The other day, a friend and I spent some time together. I was going through an Intensely emotional experience that day. I value each and every one of my emotions and I've learned not to be afraid of the feelings. In the course of our conversation, I let my mask down and the emotions flowed out. Yep, I cried.
I could see the discomfort in my friend's face. Later, he confessed to me, "I wasn't sure what to do with your emotions." He did listen as I expressed my feelings. Just by being willing to sit with me as I shared from my heart, I was able to process through and gain wisdom. He held the space for me even though he wasn't quite sure what to do.
We talked later in the day. We laughed together about the situation. I am and have always been a person who feels and experiences emotions in the most intense ways...the conversation led us to discuss the skill of being comfortable with the whole range of human emotions. This is one of the biggest gifts I give others as I coach and mentor them.
I've learned that emotions are POWERFUL VITAL information. When we allow these emotions to rise and we look at their messages, we find essential clues to what our hearts, mind, body and spirit need.
One of the MOST POWERFUL skills of coaching is being comfortable with UNCOMFORTABLE emotions. For some reason, we were taught that feelings of sadness, depression, despair, frustration, fear, anxiety, worry -- the "negative range of emotions"--- are to be hidden or run from when we notice them.
What if every emotion offers valuable information?
What if each emotion is simply guidance -- offering us clues to guide us back toward inner balance and well-being?
Our cultural and global programming that we've unconsciously picked up tells us: Run from Difficult Emotions...Suppress Difficult Emotions...Something is WRONG with you if you feel intense emotions...
How is this programming working for humanity? Depression is on the rise. Suicides are on the rise. Addiction is on the rise. People are SUFFERING. (Hey - you may be one of those people, right?)
Why? Because people have been taught to suffer silently--shoving down and holding in the wide range of emotions that are NORMAL HUMAN EMOTIONS.
What if we decided to shift this belief system to: Emotions are beautiful. They guide and lead us toward greater self-understanding. Emotions are guidance and signals that can be loved, understood and leveraged to grow our awareness of what we deeply yearn for and need for our lives.
If you are a person who mentors, coaches, teachers or inspires others...or even just a person who desires to be a good friend to people: it is essential that you learn the skill of BEING with and LEARNING from each and every emotion. This skill takes practice!
You can begin by practicing with your OWN emotions.
Become more comfortable with your own range of emotions.
Become more skilled at processing your emotions.
Be willing to love and appreciate the whole range of emotions you have.
Gain wisdom from your emotions.
As you do that for yourself, you will then be able to be with others in their discomfort, holding the space for them.
On a daily basis, check in with yourself. Throughout the day notice what emotions you feel. Take time to journal your feelings and process them on paper. Get help from a skilled friend, coach, therapist or counselor who can work with you and teach you the process of welcoming and learning from your emotional guidance.
Consider these questions....(Take time to write out your answers....)
Personal Awareness Question: What is the most uncomfortable emotion you felt recently? What was it there to show you?
Skill Growth Question: On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being expert, 1 being unskilled), how would you rate your current skill level in handling the intense and more challenging emotions of yourself and others? Where would you like to be with this skill?
Vision Question: How might your abilities to help yourself and others grow if you became more skilled at loving and understanding the most difficult emotions?
I pray that this blog opens you up to a new view on emotions...I pray that you begin to see the value of the emotional guidance system your have!
I send you love...we are all in this journey together...and it certainly IS a deeply emotional one....if you are stuck or need support, I am only an email away.
Patricia Omoqui, The Thought Dr.