I love this beautiful time of year; the trees are turning colour, the kids are back in school and activities are moving forward after lazy summer days. With all these changes our emotions are being challenged. We live in a society where emotions are not valued, but they are our greatest gifts. Emotions are what inspire us; through love we express compassion and feel connected, through the expression of joy we find celebration, through passion we create beauty. But what happens when we feel anger? When we feel overwhelmed? Or sad?
These emotions are valuable too. Anger, sadness, frustration, overwhelm these are considered negative emotions but what if we started looking at them as signs? Messages from ourselves to ourselves? Is anger actually telling us that our boundaries are being pushed? Is sadness telling us that things are changing inside of us? Is frustration telling us we are not in alignment with what we really want in our lives? When we are overwhelmed are we not valuing our own needs? Yes! Yes! Yes! and Yes!! Absolutely, these emotions are telling us about ourselves.
Usually we look outside of ourselves for the cause or source, but next time look inside for the message. The next time someone makes you feel really angry, so mad you think “how dare he do that to me!” Stop yourself and ask “why is this action making me so angry?” Look inside. Is that person reflecting a part of you that you don’t want to deal with? Are you being pushed to step outside of your comfort zone? Remember when we grow as a person we increase our comfort zone which can be uncomfortable; but that is another topic for another time.
Think back to a time when you were driving in your car and someone really made you mad by cutting you off. You thought to yourself “what a jerk!! Who does he think he is?” Probably a whole lot more when through your mind that wasn’t too polite. Now stop and think what was going on with you? Why did you get so mad? The other driver probably just made a mistake, we have all done it. But why did you get so mad? Were you rushing to get somewhere? Was work being stressful? Were you having relationship troubles in your life? Most likely you can find an area of your life that was causing you negative emotions you weren’t facing and dealing with.
Did you know that tears are healthy? Scientists have shown that tears consist of the chemicals in the body that are created when we have emotions. Extreme joy can cause you to cry because it’s a release of too much chemical created from the extreme emotion, same with sadness, anger and every other emotion. The more we supress the expression and ignore the emotion the more these chemicals build up in our bodies. We start to wallow in our emotions – literally! These chemicals run around our bodies creating chaotic states inside ourselves, an overload of emotional chemicals fueling each other and inspiring more to be created. They can build and build and build till we actually feel like we are drowning in our own emotions!
Have you ever looked so forward to a night of relaxation? You plan it out all week, finally the night arrives, your body is exhausted, on go your comfy jamies and out comes the popcorn or munchies, you get everything in order, dim the lights and curl up in your favorite spot, turn on that movie or book you have been looking forward to. Just as you lose yourself in the story….. your body interrupts you to go to the bathroom. You get back to your comfy spot, lose yourself in the story again and …… your body interrupts you again…. Drink, bathroom, whatever. You start to think “why? Why? I just want to relax!” What is actually happening is you are letting those overload of emotional chemicals go. Same thing happens when you meditate or any other form of relaxation; you start to let your emotions go. This is healthy, this is balance, this is valuing ourselves. Give yourself permission to cry, to lose yourself in a good story, meditate or some other activity that restores you. It is just as important and worthy of your time as brushing your teeth and washing your hair or eating a good meal.
One last thing I want to say…..as important as it is for you to honour and value yourself, it is equally important for your loved ones. They too deserve time and freedom to tune into their emotions. So the next time your spouse is sitting there doing nothing and the list of chores is growing; relax and trust that they are doing something important, they are valuing themselves. The next time your children are crying let them, allow them to get out their emotions, provide a safe place for them to honour their emotions. Teach them the Value of their Tears.
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