Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.
– Serenity Prayer
Can you give yourself permission to feel whatever is coming up for you, as it comes up?
As children, most of us were not taught how to express our emotions and feelings. We also view feelings as positive or negative so instead of acknowledging or accepting certain emotions we reject, deflect or project our feelings onto others.
We learned behaviours and habits to ensure we rejected, projected or deflected our attention away from what was surfacing within with deeper messages of understanding or connection. This can be seen in some of the roles we acquired to help us on our journey – the joker, the mother, the achiever, the perfectionist, the good girl or boy, the lonely child or the rebel, along with patterns and habits to maintain these reactions to our experiences.
This is not an open invitation or expectation to place blame on your parents or caregivers or to feel guilty or resentful about the patterns you chose. They are a defining aspect of your overall blueprint and journey in this life.
In Maya Angelou’s words; When you know better you do better.
As adults we can mindfully and intentionally navigate through our emotions more consciously and responsibly. We can have the courage and the wisdom to know what we can change and what we can’t. We can take ownership of our emotions and not be scared of them as we were as children because as adults, we see them for what they are, important signals from within.
Emotions make our connections conscious and bring meaning to our actions and relationships. Emotions are the language of the soul – learn that language and you become a conscious participant in your life.
Our discernment is our wisdom within. When we remember we can use our discernment in each moment, we reclaim responsibility and ownership of our lives. We have all this information from the external world and wisdom from within to discern in any one moment what we need more or less of. Discernment brings us back to that neutral space within where we can respond and connect from a place of intention, integrity, clarity and compassion.
Sometimes we need to go deep in, do the work and get to the root of the issue that is arising. Other times (most of the time) we need to allow it to be and be with it as the Love Warrior does. Glennon Doyle speaks about the Love Warrior as the intentional warrior who sits with the pain, emotion or discomfort each day for a few moments. The strength of the love warrior within is seen in our ability to sit with ‘it’ for a few moments more than yesterday. This is a practice of accepting of what is, in the moment, being fully present with the emotion. Not feeling overcome with the desire or intent to fix or heal or get rid of what is showing up in that moment.
Can you allow yourself to observe rather than absorb?
Instead of rejecting and deflecting with “doing” or projecting emotions onto others, give yourself a moment to let it be held in your heart and flow without restriction or barriers.
Emotions are like waves the more we disrupt their flow, the harder they will crash upon us. If you find yourself consumed or overwhelmed by a situation, thought or emotion, stop for a few moments and connect with your breath and say the following.
With love in my heart, I am willing to accept and embrace this feeling of …. I know I don’t have to fix, change, release, work out, heal anything right now. Right now, all I have to do is hold it in a non-judgemental and loving space in my heart. Just as I would do for a loved one. I give myself permission to feel it completely and hold it tenderly. It is OK to feel … I am safe, I am loved and this too shall pass.
The deeper-rooted emotional baggage we carry sometimes requires some further attention and compassion. This is because we are more deeply attached to the emotion, experience, storyline. Our intention is just as powerful here too, more so than our attachments and chords that bind us to fear and pain. It is a practice and so it requires continuous awareness, intention and connection with ourselves.
If you would like to go deeper into this work – get in touch for a 121 session.
Photo credit – Marcos Paulo Prado