The seventh point I made in my blog “The Law of Attraction… Are My Believes Ruining My Life?” was that we experience emotional processes that cannot avoid through spiritual practice. This has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn on my spiritual journey!
Our emotional selves can knock us over if we do not know how to work with and honour our emotions. Anyone who has been railroaded by powerful emotions knows it can be like being hit by a tidal wave and can be very hard to keep your head above water.
An Attempt To Escape The Pain
A lot of people turn to spiritual practices to save themselves from experiencing intense emotions, however this is incredibly mislead! The way most people try to cope with powerful emotions is to withdraw and shut down from them. This is a very natural reaction. It’s like when you put your hand on a hot plate… you withdraw it so it doesn’t burn. In spiritual awakening the opposite happens. We open to experience and to ourselves. This can really throw people if they expected something nice and gentle… the spiritual path is usually anything but gentle, at least until we have shifted of the patterns that cause us the deepest suffering.
It is not surprising that many people from Western countries especially turn to spiritually to alleviate suffering and distress. In Western countries we tend to try to supress emotions and if that does not work we medicate them either legally or illegally. But emotions are out guidance mechanism system, they are there for real reason. So when we ignore them they simply scream louder. They are meant to get our attention and shoe us what needs changing in our lives. As a general rule, the more we dismiss our emotions the more they intensify. So when we use spiritual practice such as mediation, prayer or magical beliefs as a way to escape emotional pain, we are really using these practises as we would a drug. Then they can become addictive to keep the unwanted emotions at bay.
Spiritual Practice Connects Us To Our Emotional Selves
The irony is that practices that raise awareness such as mindfulness, meditation or psychotherapy generally increase sensitivity (hopeful safely) and therefore aim to help us to reconnect with our emotional selves. Of course we want to do this from new and safe perspectives, or from a place of witnessing them rather being overwhelmed over by them, but still the aim is to feel rather than avoid emotion. But in short, it actually healthy to feel our emotion and to connect with who we really are.
So you could say that spiritual practice is likely to intensify emotion at first. Opening our hearts often results in feeling deep anger, fear or sadness before we feel the love. It’s like breaking through the ice on the surface before finding fluid water running in the stream underneath. To stand in our power, courage and truth requires that we overcome fear and inadequacy caught up in the solar plexus. We often hold a great deal of hurt in our bodies and there are real emotional processes that need to be honoured to release that pain. Clearing the energy of these wounds through alternative and intuitive modalities can definitely help the release process along but our emotions do not become superfluous.
Another important aspect of the spiritual journey is as we change our energy, patterns and our gain clarity and strength, our life often changes around us. These inner shifts can result in changes in our relationships, employment and goals in life. And yes, these changes tend to cause emotional pain, even if we feel the inevitability of these changes deep down.
So as we embark on the spiritual journey we do not avoid the emotional pain. It is rather that we gain wisdom to better understand that pain and we develop techniques such as mindfulness to dis-identify from the pain. But it is still there, we just learn to make better choices. Our emotions are here to guide us but if we think we can override the tangible world and our emotional selves we have another thing coming! We don’t just “rise above it” when our partner leaves us, we lose our job and our parent dies. These real emotional processes have to be honoured, even when we are aware of Spirit!
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