Are You Hiding?By Dr. Margaret Paul
December 31, 2012
Do you hide from your feelings when you are challenged by life? Or do you allow your feelings to overwhelm you? You CAN learn to manage them and learn from them.
"The art of living lies not in eliminating but in growing with troubles." ~ Bernard M. Baruch
"How can I get this pain to go away?"
This is often what clients who seek my help ask me in a first session. Because they have never learned to manage and learn from their pain, they want to avoid it, eliminate it – find a way to hide from it.
The problem is that they have been unsuccessfully hiding from their pain for years by abandoning themselves – by staying focused in their head rather than their body, hoping that if they avoid feeling their feelings, the feelings will go away. They have been judging their feelings and turning to various addictions for the same reason.
When trouble comes, which it inevitably does, they intensify their avoidance of their feelings.
What they haven’t realized is that the very act of avoiding feelings with their various forms of self-abandonment creates the pain they are trying so hard to avoid. By trying to hide from their feelings – their inner child – they’ve been causing their inner child to feel the anxiety, depression, shame and anger that result from self-abandonment. Then they’ve tried to hide from knowing that they were the ones creating these feelings with more self-abandonment. This hiding inevitably results in more troubles, such as failed relationships or illness.
They have not learned to grow with their troubles.
Growing With Troubles
As a child, I was not taught that my feelings were informational. My feelings were a bother to my parents, so I learned well how to hide them – both from myself and from them. But hidden feelings are like a festering wound that is not being attended to, and keeps getting worse and worse. The day came when I could no longer hide from my feelings because they were making me sick.
Even though I had had years and years of different kinds of therapy, I had never learned how to manage and learn from my feelings. This did not occur until I started to practice Inner Bonding. Through my practice, I discovered that all my feelings were trying to tell me something important – which was very interesting and exciting to me.
It the beginning of my Inner Bonding practice, I focused on my wounded feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame and anger. I was more than ready to deal with these feelings, and when I realized that I was the one causing them, I was thrilled. If I was causing them, then I could do something about them, which I did through my Inner Bonding practice.
At that time, I wanted to believe that I caused all of my feelings, because that gave me a feeling of control. However, with time, I realized there were other feelings - which I now call core feelings - that are the result of life.
As I began to open to my deeper core feelings of loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief, sorrow, and feelings of being crushed and shattered, I realized that all my hiding – which created my wounded feelings – was aimed at avoiding these core feelings that I had never learned how to manage.
Once I understood this, I was able to bring compassion – kindness, gentleness, tenderness and understanding – to my painful core feelings, and to learn what they were telling me about a person or situation. I realized that my wounded feelings were telling me about how I was treating myself, and my core feelings were telling me about how others were treating me and about what was happening in different situations.
It's my strong and ongoing connection with Spirit that now allows me to compassionately embrace all my feelings and learn from them. Coming out of hiding regarding my painful core feelings has led to the almost 100% healing of my wounded feelings. What a relief!
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Truth, love, peace and joy are all words that describe - and are synonymous with - God. To be in love, peace and joy, we need to be in truth - accepting the reality of who we really are and what we can or can't control. Today, focus on opening to learning about Truth.
By Dr. Margaret Paul