On learning to feel again.
But it's just so hard, the boy said.
"But it's just so hard", the boy continued.
"The bad feelings really feel too painful to feel"
I thought, and I nodded.
And then I replied.
"I'm not going to lie. It wasn't easy at all. No one said it was."
"It took us a long time to learn how to feel."
Then I continued:
"But the truth is, when we taught ourselves to be numb, we weren't suppressing just the "bad" ones, we were suppressing the "good" ones too."
"And in fearing the bad emotions so much, even when we felt the good ones, we were afraid they wouldn't last."
"Oh", the boy said, thoughtfully, "but how did we learn to feel again?"
"Bit by bit", I said, "From the smallest ones to the biggest ones, we learned that all our feelings were valid and real".
It is the fear of our emotions that keeps up the struggle. What if we can learn to accept all our feelings, bad or good?
They are part of life and part of us.
What if we learnt to no longer fear any of our feelings, but accept them as they come and go?
Here's a practice if you will:
Focus on your breathing and the coming and going of each breath. Then imagine yourself as an ocean, and with each breath you create a wave.
Feelings are like the waves in the ocean. They come and they go, they ebb and they flow.
But you are the ocean, and feelings are but the mere surface of you.
What are you feeling now?
Allow yourself to feel.
Then keep up each breath, allow the waves to ripple across you.
All the while knowing that underneath, you are still you.
And as an ocean, you are unmovable.
Unwaveringly, still completely you.