I recently experienced a loss in my life, and it got me thinking about how we communicate our feelings.
Even when we are in a lot of pain or feel frustrated or irritated, one better not let it color their relationships with others. You can share your pain or frustration with others, but your reactions, responses and all other interactions with others better not come from that frustration, irritation or pain. People who are close to you share your pain anyway; they don’t need to carry your burden as well.
When you are with people who are close to you, they share your pain. You talk, comment, share smiles, and tears and share your feelings. And most of the time, you share your pain, and frustration in the silences between all those spoken words and actions.
People around us are there to help, and support us. There is no need or reason to drag them down. When you share your pain with them, they extend a hand to you for you to hold, extend a shoulder for you to lean on. You make them feel comfortable, allowing them to reach out to you whenever you need it. However, when you act miserable and treat others horribly, and don’t respond to their sympathies then you actually stop others from getting closer to you. They want to give you the support you need, but they can’t figure out how. That’s where the words come to an end, and the silence doesn’t act as the background for the pain to be shared. If you are the one reacting to others around you from your pain and irritation, because you are acting out your pain, then it will actually lead you to feeling alone, and your pain and frustration will only grow.
I believe that the only way to be able to interact with people in a healthy way, when you are going through a painful experience or going through a frustrated stage in your life, is by being in touch with yourself, your emotions and feelings. That’s the only way that you don’t get controlled by your strong, intense emotions, and you prevent yourself from acting your pain out and treating people around you like a menace, imposing the frustration you feel inside onto others. If you connect with your true emotions, and be aware of them, you can actually channel them in a healthy and constructive way, and connect with other people.
Yoga and meditation help me a lot during these times. Coming to my center, being aware of my emotions and the pain I am carrying inside. They help me connect with myself and with my emotions, and that helps me to stay true to myself, connect to others around me and connect with the universe.
When one experiences such pain, some people think the way to deal with it is to disregard the feelings and move on as if nothing has happened. Someone said to me the other day “Don’t get me wrong, but it seems like you think sadness is worthwhile.” I said “There is nothing to take wrongly here, because of course it is.”
It was the day my grandmother passed away, and I was sitting with a hunchback, as if I was carrying a huge pack of potatoes on my back and shoulders. Some people told me to stand straight, that it looks bad to have a hunchback. I just nodded “no.” The body reflects the emotions one feels inside. The voice, hand gestures and body channel the energies within a person. And that day I was in pain. I was feeling defeated, I was feeling like I was carrying a huge weight on my shoulders. I was closed off to the universe. Basically, I just lost someone I loved very much, someone very dear to me, and I was feeling great sadness… And I was letting myself feel whatever came up within me through my soul and body.
Every heartfelt feeling is strong, and all that comes from the heart is worthwhile. When you are happy, filled with joy, you let yourselves experience that to the fullest, and you ride those feelings. However, when you are in pain, things change...
When you are in pain, you have a lot to feel. For some people letting yourself feel all that pain is overwhelming so they try to put it aside for later. However, the feelings need to be digested when they are being felt, lived. One of my yoga instructors once told me “If you don’t mourn for a pain or loss at the time you are going through it, it will definitely come back and be lived some other time.” Feelings, emotions and experiences need to be lived, because otherwise they stay in your body and mind and turn into blockages. They make themselves felt by you, and for you to be able to release them you will need to live them one time or another. They never disappear. So, feelings are better lived through when they are being experienced at the time. It is the same way the food is healthier for the body when it is eaten right after it is cooked. Feelings that come after a situation are like a newly cooked fresh dish. If you don’t eat that dish because it is too hot at the time of the occasion and put it in the fridge to have it later, then as the wait lengthens the dish gets more rotten. As you wait longer to feel better about the whole thing, in order to feel ready to face those emotions, you repress your feelings and your feelings get rotten. When you want to experience them, this time it gets even harder to digest them, and they cause outbursts and unexpected emotional ups and downs.
When you are feeling something very intensely, your mind and body are going through that together. Even if we try to put aside those feelings, all we are doing is actually repressing what we are feeling. Our body keeps carrying those intense feelings, but in your head you try to repress them. You sit on them with your mind, and don’t let them come out, but they stick into your butt, and make you feel very uncomfortable and irritated. You feel the pain but act like you don’t. However, instead of repressing your emotions, if you just let yourselves live them… You let your emotions be, and your mind and body can be in sync. We experience with all of ourselves, with mind, body and soul. Even if you try to hide something from yourself in your mind, your body is still experiencing those feelings and going through its effects. That’s why if you don’t let yourself mourn for a pain, it stays in your body, and comes back at a time very unexpectedly only to be stronger. And, then, comes the outbursts, and irrational actions. Your feelings start controlling you and your actions without you being aware of it.
However, when you let yourself live your pain, frustration or irritation from your heart, you connect. You connect to yourself, to your pain, to your sadness. When you are experiencing a very strong pain, such as losing a loved one, it seems harder to connect. All you want to do is to run away from all those overwhelming emotions. However, if you stay long enough with your pain, and experience your sadness then you come out of it with serenity and calmness. If you stay with your pain, then with great sadness comes calmness.
As you stay connected to yourself, you also stay connected to the universe. You stay connected to life, and as you stay connected to life you realize the beauty around you. You actually see the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the beauty of an orchid, the beauty of a dance routine, a song, a baby’s smile… When you watch the sunset, or play with a kid, or see the vastness of an ocean, you realize the beauty that life holds. You realize and see and experience the beauty of life, and it brings you joy.
It is staying with your emotions, and letting yourself live whatever you are feeling, pain, sadness, frustration, irritation, that will present you to the beauty and the greatness of life. And that’s what will connect you to life again, when all you want to do is runaway.
Anything that is heartfelt is worthwhile. Whatever you feel, let your heart be your guide, and it will be the most beautiful path.