Arising of repressed emotions

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.




8 thoughts on “Arising of repressed emotions

  1. Some of what you expressed here, my brain heard it and stated loudly: “Such is the life of the empath!” Endless roil of identification, who belongs with what and what belongs to who whom. (i have no shame about not knowing the who whom, but I might have regret and simply putting it down wrongly 😛 )

    I am taking myself to a talk about a photographer and his wife who lived on the Rosebud reservation for 40 years this morning. I am proud of me. The beaters are wanting to whack me since it is 9 am and the talk is at 10 am and “you are failing at getting all of the morning things done”–I am able to roll my eyes at them this morning!

  2. I agree with Elisa that you are an empath! There are not that many who can truly be called thus. Thank you to the Universe for not making me one. The pain is too deep for everything and everyone. I Could not survive that much sorry, joy, pain or whatever the emotion of the moment might be.

    Blessed are those who are the most aware of all the Universe has to offer for they are our leaders, our lost memories; they absorb our pain and set us on a more aware path to follow in our short time on earth!

    • Yeah, maybe, Linda, I’m an empath sometimes–and other times don’t have a clue! ha ha. It has been a really good week for me. After experiencing that huge repressed pocket of shame or whatever-the-heck it was, everything is much more light and it’s easier to be in present moment awareness. For now anyway. I hope you are having a good weekend.

  3. This is so interesting to me right now, Kathy. I’ve been doing some on the side editing and read something recently about epigenetic inheritance. In a nutshell, the idea is that experiences can be passed on through generations in the DNA (or DNA markers — I’m not a scientist so I may have this part wrong). I was fascinated when I read it. The author wrote about how some studies are showing it’s possible that children and grandchildren have felt an epigenetic impact of traumatic events such as the Holocaust, famine, and wars. The idea that some of our behavior, even our feelings about things, may be influenced by events we didn’t witness is fascinating to me for a variety of reasons.

  4. Funny you should mention this. I’ve been dealing with some confusing emotions lately, and I usually don’t have trouble with pinpointing and expressing them. So, I’ve been trying to just allow them to take me along for the ride, but then my ego gets involved and tries to dictate what they mean and what to do about them. Hehe. Thanks, Kathy.

    • Oh don’t you love how the ego has to have an explanation for EVERYTHING? Mine too. It wants to explain everything under the table–and it also thinks everything is related to it. Silly egos. I have discovered yet again this week the gift of feeling emotions deeply. And watching when I am only feeling them intermittently or with some story attached. If they are attended to deeply they tend to disappear rather quickly. Glad you understand.

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