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Shift Happens When You Least Expect It!

By Merry Oislander
April 19, 2011

Merry shares a major shift regarding being able to feel her core feelings and take full responsibility for them.

It’s another beautiful Sunday afternoon where I sit in nature reading more of “Love For No Reason.”  Today’s passage was about feeling feelings, which is Step 1 of Inner Bonding.  I identified with the 3 ways that Marci Shimoff writes about our avoidance of feelings, which are:  “The Watercooler Approach:  Where you endlessly rehash the story of what happened, whose fault it was, and why your are suffering, or The Spiritual Bypass:  Where you jump straight to the moral or higher lesson in the situation without acknowledging there’s some raw emotion alive and kicking underneath, or The Numb Out: By contracting physically away from the pain or engage in behaviors that distract you from your pain like eating, drinking, gambling shopping or sex.” (Love For No Reason) I start thinking of Step 1 of Inner Bonding more, “open to what you are feeling and be willing to take responsibility for what it is you are doing or saying that is creating the feeling.”  This is something that I have struggled with for much of my life let alone my Inner Bonding journey.  I have uncovered many false beliefs about why I didn’t want to take responsibility, such as, the feelings being to overwhelming that I would die or it would feel so much better if someone else would do it, but as I continued on this IB journey I knew on an inner level those really were false beliefs.  I would continue to work so hard at it only to hear in another therapy session, “I don’t hear a loving adult present right now.  I’m wondering why you don’t want to take responsibility for your feelings?”  I swear those words were going to be the death of me and for those of you who have witnessed this at intensives I hope it brings a smile to your face!  As I sit here this afternoon reflecting I now realize those are the exact words that have literally saved my life!

So often my clients ask me “what does it really mean to feel my feelings?”  I believe this is a very valid question, as I know it was for me.  For so many years I heard from so many different traditions, “ do it with love and compassion” and I think I confused that with indulgence.  That’s why I believed they were overwhelming, because I would just drown in them, put myself to bed with them or act out with them in some addictive way.  It wasn’t until recently that I realized that pretty much any feeling I was having was some kind of protective feeling against the 3 major core feelings of heartache, loneliness or helplessness.  As I read today, there was a passage that suggested visualizing ones self in the shower with the water pouring down over you and then bring in the feeling.  I immediately tried this as I notice when I shower in real life my guidance speaks to me so clearly, and in an instant I was in touch with the grief I was feeling because of my deceased Moms birthday coming up this week.  As quickly as the tears started to flow and I felt the heartache and did an Inner Bonding process, was as quickly as the feelings passed.  It was such an amazing experience.  The pain in my shoulders disappeared as well as the headache that I had and it took all of less than a few minutes.  It was the 3rd experience I have had like this in the past week.  The other two happened during a recent trip I just took with 2 of my dearest friends.  In the past the challenges that ensued during the trip would have driven me crazy and would have activated major controlling behaviors on my part.  Instead the experience I had with them this time was quite unique for me as well as enlightening.  There were a few situations that happened, that in the moment I was able to feel the loneliness of the disconnection I was feeling and feel it to the depth of my core all in an instant. Instead of closing to it with anger and other protective measures I let it deeply into my body. It was such a profoundly deep experience and as quickly as I felt it, it then dissipated and I felt such a wave of relief.  Another time during the trip when I took a moment to take a walk by myself  I was once again feeling the same loneliness. In that moment I let the loneliness come through my body and heard my guidance say “it’s ok to accept my friends for who they are and who they will always be and to bring love and compassion towards them as well as myself instead of constantly trying to change them with my controlling behaviors.”  It was one of the biggest AHA moments I have had in my entire life, which is what has compelled me to write about it.
I now realize this all happened because I was willing to feel the feelings to the depths of my core in the instant it was happening and then learned that I didn’t die nor was I overwhelmed.  It has been what I have been working so hard towards, and in an instant, in a moment of grace I allowed it to happen and truly felt what it was like to feel it in my body.  It was probably one of the first times I consciously took responsibility for my feelings and this experience has given me the visceral experience to be able to do it again and again.

Now you might be wondering why I am sharing all this with you.  There have been a few times in my life where I have noticed that shifts happen when I least expect them.  I work so hard at things only to learn that that really is my wounded self trying to control how to do the process right so I can then get the love and approval I am seeking from others instead of myself.  However, the big shifts happen when I least expect it - when I’m absolutely doing nothing but being an open vessel for my Guidance to come through and loving my little girl and myself unconditionally.
So for all of you who are trying so hard to get it right and wondering when it will happen all I can say from my own experience is:  Shift Happens When We Least Expect It!  So keep on keeping on because when it happens it is really worth it!!!


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