When we feel pain, emotionally or physically, it is an indication that something isn’t right. It is our signal to Pay Attention Inward Now. It is our body’s intelligence screaming at us to pause and figure out what’s going on. Unfortunately, most of us don’t listen. Instead, we ignore it. We stuff it away. We suppress it and talk ourselves out of it.
But it’s not really our fault. As a society, we are taught that having bad feelings is wrong. When we are very young and we start crying or having temper tantrums, our parents tell us to be quiet. We get in trouble when we express a feeling, an emotion, or an action that isn’t 100% positive. If we start crying, we may get yelled at. If we say something isn’t fair or we don’t understand why we are experiencing terrible feelings, we get put in the dreaded time out. Any anger or aggression or agitation we show is met with resistance and annoyance from our parents. But it doesn’t stop there.
We are taught very early on to stop the negativity. To ignore the feelings. We hear it not only from parents, but from teachers, coaches, and everyone in between. It’s in the books we read, the TV shows we watch, the movies with the happy ending. We are told over and over again that if we are just happy and positive and perfect, life will be great.
We are taught that there is something wrong with us if we feel like there is something wrong.
As a result, we think we are bad for having bad feelings. We are raised to behave appropriately, to stand in line, smile, and suck it up. We are told to be quiet, be good, and behave. But these feelings are our bodies natural reactions to Pay Attention Inward Now. We are feeling the pain, the discomfort, the unease for a reason.
So what happens?
As an adult, this translates into us doing everything we can think of to feel better when we feel any sort of negative emotion. We stuff the feelings inside. We ignore them. We tell ourselves to think positively. We try our best to shift our mindset. We grab or attack anything we can to make the bad feelings go away. The worst part is that we beat ourselves up irrationally for having these negative thoughts and feelings. We start to resent ourselves because we can’t figure out what is wrong with us. Everyone else seems to have it all together! Why don’t we?
But it is our bodies telling us to Pay Attention Inward Now. Just because we are taught we aren’t supposed to feel that way doesn’t mean we don’t feel a certain way!
Unknowingly, we stuff stuff stuff that negative feeling, pushing it down down down. We do everything to try and feel better. We eat chocolate, we drink wine, we exercise, we overwork, we ignore these feelings that are causing us so much pain. Instead of just Paying Attention Inward Now.
Here’s the thing.
This pain doesn’t go away! It doesn’t just magically disappear. What happens is that it shows up in other ways. In ways that cause much more harm than if we were just brought up to experience our emotions instead of hiding them away. Those negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions get trapped inside our brains and our bodies. All those feelings that we have been working so hard to stuff stuff stuff away will manifest themselves in other ways.
They come back up as sickness. As explosive anger. As disease.
The feelings that we fight so hard to get rid of become a part of us. When we ignore the bad feelings, when we push them down, sickness comes up.
But it’s not obvious.
It shows up in our life in different ways. It can look like overreacting to our friends when they ask us something small. We may not realize it at the time but the verbal outburst is really just the pain manifesting. The sickness is from ignoring ourselves and our feelings, from not respecting our emotions or loving ourselves enough.
We judge ourselves too harshly and then wonder why we get sick. Why we aren’t perfect. Why we aren’t bubbly and happy and outgoing. We are so mean to ourselves! Instead of tucking away the pain, if we were to stop and pause and Pay Attention Inward Now, we could stop ourselves from the long term effects.
So how do we do this?
Here’s what it looks like. Anytime we feel a negative emotion, or feel pain, big or small, instead of running, we can sit with it. Just sit. Hands in your lap and feeling your breath moving in and out.
Any PAIN we feel is just a signal to Pay Attention Inward Now.
When we feel it, we can just experience the sensation. It might feel like a tidal wave coming up and over us. It might feel overwhelming and we may notice ourselves holding our breaths or tensing up because we think we can’t handle it. Then the negative voices start to appear in our minds, the adrenaline rush, the feeling that we have to do something, anything. We feel the need to act.
But the best thing is for us not to act. To just sit. To Pay Attention Inward Now. And notice the sensations, feel them ripple through us- overwhelming at first and then after 20 minutes or so, a little calmer. They will subside.
When we feel the negative emotion and we Pay Attention Inward Now, we can explore it further and try to identify where it is coming from. Then we can figure out how to fix it, how to solve it.
When we feel PAIN and we Pay Attention Inward Now, we will start to act out of love, not fear. And that can make all the PAIN in our bodies melt away.
Try it today!! In the comments below, tell me about a time you have felt PAIN and were able to Pay Attention Inward Now.