We spend much of our lives detached from and unaware of anything that is happening in our body below our necks. We observe our bodies and judge them for not looking the right way and we complain when we are in physical pain. Beyond that we do not really embody our own bodies.
I believe that we are constantly being sent messages from our soul to guide us in life. Those energetic messages are communicated through the heart and felt in the body. All of those subtle messages show up as feelings that you can interpret to gain wisdom and direction in life.
Our society really teaches us to stifle our emotions and we do not have a language that is rich enough in emotional dialogue. As long as we grasp for good emotions and resist negative ones, we will be judging the wisdom of our soul. As long as we stifle emotions and refuse to feel them, much less talk about them, we will miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow. As long as we stand separate from our body and emotions, we will not know and understand the richness of emotional experience.
Emotions are a bit like colors. You can only feel one emotion at a time. Sad and happy cannot coexist in the moment just as a drop of paint can only be one color. Though they cannot coexist, they can change rapidly. When you are detached from your body and your feelings your emotional awareness is stunted and you will only see in black and white. If it is black, it is bad and to be avoided. If it is white, it is good and should be sought after. When we live in this reality we miss the emotional richness of all the colors in the rainbow. We will also never be content because good and bad emotions continually flow through us. We cannot stop the bad nor keep the good.
When you can sink into your body and really sit with your emotions, you start to see not only colors but also the hues of emotion. If sadness is the color blue there are many shades – navy blue, royal blue, sky blue, baby blue. These are all in the same blue family but very different. We have common labels for these shades of blue so if I were to say that I am experiencing one of them, you would know what that means. We have different hues of emotion as well but we are not adept at really identifying exactly what shade of emotion we are feeling in the moment. We sometimes do not even see how emotions relate to one another.
For example, with the family of sadness you may actually feel: bored, depressed, disappointed, discouraged, disheartened, despairing, exhausted, grief-stricken, helpless, hopeless, hurt, lonely, melancholic, sad, tired, or troubled. Really feeling, understanding, naming, and communicating the specific feeling that you have will help you to learn from it, embrace it in the moment, and allow it to float away again as it is replaced with another hue or another color.
Just as there are different hues there are also different vibrancy or intensity. For example, a sky blue tile may be much more vibrant and intense then a sky blue piece of chalk. Within all of those hues there are levels of intensity. This is where our language really stifles our ability to communicate. We do not have enough words to describe all of the expressions of a feeling. We know that grief can be a heart stabbing grief with a bit of distraught, anger, loneliness, confusion, and shock thrown in for good measure. There is no word for that. Grief can also be that dull throbbing heart ache with a touch of depression, longing, exhaustion, and hope swirled in. Again, there is no word for that. Just as the Eskimos have created different words for snow that specifically relate to the quality of the snow, we need more feeling words in our language.
It is up to you to sit with your feelings and listen to them so that you can feel the hue, intensity, vibrancy, and contributing feelings. You also must feel, in your body, what is happening in order to know how your belief systems are affecting and affected by your feelings. If you do not hear and honor the message it won’t go away. In fact, it will become louder and louder until you can fully accept it and release its grip on you. Are you willing to embody your own body and feel your feelings? Understanding and peace are on the other side.