We tend to look at ourselves with critical eyes. When we want to change any aspect of our lives or ourselves, we do it from a perspective of not being good enough, obligation, pressure, or because we dislike ourselves. Often, we are judgmental and very strict with ourselves, trying to change things by working harder, sacrificing more, and suffering.
I propose a different plan. Look at yourself with a sense of appreciation. Recognize your value. Observe yourself through loving eyes. Look at what is happening inside you. Just look without judgment, and try to understand who you are, what you think and feel, why you do or don’t do things, or what makes you react. Discover yourself.
We judge reality as well. Pay attention to how many times per day you complain when reality doesn’t fit with the concept you have of it, or things don’t go the way you want. Observe what makes you feel frustration or sadness, what things take you out of balance or put you in a bad mood.
Look at all this material with curiosity and understanding. Don’t be hard on yourself for being where you are or what you consider mistakes, flaws, imperfections, or faults. Be there, totally, without complaining or judging the world around or inside you.
Let’s suppose that you are trying to help someone who is having health problems. You know that they can do more to get better, and you would like this person to take responsibility for their health, but it is not what is happening.
You are supportive, patient, caring, and loving, until a moment when, unexpectedly, you explode for a little thing. At that moment, you tell this person that they have to change their behavior and put more effort into healing, that you are not going to witness this anymore. You speak to this person with an angry tone and are very distant from the Love you feel for her. Something happened within you.
If you look at yourself, you will see what triggered you, why you reacted and created a scene, how much emotion you have accumulated, your fear of losing this person you Love in action, the need to express your feelings, the frustration and powerlessness you have been hiding, and more. If you observe what is going on within you, you will learn so much about yourself and how you go through life. That’s the important thing here. To understand yourself a bit more every day.
If you react, get angry and lose your temper, it is okay. You are human. You can forgive yourself, release whatever happened, apologize if you want to, or let it go and continue with your life. But pay attention, because I can assure you that a similar event will happen to you very soon. If you have learned from the last experience, things may unfold differently. If not, you may end up reacting the same way. Life will give you many opportunities to learn and practice.
Suspending the need to react will offer you time to observe yourself and choose your response. Observe your thoughts rising, your emotions in full action, you showing to yourself what you are experiencing at that exact moment. Why is this important? Because if you can see it, and it is not the experience you want to have, you can do something about it. Once you are aware, you can decide. You have the power to choose.
You can take a breath and observe yourself in any situation you experience. This will allow you to become a different you. You may not have control over the feelings you experience, but you can always choose how you respond to life and its events.
An instant reaction may be something you have learned, a pattern. You can change It with a little bit of awareness and practice. But only if you realize that you have the power to do it. Only if you observe with compassion and understanding what is happening within you, catch yourself when you react, and choose to be more loving, understanding, and patient with yourself and others.
"The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness"
All of us want to feel loved. Love is an important matter. We frequently talk about the heart and Love. We use lots of heart expressions, such as: "to have a change of heart," "be big-hearted," "broken-hearted," "with hope in the heart," "my heart bleeds." We understand that our heart, physically and emotionally speaking, plays an essential role in our lives.
Do you know how to connect with your heart? I thought I did. The other day I was doing a guided meditation and the messages that it included were: connect with your heart, feel into your heart, know it by heart, breathe life into your heart, awaken to Love... It should be easy to follow these instructions, but it wasn’t.
It is all about energy. I know it. It is about connecting with the energy of the heart. I know how to direct energy into my heart, but am I doing it? Am I connecting? I am so used to living in my head, in the world of thought, that it feels difficult to know how to connect with my heart.
I realized that my heart is numbed. That I crave Love, passion, excitement and fulfillment in life but, at the same time, I don’t allow myself to feel all my feelings. Especially the painful ones. I tell myself that I am ok. I do it unconsciously, as a protective mechanism because I don’t want to suffer. But how can I feel the most intense joy if I don’t allow myself to feel the most profound sadness or sorrow? When we are afraid of suffering, we close the doors of the heart. The emotions can’t flow. Love cannot go in or out. And we feel disconnected and alone.
Do you listen to your heart? From a medical perspective, we can listen to the physical heart better than ever. We have all sorts of technology to do it. We can monitor our heartbeat, measure our blood pressure and much more. But we don’t listen to what the heart has to say to us, or maybe we receive the messages and we ignore them. We trust rational thinking, our analytical mind. There is a different truth, the wisdom of the heart. Pay attention to the messages of your heart!
