What is the true nature of emotional liberation? I have realised that the full expression of your emotional state, whatever it may be – happiness, frustration, anger, sadness, is one of the most significant keys to living an authentic, worry free and uncomplicated life.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that is conditioned to suppress any emotions and expression of them for fear of being ostracized. We are taught to be nice, have good manners and be polite, which is fine. There is nothing wrong with that. However there is a problem with being too nice, and being nice all the time, to the extent where your mindset, actions and life is dictated by people and situations external to yourself. You begin to neglect yourself and your wants and needs, and you suppress them in order to please others or for fear of inviting dislike from them.
You constantly live in fear and seek others’ validation of how you think and act, and you always feel that others will judge you on your behaviour. This is the “outward in” mindset and is suffocating and harrowing to sustain over a long period of time. The following two techniques have helped me in situations where I am feeling overwhelmed by any emotion, and it has helped me regain my balance and allowed me to centre back to myself.
i)Be curious – genuinely ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Keep questioning, asking and probing and searching and you may be surprised at some of the revelations you will have. There is always a root cause for any emotion, and it is not always the emotion itself which is the problem, but what is ultimately driving it. As painful as this can be at times, the only way to truly address the ultimate issue is by being patient and gentle with yourself, and not beating yourself up for experiencing what you are. It is a long yet deeply healing self exploration process.
ii)Acknowledge, accept and surrender – as human beings, feeling varying emotions and its subsequent impacts on us is only natural. There is absolutely no need to feel ashamed or guilty as to why certain emotions are arising, or to wonder “I shouldn’t be feeling this way.” Accept and feel the emotion, and simply let go. Be generous to yourself. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to vent, vent. Do whatever it takes to address and let go of the emotion, and be kind enough to yourself to completely feel it and then let it flow away from your body. It’s done. It’s gone.
You owe it to yourself to live a happy and fulfilled life, and a large part of this is derived from your emotional health. So just keep that in mind next time you start to feel anxious or guilty about feeling a certain way. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.