OK, as I told a couple of commenters–am trying to articulate something which is coming forth in bits and pieces. Lay awake for a while at 2 a.m. pondering what wanted to be expressed.
When we’ve meditated or practiced awareness or simply witnessed ourselves for many years, doesn’t it feel like we begin to experience more and more emotions? They arise, sometimes in huge engulfing waves. They almost make you wonder why you started along this darn path of awareness.
Spiritual teachers say that we’re reaching pockets of repressed emotions. These are feelings that we’ve buried since age three. We pushed painful feelings below the level of consciousness because we didn’t know how to cope with them. We didn’t want to fully feel the agony of betrayal, shame, guilt, despair, embarrassment, you name it.
What keeps us from present moment awareness (among other factors) is the dynamic force of the tsunami of our repressed emotions. These unwanted children live in our bones, our cells, our organs, our psyche. They want to be acknowledged; to be fully experienced. They won’t let go and dissolve without our loving inclusion.
Months and months or years and years of witnessing thoughts, emotions and actions thin the barrier between our repressions and this moment.
The emotions come forth, tumbling out of their repressed nooks, crannies and pockets.
Oh, do they hurt. Oh, do they trampoline on our heart. Oh, do we often attempt to stuff them back to the gall bladder or pancreas. Just go underground and leave me alone! we beg as they insist upon being felt.
Emotions we didn’t even know we had threaten to engulf like an earthquake.
Perhaps they come forth out of their banishment because, after years of witnessing, we no longer fully want to engage in the story of who-done-me-wrong. We no longer want to agonize about the causes of depression, sadness, loneliness. The story itself no longer seems the most important factor. Or, perhaps, we can just catch ourselves in the story much easier without falling asleep in the dream of it.
When I spiral into a story about my emotions, I’m so often lost in identification. I’m in a tale with a protagonist and an unresolved scenario. I’m so often a “me” attempting to come out the victor. I’m an ego attaching importance and reality to the concepts of “me” and “other”.
Without the story, what exists?
Raw sensation arising. Pain in the chest, belly, heart. Prickly tears. Hot flushes. Panic. Nervousness.
Emotion comes forth. Is it mine? Who knows?
Quite often it feels like it’s mine. Other times it’s not personal. It is the shame of the planet. It is the sadness of another family member. It is my friend’s grief. It is simply Mind expressing itself through the weather of emotions.
Waking up as awareness feels like simply meeting every story, every emotion, every thought, every belief and seeing that it has a right to exist. We don’t have to like it. But when I’m refusing to feel or acknowledge any emotion–and sometimes these feelings are very subtle whispers–they often cloud present-moment awareness and I’m fully lost in a personal story circling around trying to “fix” what suddenly feels broken.