Ideally, you feel your feelings. From anger to disgust. Joy to jealousy.
But what happens when you’ve been told you shouldn’t feel the way you feel?
What happens when you’ve been taught not to trust your emotions?
You stop listening to how you feel.
All that energy you should be letting go of gets stuck in your body as held pain—pain that ends up running the show. For example,
That time in middle school when your mom read your diary aloud to your friends?
If you haven’t processed those emotions, you’re still carrying that trauma. That’s why you get triggered all over the place. You don’t realize your current trust issues have everything to do with the pain you experienced back then.
But, you can use your pain to heal.
That’s a thing?
The truth is, feeling your feelings is how you heal.
Why the heck would you ever want to lean into your pain?
Because pain doesn’t go away if you ignore it.
Pain compounds in on itself throwing lessons back on you over and over again until you decide you’re ready to let go and heal. (Or until the fear of change doesn’t seem so scary by comparison.)
“But I don’t want to feel my feelings. Can’t I just bypass them and pretend everything’s great?”
You could try.
And you might even have some success pretending you “don’t get angry” or that “you are happy” (even though you can’t stop obsessing about the undone tasks on your to-do list, the number in your bank account, and how you’re going to plan the family reunion you won’t admit you don’t even want to go to).
But the thing about emotions and pain is that they show up in surprising ways when you least expect them to.
- The lingering back pain that won’t go away – no matter how many chiropractic adjustments and massages you pay for?
Often, my clients wonder why their chiropractic adjustments won’t hold.
Because they often carry psychic wounds or pain from the past that they’ve never dealt with. Those need to be brought into present time and shifted before the adjustment will hold. Same goes with past lives. They can hold things in muscle memory that keep your body from connecting with its optimal health and vibrancy.
- The addiction you have to true-crime podcasts?
Maybe you didn’t feel safe growing up and you’re desperately trying to feel what you were raised to believe was reality.
- The loneliness and pang in your heart that comes up every time you read a romance novel?
Likely, it’s telling you you’re hungry to love yourself even more fully. Or maybe you’re co-dependently leaning on others, creating some fantasy that doesn’t exist, hoping they can give you something only you can give yourself.
If you haven’t faced your past, you can’t release the physical, mental, and emotional pain you’re dealing with today.
Trying to get yourself to change can feel impossible. No wonder. You’ve spent your whole life avoiding, pretending, and denying you have these emotions.
How the heck are you supposed to see that you’re walking on eggshells around others when you don’t know you’re doing it? You don’t realize you were taught that a woman isn’t supposed to be happy unless her spouse, children, boss, neighbors, and OBGYN are happy first.
By using your pain!
Any time pain comes up, it’s showing you what’s up for you to heal.
Next time pain comes up for you, don’t run away. Lean in.
Follow these 6 steps and see if it doesn’t make a real difference in your life.
1. Send your judgments packing.
Grab your suitcase like it’s been a decade since your last vacation and you’ve just won an all-expenses paid trip to Mexico in February. Throw your judgments in that sucker. Zip it up.Toss it in the trunk. And don’t expect to unpack it until 6 months after you return.
Your judgments aren’t helpful. They’re taking up too much real estate in your mind. And it’s about damn time you took a break from their constant chatter.
2. Name the pain you’re experiencing.
What does it feel like?
Where is it located in your body?
Is it mental, physical, or emotional?
Is it moving?
Does it get worse when you’re sitting too long?
What temperature is it?
Does it have a color?
For 2-5 minutes, describe in as much detail as possible what you’re experiencing. When you start to understand what it is, you release part of the hold it has on you.
3. Ask the pain, “What do you want me to know?”
Don’t expect an immediate answer (especially when you’re not used to listening to your body). Just sit with this practice. Return to it over and over again.
Perhaps one day you’ll hear a voiceless voice answer – or you’ll experience an inner knowing. Stay with it. Continue to get curious. Ask even more questions:
What else do you want me to know?
What do I need to change?
What isn’t working for me in my life?
What do I need more of in my life?
What do I need to let go of?
Your body knows exactly what it needs to heal.
Listening to the answers your body gives you (to the questions above) is perfect for getting intimate with yourself. THAT’S how you experience real healing.
Give yourself the space and time you need for everything to come up – just like you’d do for a child telling you the convoluted story about their first day at school.
You may find yourself facing deep emotions. How about those embarrassing middle-school experiences you’ve tried to forget your whole life? And those truths about your family of origin you’ve never been able to face before?
Accept and witness where you are with an open heart. Bring yourself the compassion you’d share with the child whose story lasts longer than their first day ever could have. 💗
5. Accept whatever feelings, inspiration, or thoughts come up.
Don’t be tempted to unpack your judgment suitcase here (we’re still waiting for 6 months post-vacation and it’s only been, like, 10 minutes).
Your feelings might get even more amplified as you meet them with compassion and acceptance. Keep witnessing. Keep being grateful that your body knows what it needs to express in order to heal.
Trust the pain. Trust the expression of it. Trust what’s being revealed.
The more you can accept and even welcome the stored feelings, the deeper your release will be.
6. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Even when you’re startled by the deep release of feelings, emotions, and pain.
Even when you want to back off or shut down.
Even when you want to run away screaming.
Keep practicing your breathwork again and again every time more pain comes up. Deep breathing will help you access deeper and deeper levels of healing. It will allow you to access a gold mine of held emotions that are just waiting to be released. I use deep breathing in all of my in-person healing retreats to accelerate and thaw the core trauma coming up to be healed.
You can either accept the challenge now, or kick the can down the road …
… until your trust issues are so deep and far-reaching that they’re controlling your marriage, your job, your relationship with your children, and how you show up to book club.
It’s much more fulfilling to choose to use pain as the tool it is and heal yourself. That’s transformative and healing.
Sure, it’s difficult, but on the other side, you get to live a life where your mom reading your diary doesn’t define who you are, where it doesn’t control you.
And that’s true freedom.
In the Journey to Your Center membership site, you’ll find over a year’s worth of mind-blowing content with powerful techniques, videos, meditations, and coaching to help you hone your skills and change your life –– all in the freaking best way possible. ❤️🤯❤️
And each month we add new topics, Inner Circle Healing Sessions, Journal to Your Center Session, Energy Transmissions, and Deep Dive Healing Sessions. 💥
You deserve to face the shit that’s bothering you and to be FULLY seen for the love that you are, so you can finally see it for yourself.
That’s what we do here with #TeamLove and it’s absolutely magical. 💖
Don’t wait another day. I’ve got you. Learn more and apply here.