Ugh! I don’t want to feel anymore. I think I may want to go through the rest of my life not feeling any emotions. Become more like some of the people I know who just ignore how they feel, push it down and ignore it. Is that an easier way to live? Perhaps, but then I am not sure that is my definition of living if you choose to ignore what you feel.
We all know people (or maybe are people) who ignore their emotions, especially deep emotions. They experience some happiness, and think life is supposed to be this hard, you aren’t supposed to have that much happiness. They ignore the root cause of the perceived difficult emotions, such as sadness, anger, frustration, guilt. When they feel these, they quickly rationalize the feeling away or stuff it down under shopping, food, alcohol, busyness, etc. Whatever can fill up the void and take our attention and energy away from the negative feelings is what many look for, instead of addressing the reason for the painful emotion.
We all probably know people who just really aren’t happy. Sure there are things in life that make them happy, their partner, their work, their children or grandchildren, all things and people who they rely on for their happiness. There is a line of thinking that says nothing or nobody can really make you happy. You have to choose to be happy. That takes work.
Our brains have what neuroscientists call, negativity bias. We have deep groves or neuropathways in our brains that go back to neanderthal days, that are focused on fight or flight. Our ancestors weren’t interested in the beautiful sunsets that they could say, they were concerned about danger. So our brains, as they have evolved, haven’t completely rid themselves of the reptilian brain. That brain has a lot of fear in it and so as our ego takes hold it spins stories for us. These stories are generally negative due to the natural evolution of our brain. It is up to each of us to rewire our brain to not live in that fear, to not have a negative bias.
I have some friends who absolutely live by this negative bias, thinking it always prepares them for the worst and that is just what life is about. I probably once thought that until I started working to rewire my brain. Now that negative bias is less pronounced for me, I have been changing that automatic story more and more. My biggest change was no longer being the victim at someone else’s hands. I know longer look at anything that doesn’t go the way I wished in terms of “woe is me,” or “why me?” I know longer think I am not worth it or I am not good enough. That has taken a lot of work to get to this point, and that doesn’t mean I don’t fall into the trap of my mind from time to time, but it isn’t my default anymore.
How did I move from this negative brain to one that is more positive? It took time, and work. I had to rewire my brain . In order to rewire, I had to start with “I don’t want to feel this way anymore.” And I always thought there must be a better way of feeling and being. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like all of me, but I did know that growth was necessary to be happier. Now many people I know will probably never take the time to rewire themselves because they don’t think there is anything wrong with where they are or they don’t think they need to change. I do hear often, this is the way I am. I would challenge that, everyone evolves, that’s what life is about. We should be evolving, I thank God I am not the same person I wasn’t in my twenties. Learning, incorporating new ways of being to evolve and become more and more enlightened is what I think life is about.
If we want to feel the positive emotions such as gratitude, joy, happiness, love, positivity, then we need to feel the negative ones as well. Without those we have no gauge on the totality of what is happening around us. Without both the positive and negative emotions, we are not truly living life. That doesn’t mean we have to act out on each emotion, but we cannot numb ourselves, or ignore them. We must feel things in order to heal things. Once they are out, we can examine what caused us to feel this in a certain way, and we can heal the root cause.
Choosing to feel your emotions is a lot of work, and in the aftermath of the messiness of healing, we see life differently. We alter our view and are lighter. We vibrate at a higher level of energy when that dense energy leaves us. I remember lying in the fetal position for almost 48 hours when I was finally allowing myself to feel the hurt, and the pain of losing my mom almost 3 years ago. After allowing all of that pain to come to the surface, I was able to deal with it, and focus on healing and moving forward. That doesn’t change the overall root cause which was loss, but certainly helped me to move through it.
Feel the negative emotions, no matter what they are and why they are there and then learn from them. Change your view of it. Choose to be happy, choose to heal. The other side of all of those emotions brings happiness and lightness.
Feel it to heal it.