I have always seen the recognition of our feelings as a way of connecting with our true and authentic selves, rather than seeing them as something we need to “overcome” in this life.
Life without feeling, to me, is a life only half-lived, and to abandon the texture and colour that feeling gives to life, is to deny the depth and beauty of our own existence. (I talk about this in much more detail in my DVD “The Emotional Aspects of Healing“)
Many spiritual teachings aim to go beyond feeling, to a place of joy, peace and surrender – and as I have spoken about before, this is a wonderful inspiration and guide – but not necessarily a way to live every day.
Our feelings can have very important messages about the way we are living our lives, and to work on bypassing the feeling rather than understanding it’s core, we can miss important signposts for our life. In one of my favourite books “Riding Between the Worlds” by Linda Kohanov, she writes about this subject:
“…yet this is precisely the behavior that many religious leaders and holistic healers promote, as McLaren found during her search for a more soulful way to approach her feelings.
In order to “be more spiritual,” she strained to be emotionless and non-judgemental,” to “have only joy in my heart.” But this proved to be a dead end: “I saw quite clearly that happiness and joy could become very dangerous if they were trumpeted as the emotions of choice – as the only emotions any of us should ever feel.
I can’t count the number of people I’ve seen whose lives imploded after they disallowed the protection of anger, the intuition of fear, the rejuvenation of sadness, and the ingenuity of depression in order to feel only joy.
In short, I’ve found throughout my life that what we are taught about emotions is not only wrong – it’s often dangerously wrong.”
Part of healing is reclaiming our ability to feel and understand the wisdom behind our “negative” feelings. In my journey as a practitioner, I am quite certain that healing can only take place when we explore this side of life, and that food, herbs and supplements will only take us so far down the healing path.
Just something to keep in mind as we explore this fascinating roller-coaster called life!