A healthy heart is always open and allows the blood in without discrimination. It accepts and lets in. We do the same when we open our heart and allow the flow of Love from ourselves or others to come to us. The physical heart never holds back. It continually releases the blood to allow the flow in the circulatory system. It is what should happen with healthy Love. It should be a flow; we give and we receive Love. We have to be open to Love in order to receive, and never withdraw or stop the flow of Love.
The heart keeps the life energy flowing, and Love keeps us alive. The heart is the center and the seat of Love. Let’s keep our sacred heart healthy, and allow it to be full of Love to share. It will shift your energy and the energy of those around you. I Love you from the bottom of my heart!
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -
they must be felt with the heart"
As If Nothing Had Happened
So many things happen during the day that affect you. Some days, there are so many that you don’t even have the time to process them. We accumulate emotions that have not been lived. We go from one thing to the next, and we may think what we don’t have the time, or space, to feel an emotion the moment that it shows up.
We suppress our emotions because we believe that we cannot afford to pay attention to them; we have to be ok, all the time. We ignore our feelings and they keep accumulating, like letters in the mail. The problem is that these ignored feelings affect us, physically and emotionally, whether we want them to or not.
In other cases, we act as if nothing had happened because we are afraid that if we react or say something, we will create a bigger problem or an argument, and we decide to forget it, trying to make the emotion disappear, unsuccessfully. Or we feel that we don’t have the right to respond to an emotion, and we just silence ourselves, or stop expressing our thoughts and feelings, even to the point of losing our voice, or becoming disconnected from ourselves.
Any of the above sound familiar? How many times have you swept your feelings under the rug and have moved on with your life? These unheard and unfelt emotions create emotional toxins. And just like you take a shower to clean your body every day, you should find a way to do the same with all the emotional stuff accumulated. Journal about what you experience and what you feel, reflect on it while you walk, meditate, or just release what happened, and forgive yourself or others, if necessary.
Find a way to let go of emotions that works for you, but be with them first. Emotions don’t want to be forgotten, they want to be heard. By looking at them you will learn more about yourself, what triggers you, and how you react when faced with certain events. This awareness will create a space where you will be able to see the emotion coming to you and, deliberately, decide how to respond to the experience, even when you are feeling deeply. Like when you are angry, and you know it, but you decide not to take what happened personally, let the anger go, and you respond with kindness. It is your choice.
Remember that the emotions are yours, you create them, and you can let them go. Others can’t create your emotions, they just trigger them. Don’t blame others for what you feel. Instead, observe what happens within yourself during your day, recognize what you feel and honor it. There aren’t good or bad emotions, they are just energy in motion in your system. Find the courage to feel what you feel, and your life will be broader and deeper. Hear the message every emotion wants to deliver to you and be true to yourself.
"Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant ones have a purpose.
Don't lock them away. If you ignore them, they just get louder and angrier"
THE WISDOM OF YOUR FEELINGS
All of us feel, we feel all the time. The variety of feelings we experience is immense and unique for each of us. From Love and content, to rage and sadness, our feelings are like a radar that helps us navigate into the unknown. We take feelings for granted, and we act on them without paying much attention.
Every feeling you experience can be connected with an act. You feel sad and you cry, or you feel angry and you scream at others. This may be automatic, but if you really pay attention to your thoughts and emotions, you will understand the root cause of your feelings, and you will be able to choose how you want to respond to what are you feeling.
Your feelings are yours, only yours. Nobody or anything can make you feel bad or put you down, except if you give this person or event the power to do it. Nobody can hurt you. It is not possible, it is just an illusion. You might be reacting to someone's actions, but you have the power to choose how you want to respond, instead of reacting directly to someone that is pushing your buttons, or activating something within you.
All of us have unresolved issues, things that we experienced in the past and that were never understood or processed. These issues are still there, waiting for the right occasion to make themselves visible. Sometimes this happens at the least appropriate moment. We can learn from what we have lived and overcome it. We can forgive, let go of the pain, the resentment, or the anger against someone or something that happened a long time ago, or yesterday.
