Sitting with feelings appears to be a challenging exercise for humans to do.
What’s the point? The first thing is to notice when you have them. To notice – a more neutral word to describe a gentle observation. Sounds simple. But remarkable how good we are at noticing what we feel are positive feelings: but the more negative feelings are tricky.
It is a big leap to notice and feel the negative feelings. More helpful is to notice how we don’t notice! What happens when we feel pain or discomfort around feelings? Do we ignore them. Push them down. Compensate by eating, consumption or exercise. Nothing wrong with these tactics until they don’t work.
By noticing of course we start to feel. To sit with discomfort and pain begins slowly to become easier. Until the pain and discomfort become part of the lexicon of feelings we have.
What’s the point? Imagine you have a bereavement. You deny or push away any association with the bereavement. But at times the feelings burst through. Then you push them away again. The bereavement is split off, waiting for a convenient hijack. Or all the other feelings are denied or pushed away: creating a general depression.
To make friends with our painful feelings means that we can switch on our emotional compass to guide us through the tumult of life. We have the facts of our lives, the story. But also if we notice – there is an emotional seam telling us what we like and what hurts us. Like when the body hurts it is keeping us safe. The same with feelings.
Sitting with Feelings
Copyright Adrian Scott
North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique