When a challenging feeling arises in me, when I get triggered by an infuriating person or situation, the powerful explosion of feelings is an opportunity to discharge some pain I’ve been carrying around, probably for years, but only if I can resist taking the escape route of blaming the person or thing that triggered me.
Each of our body/mind/emotion systems is genius. It somehow finds a way to set up the perfect stimuli to trigger the volcanic discharge of whatever pain or old wound that it needs to vent that day. I believe all these challenging instances are set up to give us opportunities to wake up and feel more of ourselves, often raw and sensitive like blood returning to a sleeping limb. These endless challenges are not to ‘get in our way’ but to speed us along by efficiently triggering and discharging old pain that’s been dragging us back, and thereby reclaiming as much space and aliveness as can be accessed in this human life.
We are in a constant state of efficient healing. The body is designed that way. It doesn’t know what else to do.
But in order for my system to carry out its innately genius catharsis, I need to participate by choosing to fully feel the feelings that arise rather than run away from the often uncomfortable surging sensations. Only if I can keep my attention on these feelings as they are fully felt, every nuance and shade and wave of them, become a connoisseur of that whole realm of sensations without moving to hide them or skip them or resist them, then the body can release a chunk of old pain and leave space for creativity and life to rush in.
It’s far easier to blame and complain at these times and frame the whole episode as ‘unjust’. It takes courage and repeated leaps of faith to dare to let the tough sensations do their liberating work without escape strategies.
If we made it common practice to fully feel our feelings in the moment that they arose, then there would be little or no need for physical disease on this planet.
‘I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or
have become shrivelled and closed from fear of future pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.’
Oriah Mountain Dreamer