Do you allow yourself to feel?
Monday, March 5, 2012
We hosted a workshop this weekend of business professionals, who are part of a High Performance 6-Month Program. Men and women came together to dig deeper into the recesses of their hearts and souls to remove blocks that have been stopping them from reaching their full potential. This program invites people to be vulnerable to their feelings and to experience an intimacy with self and others that goes far beyond sexual intimacy. It is more about how you view yourself and how transparent you want to become. Too often people do not truly feel very good about themselves usually due to past trauma or rejection. As a result, they hid their true essence from others out of fear. Fear to be hurt again, fear to be found out and rejected and fear that they are the only one's who have ever had that experience and they are ashamed.
The topic of feelings is a tough subject to discuss because most people don't like to let their feelings show. I believe that that is part of our culture. For whatever reason, boys were taught that it is a sign of weakness so don't cry; and girls were told to stop being a crybaby. So by the time we reach adulthood, we have hidden our feelings and emotions in such a deep cave where it is dark that we have no idea how to climb back into the cave and examine the markings that have been pushed aside. Betty is a perfect example of that. She doesn't like to be hugged or to express emotion. Can it be because of her childhood or is it a story that has been building over the decades due to her life circumstances? I will never know that answer because she has blocked it out so strongly that it is lost forever.
My first reaction is how sad! I am a touchy-feeling person who expresses her feelings and is willing to use her story to help others heal. There are actually only so many scenarios to go around in the world, so why do so many people believe that they are unique and they are the only one's that hurt? In truth, life cannot be a passive journey if it is to be successful. We, as humans thrive on interconnectedness; feeling connected is what helps us sustain a happy and healthy life. The opposite, which is loneliness, can cause negative feelings and behavior that can be destructive. It is through our connection with other people that we can experience our greatest joy yet we too often tend to mask our feelings because we do not want to be vulnerable to all the what if's that you might encounter. Isolation breeds depression and depression cultivates sickness and dis-ease within the mind, body and spirit.
Betty was isolated. She was simply lying in bed waiting to die because she boxed herself in and either refused or didn't know how to get out of it. When I started to really get involved in her life, she was half dead, physically and mentally wasting away to nothing. I realized that I could not let that happen. I saw first hand how our interconnectedness revitalized her. She felt better, ate more, got physical exercise and stimulated her mind. She was regaining a sense of being and she was having fun. I
felt her joy and I saw the positive results of how human connection changed a life.
Believe it or not, I never thought of myself as a compassionate person. In fact, when I thought about it, I questioned my capacity to be compassionate towards others. But God showed me that I, indeed, am a caring and sharing person. I sense other's pain and discomfort and try to give them a sense of new joyful possibilities. I give hope and I allow my feelings to show through. Are you capable of doing the same; I bet you are I encourage you to reflect on this thought because close human interaction is necessary if you want to experience happiness, inner peace and a joy-filled quality of life. After all, isn't that what we are all seeking?
Joan Marie Ambrose