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The Fear of FeelingBy Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
December 31, 2006
We desire to find the path to inner peace, joy and freedom. We strive to feel lovable, worthy and secure. We know that if we do our Inner Bonding work and open to our spiritual connection, we will feel all of that. Yet we often resist doing our inner work. This article discusses the feelings we are afraid to feel, because we are not sure we can manage them, so we turn to our addictions instead of turning to our spiritual guidance.
We desire to find the path to peace, joy and freedom. We strive to feel lovable, worthy and secure. We know that if we do our Inner Bonding work and open to our connection with Spirit, we will feel all of that. Yet we don't. We put off dialoguing for days or weeks. We stay stuck in our misery or numbness. Why? What are we so afraid of if we open to learning about loving?
I have searched for many years for the answer to this question. Over and over I would find myself out of grace and joy and into anxiety and stress. Each time it was because I failed to take care of myself in some way.
The problem is that all feelings are in the same place in the heart. Pain is in the same place as joy. We cannot be putting a lid on pain without putting a lid on joy as well.
What is the pain we are striving so hard to avoid feeling? Most people feel a lot of pain. We feel anxious, frightened, depressed, hurt. Since we are often in pain, it doesn't seem to make sense that we are, at the same time as we are feeling all this pain, also avoiding pain. Yet that is exactly what we are doing.
As unhappy as we may be feeling, we are avoiding pain that we believe is even greater than the pain we are feeling.
I have discovered that there are four feelings which most people want to avoid at all cost: aloneness, loneliness, heartbreak and helplessness over others and outcomes.
Aloneness is what we feel inside when we are disconnected from God. Loneliness is what we feel when we cannot connect with another, either because our heart is closed, their heart is closed, or both of our hearts are closed. Helplessness is what we would feel if, when we want to connect with another and his or her heart is closed, we accept that there is nothing we can do to make them open their heart.
When we were babies and small children, we could not allow ourselves to feel these feelings. We could not have handled them and may have died of despair. So we learned many protections to avoid feeling these feelings.
The problem is that we still think we will die if we feel these feelings, so we are still avoiding them. We avoid connecting with God for fear God will not be there and we will feel alone. We get angry, withdraw, eat, drink, take drugs, watch TV, get busy, overwork and and indulge in many other addictions to avoid feeling the pain of our loneliness and helplessness.
Yet loneliness in our society is unavoidable. So many people spend their lives with their hearts closed to avoid their pain that it is impossible not to be around people whose hearts are closed some of the time. If we choose to avoid feeling our loneliness and helplessness, then we too will close our heart. However, when we close our heart we close down the joy too. Then we are stuck with the anxiety, fear, depression and hurt that is endemic in our society.
You will not die if you open to feeling your loneliness, heartbreak and helplessness. These feelings are quite tolerable if you hold your lonely or heartbroken inner child while bringing through love from God, for then you are not alone in your loneliness. The willingness to feel the pain of loneliness, heartbreak and helplessness opens the door to joy, peace and freedom. The more you open to God in your loneliness, the more you are able to embrace the privilege of this sacred journey of evolving your soul. There is great joy in the journey, even when there is loneliness and heartbreak!
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