I’m learning that when we lose faith in our feelings, we lose faith in ourselves and become outer-directed. That is, we look to the world to tell us how to feel and what to do. We seek approval and love from others so we can prove to ourselves that we are worthy. Paradoxically, to be outer-directed is to be self-absorbed. How can this be? We feel so unsure of who we are , that we cannot let go, be spontaneous or real.We can reclaim ourselves by becoming inner-directed. This means looking within ourselves for the direction we need. When we’re just beginning to learn to trust our feelings, this can seem to be truly agonizing. It means trusting the reality of our needs and our right to express them. Only then can we find the faith in ourselves and in life, that we have lacked.
Becoming inner-directed takes self-acceptance and self-love. It also takes time. Until then, there will be no real peace because it is the only way to find ourselves.
Expression is the Outer Life
I’ve realized that there’s a difference between my ability to feel, my ability to express my feelings, and my ability to let go. I know there are many painful emotions I learned to suppress when I was young, particularly anger or sadness. Other emotions might be difficult to feel because they are connected to past pain.
Yet there’s no letting go, no moving on, until I stop trying to avoid feelings such as sorrow, anger, rage or despair. I have found the way to begin working through difficult feelings is to reach out to people with a phone call, email, or blog comment. Other ways I have found to help are writing (blogging or journaling); having a good cry, or plan a healing ritual which can be as simple as taking a couple of days alone, just to think. For some of us, turning to our Higher Power, as we know it provides the spiritual help and nourishment we need.
The release that will come as a result of expressing our feelings will help to ease the pain. It’s not realistic to release all the pain from our past all at once, but we can begin by letting go of a little piece today.