How to Release Emotional Pain and Find Peace

BY Parvati

Spring is a time when all that was frozen returns to flow. But sometimes we need a little help feeling that in ourselves. I have been working on my book The Three Supreme Secrets for Lasting Happiness to help with this, and share this excerpt with Sivana Spirit this week:
We all have periods of our lives when we experience emotional pain. There are many ways we can experience pain, and many ways we can address it. From a yogic perspective, we learn to meet pain courageously, with openness, wisdom and compassion. Rather than running from it or trying to hide from it, we learn to give space to what we are feeling. In doing this, we allow ourselves to meet and witness that which is, without resistance. With this intention, we eventually experience lasting release.
Certain emotions, such as anger, fear, resentment or guilt, are commonly referred to as “negative” emotions. This word does not resonate for me. I prefer to say “painful” emotions. Because of the pain certain emotions create, we try to push them away and judge them as bad. The problem is that when we judge, we feel separate from the thing we are judging. Feeling separate creates a push/pull dynamic within us that perpetuates suffering. So judging the emotion as negative weakens our ability to learn from it and be present in the moment.
We are multidimensional beings having a human experience. We are vast beyond the limited grasp of our sense perceptions and ego. As we allow ourselves to become present, we begin to notice that what we commonly define as “real” or “mine”, is in fact an energy knot that knows only to attract or repulse. This knot is fueled by wanting, the illusion that what we need is outside or beyond us. For most of us, wanting is born from a primal fear that we will not get the love we need because we perceive ourselves to be disconnected from love.
Saints, mystics and sages throughout the ages tell us that in reality we are the embodiments of pure, unconditional love. That is our true nature. There is no separation from the profound, eternal fulfillment we seek. It is available to us here and now. Yet we erroneously believe that what we want is outside ourselves. So we cultivate sorry stories about ourselves, projections onto the moment based on past perceptions. These could include seeking approval, wanting to possess, attempting to gain. Sorry stories perpetuate disconnection and suffering: But beyond these stories, we are the healing, the love, the approval, the acceptance we have been seeking all the while.
Suffering arises from resistance to what is. When we are attached to this moment being other than it is, we are trying to control it. In so doing, we experience constriction and disconnection. Our dissatisfaction with the moment can lead to mild irritation or even full-out rage. As a result, we experience emotional pain.
When we feel emotional pain, it is important to learn to be present for it. Pushing pain away leads to emotional blockages such as resentment, rage, despair and depression. It can lead to painful behavior that hurts ourselves and others, such as outbursts. It can lead us to self-medicate through addictions, whether to substances, habitual behaviours or self-defeating thoughts.
The sincere seeker practices witness consciousness, to be present with what is. Being present is a balance between focused attention on what is directly happening now, and broad awareness that this moment is part of a vast, intelligent unfolding. Our universe is ever changing, so that which we perceive now is also evolving.
Our psyche and perceptions can be like a repeated swirl of painful thoughts, leaving us unaware of the magnificence within and around us. Emotional pain is an energy swirl caught in an eddy, within the flowing river of life. Eventually the pain will release and the energy held there will find its way back to the river.
As pain begins to release, there may be tears, sweat, movement or vocalizing. These can be part of the return to the river, when they arise from a sense of inner spaciousness, without forcing, without wanting. As energy stuck in pain begins to release, you feel more expansive, energized and vital. This moment seems richer, more possible. The energy once caught in painful, sorry story eddies now flows back to the river. Throughout this day, you can continue to breathe and witness the moment. So it is. So it is. One moment gives birth to the next, each one unfolding perfectly. Your individual awareness opens to infinite consciousness. You meet that which is, without resistance. Then you awaken to the reality that you have been one with the river all along.