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Overdoing feeling the feelings

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by mncjl123, May 31, 2016.

  1. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    i have been trying to feel my feelings. For the past hour I am feeling the horrible feeling of guilt and it won't go away. Have I o redone the feelings or analyzing them. I am going TMS crazy! Any thoughts?
  2. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    I meant to say overdoing it. Also, the guilt is not anything I should be feeling. I haven't done anything wrong. Well at least not today. Smile.:)
  3. Ryan

    Ryan Well known member

    You are obsessing over the emotion, exactly what tms wants you to do. OCD is fear. As Carl Jung said, "nothing inhibits feeling like thinking". You cannot think your way into emotion, let it go.

    Try shifting your perception and look at why you need your symptoms. Sarno even said it was fruitless to search for the exact emotion you are repressing. Just know that they exists and find some happiness and joy in your life. Got to get to living, good luck. We are what we believe.

  4. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Anything you "overdo" to heal is TMSing again and is another diversionary means of avoidance, within reason of course. Guilt is the psychological reason for TMS, and self demands the physical reason although the 2 can't be separated.

    You can do things 'wrong' in healing, "per se," so never feel guilty, just continue to realign yourself as you learn more about the process and yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, I was the champion, but from them I healed. So the "wrong things" I did helped me in the long run. In the sort run these things will happen, just correct them and learn.
    MWsunin12, mike2014, plum and 3 others like this.
  5. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    Thanks. So is guilt a feeling I should feel? I'm so confused. I thought we were suppose to feel our feelings. I'm feeling guilt about everything. Lies I have told in the past etc... People I may have hurt, myself etc.... So do I tell myself to stop feeling the feeling. Ignore it? What is best to do?
  6. ezer

    ezer Well known member

    It sounds like you are thinking about guilt and not feeling the emotion labeled "guilt".
    Feeling an emotion is foremost a body sensation. Feel the body sensation. Don't think about what made you feel guilty. Thinking is to be banned.

    Put yourself in that "situation" where you felt guilty. Now feel how your body reacts to it.
    Don't think. Feel your body.

    Did you blush? Feel the blushing on your face. Did your shoulders get stiff? Feel the stiffness in your shoulders.

    That's feeling the emotion named "guilt".

    It doesn't matter if you needed to feel guilty or not. What matters is to connect with the emotion as a body sensation. Only then can you release that stored tension/emotion from your body.

    If it is too abstract let me offer you an example that will make it more understandable:

    Do you have fear of heights?

    Now imagine yourself. You are standing next to a cliff overlooking the ocean. You look down and you see waves crashing. If you step forward you'll fall 1000ft to your death. It is windy.
    Close your eyes... Imagine the scene... Don't think... Just picture yourself next to that cliff...

    You must experience a queezy feeling? Do you feel something in your stomach? A chill in your spine?

    Congratulations, you just experienced the emotion named "fear"...
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
    Ren and Misha like this.
  7. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    I struggle with the same things mncjl123, wondering if you're 'doing it right' as you try to get back in touch with your emotions. I try to do like Ezer suggested above, to feel the physical sensation but usually I just draw a physical blank or just feel jittery and nothing else. Or I feel that the only feelings I'm getting are feelings about being unwell e.g despair about not getting better or guilt over not being able to look after my children as well as I want too, and not the 'original emotions that led to symptoms. As for the guilt hanging around, apparently if you surrender to - and really feel an emotion - it shouldn't last for more than 30 seconds as the energy then dissipates and leaves/flows out of your body. I think Ezer has written about this before? I know Tolle writes about it too.
  8. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    The feeling of guilt is horrible for me! I can feel it and it won't leave. It is like a rush over my body that prolongs for a long period of time. I can feel the emotion. That is not the problem. It lasts more than 30 seconds.
  9. Misha

    Misha Peer Supporter

    That's tough :( Could you try to get some closure on it somehow? Maybe so something to symbolically 'let it go' like write a letter (not to send). Tolle would say that if you keep feeling it for a long time, you haven't accepted it... Other TMS coaches say that you have to turn off the 'mind story', not trying to figure it out, rationalise it, just kind of move with it. wear it, as you go about your life... I'm sure all these things make perfect sense to those who have already healed and 'been there - done that' but harder for us still struggling though. I hope you get relief soon :)
  10. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    there is no closure. it stems from cult religious upbringing. god and punishment. sins and punishment. do something wrong and you will end up in the firey pits of hell.
  11. ezer

    ezer Well known member

    Are you absolutely sure you are feeling and not thinking? In some of your posts it seems that you are immediately reverting to thinking about the events around your upbringing/guilt. You need to feel your body's reaction to your emotion.

    It should be devoid of thoughts just like when you meditate. But instead of feeling your breath or repeating a mantra, you feel your body's reaction to the emotion. Nothing else. It is not an intellectual exercise, it is only experiential.

    In any case, strong emotions like guilt will not get dissolved in one session. Repetition is key. Don't force it. Try a couple of times a day.

    Indeed Eckhart Tolle managed to condense "feeling your feelings" in a couple of short paragraphs in The Power of Now. You do find the same concept about the story around the emotion vs. feeling the emotions in Alan Watts (that inspired Tolle). But also Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich, or even Jean Piaget.

    I do want to give credit to Monte Hueftle and Abigail Steidley that put me on the right track. While I did not meet them, the material on their websites was all I needed to heal.
    Misha likes this.
  12. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi mncjl123, I'm sorry to hear that. That sounds awful.

    My mother died when I was 9 after a long illness, and I know what it is like to have strong emotions. I can recommend three approaches.

