Sunday, March 13, 2016

Feeling Sensitive Emotional

Feeling flat, dead, and dull? At least you are feeling something! In 12 step we recognize that we are predisposed to stuffing our feelings. Many were hurt as children so feel safer not have feelings. Others were chastised or ridiculed for exposing feelings so prefer to keep them under cover. Too often the cover becomes so deep and strong we lose access to them completely. So part of recovery is re-discovering our feelings and finding safe situations to share them in, and safe people to share them with. Not everyone is safe, that's for sure. Those who were ridiculed for feelings often try to pass that along through their behavior. Are you sometimes emotionless, unfeeling, or uncaring in the face of suffering? I was and often still am in the moment, but go back to the scene later mentally, perhaps in a safer situation, to feel the joy, grief, or other feelings. The feeling is often triggered by some other similar but unrelated event. For example: a beautiful little rat got caught in one of our traps and was suffering terribly. We had to kill it and felt just awful (no more inhumane traps). That event triggered grief for a person who had died but I had not yet grieved. It doubled the grief but really got me to feel the full depth of it. The power of these disciplines is recognizing their importance, making a commitment to nurture them, and following through. This is one area, it gives me great pleasure to work. Yes, it can be difficult when the feelings are painful, but if we never embrace suffering we won't get to the compassion on the other side. Personally, I'm committed to being sensitive to and feel my feelings, express my emotions, and enjoy the privilege of being fully alive.

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