into old habit patterns.

By "Dealing" I mean grounding what we've learned, creating a new story for our lives. Sometimes several retreats are needed, and sometimes counseling is helpful to help us in this part of the journey. It's easy to forget the wonders of our freedom and slip back into the hypnotic trance of being less than we truly are, less alive and free.

If you would like to know more about this work, take a look at our retreats page or another link just below.  And if you's like to ask me a question about healing feelings just use the form below that.

Go From Healing Feelings To Grief, Loss And Other Difficult Emotions Retreat

Go To Breaking Free From The Old Story Retreat

Go To Grief Page

Go To Anger Page

Go To Home Page

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