For as long as I can remember I have felt caged, I was suffocated by my own fears. At the time I didn’t realize that it was fear that was stopping me from freeing my soul, I just blamed it on my circumstances (which to be fair were incredibly traumatic circumstances but nevertheless…) Once I was able to identify that fear was what was holding me back from freedom, I couldn’t quite put my finger on how exactly to establish control over my fears. After receiving help from therapy in understanding what it takes to demolish my fears, I now understand the process. Of course, knowing things is not enough, so I am also applying this knowledge and taking it day by day.
So what is my fear? Ultimately it’s the fear of feeling. It was hard for me to come to the conclusion that I was afraid of my feelings because there was a lot masking this fear. So my I worked to pull back the layers that protected this fear in order to understand what the core of it was. I thought I was afraid to be by myself, but it didn’t make sense because I knew that I enjoyed my own company. After digging deep I discovered that the root of this fear stemmed from the fear of feeling. I thought that I was afraid of being alone, but it turns out that I was afraid of being alone with my feelings. I’ve always had moments where I felt this desperate urgency to be around people. Looking back, now I realize this urgency stemmed from being so deathly afraid of being alone with my feelings. I was putting so much of my energy into resisting my feelings in fear of them. I wish I could describe the fear; it was almost like staring straight into a black hole that was ready to swallow my soul into an eternity of suffering.
I’m now learning that feelings demand to be felt. In order to free my soul I need to accept and make peace with this. The fear that I have is my minds’ defense mechanism in action. It is my minds’ way of trying to protect itself, because it has placed “bad feelings” in the category of “threat”. So the main idea now is for me to try to reprogram my brain into realizing that feelings are not threats.
The process of conquering this fear consists of mainly 3 things:
- Stop Resisting– the more that you resist negative feelings, the stronger and scarier they become. So whatever negative feeling may arise within you, try your best to remember to not resist or try to stop or push away the feeling.
- Let it be– let the negative feeling come, be open to it, make peace with it, sit with it, and let it.
- Feel it fully– feel what you need to feel, and feel it fully. If you don’t allow yourself to fully feel everything you need to feel it will sooner or later, come back to haunt you in different ways.
A few tasks I’m also applying to help me on this journey are as follows:
- Emotional Journaling: I try to do this every day, twice a day (morning and night). Emotional Journaling is basically where you write out your feelings. Once you are done writing, you must immediately read what you wrote and read it with the intention of really letting the feelings that you wrote about sink in. (this helps you identify and familiarize your feelings).
- Note It & Name It: I set reminders throughout the day to remind me of this, because it’s easy to forget. This task is simple but according to my therapist, very effective. What it is is that whenever a negative feeling comes around, you note it (for example: a feeling of anger arises, you note that you are feeling this anger) and then you name it (you say out loud “I feel angry”). That’s it. Simple as that!
- Meditation: I think this has been in numerous of my blog posts, but it really has so many benefits. Simply spend 10 minutes or more meditating every day. I try my best to do this as often as I can and I use guided meditations. There are a million different apps, videos, and ways to meditate. Meditation helps you be able to better realize what’s happening in your head and body. The more you meditate, the more you are able to be alert and conscious of your thoughts and feelings in your everyday life.
Negative feelings are painful, so it’s not surprising that they may seem scary; but in order to not be held back by negative feelings, it is important to embrace the pain. I promise that as much as you feel like it is going to kill you, it won’t.
“The only way out is through.”
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