Emotions tell stories about what is really going on. You’ve just got to be willing to sit with the uncomfortable ones long enough and with enough self-honesty to discover what they are telling you about what you need for your healing.
This is going to make a lot more sense if I share a couple of poignant stories from my life.
Years ago, I was in loving relationship where my sexual energy started to fully awaken and blossom. Naturally, I was grateful to be in a relationship where I could enjoy my sexual expression, and yet at the same time I was emotionally very raw—so raw that I was frequently on fire with anger. I dealt with that anger by either being sarcastic or withdrawing. To compound matters, I would get raging migraine headaches after making love during day-time hours.
Finally, as the relationship was ending, I started going to therapy and uncovered that I had been sexually abused as a child. In order for that realization to become apparent, I had to learn how to be with my anger without judging it. I needed to let go of my need to blame others for the fact that I felt angry, and instead understand where that anger was coming from—the old wounds that had set my angry responses into motion.
As I reflected on my realization, I came to understand that my recent sexual opening was triggering the abuse I had suppressed. My emotions and my headaches were both telling me something was very wrong, but it wasn’t about what I thought he should or shouldn’t have been doing, it was about the hidden emotional pain of my childhood experience.
When you sit with those uncomfortable feelings long enough, they can help you uncover difficult, but important truths.
Years later, with a new lover, we discovered more about why I would get terribly crabby. One day, while I was in the kitchen contemplating why I felt so angry inside when nothing bad had happened, he lovingly explained to me that I tended to get really rude and judgmental with him just after making love in the afternoon.
My eyes flew wide open. It was so obvious. Yes, that is the time of day I remembered being sexually abused. Then I remembered how awful it was to be abused and then go about the day as though nothing had happened.
Clearly, I had more healing work to do. Fortunately, my lover was kind enough to talk this through with me and we together we created a transition between making love during the day and attending to household activities. With his help, I healed.
Today, I don’t get angry and don’t have headaches when I choose to make love during day-time hours. To get to that place, I needed to honor the anger and pain I was feeling. They were the outward expression of a deep and important story. Until I sat with the discomfort of my anger, it ran my life.
Running from emotions rarely helps us in the healing journey. They need to be honored, and I don’t mean by harming and hurting other people. I mean we heal by sitting down and have a “cup of tea” with our feelings so that we can understand the hidden stories behind our emotions and heal the root cause of our pain.
Reverend Misa is the author of “The Root of All Healing: 7 Steps to Healing Anything.”