I’m trying something new this year. 2018 is the time for me to feel all my feelings. It doesn’t sound all that impressive, I know. Yet it is a huge undertaking! The vast majority of my emotions have been ignored, suppressed, or deflected for decades. They’re still buried within, waiting to be experienced, digested, and released. It seems that this is the process that needs to be allowed for true healing to occur.
There are several key components that I’ve committed to in order to support this endeavor. I’ve recently realized that lasting change requires all of the pieces to be in play simultaneously.
- Gathering a team of compassionate, understanding, and supportive friends who can witness my journey without judging, blaming, shaming, or advising.
- Eliminating self-medication strategies such as alcohol, sugar, and processed foods and limiting time spent on social media, watching TV, and engaging in meaningless chit-chat.
- Devotion to spiritual practices that release blockages and reroute that freed energy for a higher purpose.
- Willingness to be radically honesty with myself about what is coming up in each moment.
- Commitment to stillness when uncomfortable emotions arise.
Ugh! It’s so much easier to eat something, to distract myself with electronics, or to check out with a nice pint of beer. I’ve become a master at using yoga, dance, and Reiki to shift the energy of discomfort. I now recognize this behavior as misusing these powerful techniques to avoid the work of healing by preventing emotions from rising to the surface for processing. Discomfort cannot be avoided in the healing process. Ugh!
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I’m learning is that there are multiple ways to use Reiki for emotional healing. First, it can be a remedy for getting through difficult situations by providing comfort in the moment. Second, it can be used to prevent emotions from becoming festering wounds that develop over time through neglect and abandonment. And thirdly (perhaps most importantly) it can be used to muster up the courage and willingness to sit quietly in loving awareness with whatever is true in each moment; without moving to escape or repair it.
So here I sit, prepared to experience whatever arises; willing to feel all my feelings despite great discomfort and the urge to flee. It might not sound impressive, but when I am able to allow complete emotional honesty, the liberation I experience is phenomenal. While the rewards are mostly internal, they are truly transformative. And that is more valuable to me than sounding impressive.