I believe we all store emotions in our systems. Past trauma, daily incidents, loss, things we tuck away because release is simply unpractical… It’s like we have these tightly sealed boxes stored in a place where we believe they don’t bother us so much.
But just like a storage room in our home: they are still there and take up space.
So all this work we do, when it comes to trauma healing, conscious practices, emotional release, personal growth etc, are, to me, the conscious unpacking of these boxes.
Emotions come in a bell curve. There is a built up (which can be short, fast and intense), a peak, and a softening, a coming back to stillness. The area under the curve, i.e. the amount of emotions released, differs each time. As my dear friend Jamie Catto tends to say, some days we release a bucket, sometimes a cup and on some days a thimble.
But what I sometimes notice (both in others and myself), is that we hold on to the emotion after the peak. Maybe we believe there’s more to release. Maybe we can’t let go of the idea that it’s really alright to let go in phases. And maybe, just maybe, we are so attached to the story of this emotion that we just don’t want to let go of it yet.
We identify with the emotion. It gives us a safe feeling as we know this place of fear, frustration, insecurity or anger so well.
But it isn’t helpfully at all if we want to move beyond and learn how to be more powerful, radiant and taking the space we are allowed to take.
I notice it in myself when I do this. The physical release of letting the emotion out switches from something deep inside my body (the crying and sobbing with lots of snot and shakes) to something more heady (‘poor me’).
I also notice it when I hold others. I can sit with someone in any emotion for hours. But then suddenly I get impatient, distracted or a little annoyed. It’s that moment after the peak.
So when I’m holding you now and tell you I’m letting you go, or invite you to have a sip of water, move a little, shake a little and bring your focus outwards, this is exactly that: you might be getting stuck in the story of the emotion instead of the emotion itself.
You have moved through the bell curve of your emotion. Time to let go. Well done.
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