What we resist receives our attention.
“What you resist persists and what you look at disappears”- Neale Donald Walsch
Generally, people don’t want to feel anything except what we call the “good” feelings. As soon as they are sad, anxious, frustrated, or angry, they want to do something to move the feeling out or feel better. Their mind starts racing, telling them they “shouldn’t” feel this way and they “should” be happy. Pushing emotions away often results in them coming back stronger or showing up in ways that can catch you off guard. When you are experiencing sadness, but have decided you “should” be happy, resistance keeps your attention on the sadness you are resisting. It is emotionally draining to resist feeling our emotions than simply feeling them. Imagine the ease of things if you were to allow yourself to feel the sadness for a little while, instead of fighting it.
I like to think of emotions being like water flowing down a stream. Sometimes they rush in and out, sometimes they flow lazily along. If you attempt to dam up a stream, it takes great effort to stop the flow of water (particularly if it is rushing quickly), and even if you are successful in creating a dam, the diverted water starts to build up and overflow. It will destroy everything around it. The same is true when we “dam up” our feelings. Keeping them from flowing allows them to spill out in other ways, creating the potential for disaster. If we allow ourselves to experience our emotions, they are free to come and go, ebb, and flow.
Consider the Grand Canyon: vast and beautiful expanse of land formations created by allowing the flow of water over millenniums created tremendous beauty. I believe the same is true in our lives. Beautiful things can be created when we allow ourselves to go with the flow. Allow yourself to have your feelings. Experiencing the entire range of emotions is part of being human. Some days we are up, some days we are down, and some days we are in between- and it is all okay. Just remember to breathe and allow yourself to feel what comes up for you, without judgment. Breathe and allow. It works wonders.
I have over 15 years of experience of working with individuals and families, first in child welfare, and then in mental health counseling. I have a Ph. D in Counseling, and am an Interfaith Minister. I work with clients desiring to include all of the aspects of the self in therapy-emotional and spiritual.