    The first is mindfulness. Passively allow the emotion to come into you and allow yourself to just sit with it. Don't stoke up the fires of the emotion by ruminating, but don't try to fight them. Just allow them and approach them curiously.

    The second is to develop compassion for yourself and use that compassion to change the way that you think about the things you feel guilty about. Is there another interpretation that is kinder to yourself and may be more accurate? Chances are, you are being very hard on yourself and causing yourself a lot of unnecessary pain. Developing self-compassion can help you find a way out of this by reframing your thinking about the incidents. The book, Feeling Good may help with this. It's been a bestseller for decades and multiple scientific studies have shown that simply recommending the book has an effect comparable to psychotherapy or antidepressants.

    Finally, you might try looking up EFT as a method of clearing the emotions. (Or, if you can afford it, EMDR.) I don't buy into all of the mysticism surrounding EFT, but it tapping has been shown to be helpful by a number of studies.

    If you are getting strong emotions like this, it might be a sign that you want to slow down in exploring your emotions. Better yet, the best thing is to work with a licensed psychotherapist in your state, possibly one who has experience dealing with people from similar backgrounds (people who "get it" like this can be super helpful). It can be really helpful to have someone "in the room" to help balance out your emotions with their own presence.

    I hope you find something in the post that is helpful! Not all of it will be, but you can always take what resonates.
    mike2014, plum and Ellen like this.
  13. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    In general, the study of brain plasticity has shown us that focusing too much on negative emotions can make them worse. I made a whole thread about this, but the best way I know of to explain it is with the following graphic:

    skhs, plum, Colly and 1 other person like this.
  14. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

  15. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Forest! the cartoon was perfect! I was doing really good after reading the Sarno books. My mistake was coming into the SEP program and spending weeks journaling all the crap I have done previously in pscyho therapy. I am going to not feed the feelings anymore! Or feed the bad ones. I thought I was suppose to be feeling the stupid feelings and sitting with them. However, all I was doing was feeding them.

    I am going back to the basics! 1. Think psychological 2. Stop all treatment and 3. Resume exercise! If I would have done that, I may be a lot further in my healing process.

    All this FEELING stuff was drowning me as I thought this was going to surface the reason behind the pain. Like my alcoholic mother, my upbringing, my cult like religious upbringing, the bad things I said or did to someone, being teased as a child, having sex before marriage...etc...

    Thanks for the cartoon. It was what I needed. Everyone was interpreting my question differently.

    I was feeling guilt. I thought SEP was telling me to "feel the feeling" and sit with it until it went away. So, in that, it stayed with me for the whole day as I was "feeling the feeling". Unfortunately, feeling the feeling to make me feel worse.

    I will now find happy thoughts and happy things now and feed them. I don't need to FEEL the fricken bad feelings anymore. I think I have done a lifetime of that.

    What a waste of 42 days on the SEP! And, perhaps my mistake for misinterpreting the information.

    I need things simple! Simple as 1, 2, 3. I think I will go back to those 3 concepts and stay out of the forums for awhile.

    I am just getting more rallied up, and it is feeding the TMS monster!!!!!! All I want to do is be well.

    Hopefully, this is a lesson to others in that the SEP program may be good, but for those of us who simply overanalyze everything we read, it can be a deterrent in our healing. As we are trying to do the SEP perfectly, feel our feelings perfectly and misinterpreting perfectly as well.

    There are so many smart people on this forum. And, I find that my intelligence is challenged because I don't understand everything that people say. Lets make things simple for those of us who can't grasp the mind and words of those who are far above my intellect level. For instance, a cartoon! That was the best. (BTW, I do have a masters degree)
    MWsunin12 and plum like this.
  16. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweetheart, in so many ways its our cerebral cortex that creates our *problems*

    Too much thinking, too much having...not enough being.
    Look to our animals. They simply live. We have lost this.
    Freud famously said civilisation is madness.

    Sleep when you need. Cry when you must. Eat. Howl. Make love. And laugh.
    mike2014, Tennis Tom and MWsunin12 like this.
  17. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    thanks. Simple. that is what I need.
  18. ezer

    ezer Well known member

    mncjl123, I think you should be patient. Don't count the days. I read your story and you suffered for a long time. It will take time to undo. You have to work with your limbic system and as a side effect your symptoms will eventually vanish.
  19. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle


    We've all been there with this TMS journey - feeling frustrated by things not working.

    Starting out it's all about trial and error. What works for one may not work as effectively for another. Some people swear by journaling while others never go there. Giving the SEP a go is not wasted time at all - it's all part of the healing journey. I had over 20 years of pain before discovering Sarno in 2012 and four years later I'm still learning.

    Thinking psychological is essential, but it's important to identify the issues and our reactions to events that contribute to our inner conflict. I was brought up a catholic in Ireland, and if guilt was an olympic sport I'd win a gold medal, so I hear ya! Forgiveness and self compassion are essential to overcome guilt. Cultivate these daily and they will soothe and calm your nervous system and enhance TMS healing. You will get there.
    Ellen and mike2014 like this.
  20. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Forest you have helped me find my way back to the wolf of love. One of the best and brightest and most graceful books ever written is "Women Who Run With The Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It was my bible for years and is so well-loved it has lost its cover, has pages hanging loose and is wavy from being dropped in the bath.

    Towards the end of the book she offers this:

    "I would suggest you begin right now with any point on this list. For those who are struggling, it may help greatly to begin with number 10.


    1. Eat
    2. Rest
    3. Rove in between
    4. Render Loyalty
    5. Love the children
    6. Cavil in moonlight
    7. Tune your ears
    8. Attend to the bones
    9. Make love
    10. Howl often

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
    Forest and mike2014 like this.

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