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Day 17 Understanding how to release an emotion

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by jml19, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Today there was a suggestion in the program that I speak to that little girl inside of me and tell her, "I know you don't believe me yet, but it's really OK". As soon as I said it, the floodgates opened....out of nowhere came this incredibly lost sad emotion, so I had a nice little cry. I don't think I was analyzing it or trying to figure out why, but maybe I was. So hard to tell. Is this "releasing" the emotion? At one point is an emotion released for good?
    Laudisco, Rainbowdash and JanAtheCPA like this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi jml,

    When I was doing the SEP (age 60) I managed to remember myself at about 5 or 6 years of age - and really discovered how isolated and self-conscious I was as a little girl - and also how anxious I was. It was eye-opening, and led me to an understanding of the root of my chronic anxiety, which was very helpful. At the time I used this knowledge to do a couple of meditations about being nurtured, thinking about my parents, and forgiving them for not having much time for me (with three younger siblings by the time I was six).

    As in so much of this work, the definitions and words we use are probably inadequate for the task, because everyone interprets words and phrases differently - so my first advice is to not get bogged down in semantics!

    To me, "releasing" an emotion is a comprehensive experience - it starts with recognizing the emotion, feeling it, allowing it to exist in my consciousness without fear or judgement, coming to an understanding of its effect on my well-being, accepting it as a normal part of being human, and then, depending on what it is, perhaps letting it go. In my example, the feeling of isolation was combined with a desire to be nurtured - I haven't forgotten the isolation, but I've forgiven it and accepted it, and I've also added memories of when I was in fact cherished and nurtured.

    It sounds like you're making progress - keep up the good work!

    Ellen likes this.
  3. jml19

    jml19 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, Jan! Your explanation helps a lot. I really like the idea of adding happier memories. So often I have tended to put way too much focus on the few negatives and downplay the zillion positives.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Actually, this brings up an important point: Our brains are apparently wired to focus on the negatives! It's a primitive survival technique: think negatively, assume the worst, and keep scanning the horizon for danger. If you're bogged down in emotions, you might not be alert to the sabre-tooth-tiger waiting to eat you.

    This is the basis of TMS - the brain is repressing emotions and producing a symptom to worry about instead - supposedly this keeps you on your toes. It just doesn't work well in the modern world - there are too many complicated little stresses in our world that our brains continue to interpret as dangerous, and we experience too many years of this constant stress!
    JBG1963 likes this.
  5. Rainbowdash

    Rainbowdash Peer Supporter

    I have found the same thing JML. Now, when I write in my journal, I wait for the flood gates to open and most of the time, they do. It is a phrase or a sentence or a feeling... something is triggered and I just sob and cry and get hysterical. My mind goes blank and sometimes I even wonder why my body is in hysterical sobs and i just see how much I'm jerking around. I only tell myself that there must be all this sadness inside me, which has no words. All that hysterical emotion can't be faked. I let it pass and don't stop or analyse or anything. Once it passes, I continue to journal and write out my adult point of view and find a way to get some closure.

    After this strong release happens, if I go back and visit that experience or emotion, the sting is gone. I can truly see it as a past memory and not go back to re-live it over and over.
    Ellen, JanAtheCPA and jml19 like this.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is an interesting question. We want to be felt. Our deepest experiences want to be held, felt, seen. There may be no end to the depth of feeling, and in this regard we may revisit memories and old imprinted feelings many, many times. In my experience it is an organic upwelling of "what wants to be understood" in any given moment. And by understanding I mean felt, foremost. Then the insights come. And we may revisit the same place many times, and with each new visit a tender learning, a love is happening. (And with grace, less 'sting.') If I believe I have to get past something or release it, then I may be making the felt experiences more "sticky," more resistant to a natural "digestion" over time.

    Deep appreciation, acceptance, and contact with felt experiences becomes a journey in itself, a practice of self-intimacy which has its own satisfaction, regardless of the content ----if I can set aside my self-judgements about the experience, the judgement that "this shouldn't be happening to me." This is the deepest challenge for me, in the process of 'releasing.' Once I make room for what is arising --by defending my right to experience it from the Inner Critic, the rest takes care of itself, and there remains love, and understanding. It may be that I'm always being called to self-compassion, more than I am to release.
    JBG1963, Ellen and jml19 like this.
  7. JBG1963

    JBG1963 Peer Supporter

    Thanks so much for this insight @Andy B Reading this was a huge "aha" moment for me. I spend so much time trying to figure out what lies dormant in my subconscious and how to let it go that I don't realize the journey is the destination. You made my day. Jo
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are welcome Jo! We're already afraid, from our childhood to feel things deeply. Then when we have symptoms, learn about Dr. Sarno's approach, we can pressure ourselves to "feel more and figure things out faster." In some ways this is can simply be more pressurizing, especially if it is not seen for what it is. And all we can do is take our personality propensities into the Sarno work --whatever they are, such as perfectionism or pushing ourselves. Seeing this, and being gentle with ourselves for our deep urge to heal is helpful!
    JBG1963 likes this.

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