I invite you to go to the center of your heart, to this place within where all is stored, and to let go of everything that is not allowing you to live a happy life now. I want you to know that you have the capability to express your feelings, and that it is ok to feel what you feel. I want to empower you to relate with others authentically. This will require you to express what you feel without limiting yourself, or avoiding expressing your feelings so as not to hurt others or be hurt by others.
Stop going through life shutting up every time you feel it is necessary. You can say what you want to say with Love, politely, in a calm way, but you need to express it. Feel your feelings and find the courage to express them. It does not matter if you want to say I Love you, or I cannot be with you. Both feelings need to be expressed. Say what you feel!
"Expressing my feelings and then the opportunity to share it with
others is just such a gift"
Accept your emotions
Your emotions are real! Accept the way you feel. Your emotions are not lying to you. They are your guidance system, your compass in the sea of life. When a certain emotion shows up, it comes with a message. A very concrete and detailed letter addressed to you. This missive cannot be avoided or deleted. You need to read its content in order to understand it. You need to feel your feelings.
Sadness is not bad. We try to avoid it, but it contains a powerful message. It can be that something is wrong, you are going against yourself, you have lost someone or something valuable for you... Sadness wants you to reflect on the situation, on what happened, on why you feel the way you feel.
When you look at any emotion rising within you, look at it as a message directed to you. Allow the message to be delivered. Read it. Understand it. Feel it with all your senses and then let it go. You can only release the emotion when the work you had to do with it is done. Don't do it before but don't wait too long.
All emotions work the same way. We tend to categorize them in good or bad emotions, but they are all the same. You don't need to choose your emotions, they do the work for you, and show up when it is necessary, without their presence being requested.
You are wired to have feelings, but when you don't give them space to be, when you repress them, or when you reject them, they will keep coming to your inner home without hesitation or being invited, and at the worst moment. Emotions just want to be heard. Remember that it is ok to feel whatever you feel. Don't judge your feelings. A feeling is just a feeling. You decide its meaning in the way you understand and decode it.
A feeling has to be analyzed in the moment that it appears in your life. You may become attached to feeling a certain way because it can be useful to attract attention, or to solve any other issue you may have. A feeling can be modified by deciding to feel in a different way, but you should not do this before you are ready.
If you are grieving, grieve with all your being, if you fall in Love, do it totally and unconditionally, if you feel happy, enjoy it to the fullest, if you feel angry, feel it in your bones to be able to release it. When you feel, whatever life sends you, your existence becomes more interesting. Feel it!
"Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what
you are doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving
something outside yourself power over your happiness.
You can choose to not let little things upset you"
Nobody can make you feel anger, sadness, guilt, or any other emotion. You are responsible for what you feel. It comes from you. It has been created within you. You are feeling it because something within you needs to be understood, changed or healed. Other people can act in a way that triggers certain feelings in you, but you can choose how to react to their words or actions. You always have a choice.
The feelings and emotions that you experience try to connect you with what you need to pay attention to. If there is sadness within you, it will be triggered by situations that will make this sadness present. It might be easier to blame others for what you feel, but it is not possible for them to create emotions in you. You are the only one responsible for how you choose to feel at any given moment. Others cannot create your reality, only you can.
Embrace the emotions you feel, and try to understand why you are feeling them. Don't ignore them; they won't disappear. Don't deny them; you will miss a great opportunity to learn something about yourself. Don't try to control them, because they will show up again when you least expect them to. Emotions are just energy in motion. They are neither good nor bad. They are there to initiate a dialogue with you. When having a recurrent feeling you should ask yourself: How do I feel? Why I am feeling this way? What is this feeling trying to tell me?
When you try to understand your emotions, go to their roots. What you are feeling can be a defense mechanism that you have been using, or an unconscious pattern of behavior that makes you react in a certain way to control others, get their Love, or manipulate them. It might also be something that is not serving you anymore, but that you continue doing because reacting this way is a habit. Look at what triggered the emotion, and you will have your answer about what you need to understand or heal. Discover the thoughts or belief systems associated to your reactions, and you will be able to challenge them.
Every time you are able to respond, and consciously decide what you want to feel, instead of reacting and allowing emotions to take over, you gain power. This power will allow you to create happiness and inner joy, and to make them last. It will help you to be at peace with yourself, and free of inner contradictions and unresolved issues. Taking responsibility for your emotions will allow you to decide how you want to live your life, and to realize that you are the creator of your life experience.
“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that
you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain.
What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain”
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.