Releasing Emotional Pain

BY Parvati

Releasing Emotional Pain

We all have days, moments or 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 that which we feel space to be. In doing this, we allow ourselves to meet and witness that which is, without resistance. With this intention, we eventually experience lasting release of whatever may be the source of our pain.

Yoga teaches us that 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, then release and expand, through the practice of meditation, we begin to notice that what we commonly define as “real”, that which we call “mine”, is in fact an energy knot that knows only to either push or pull, attract or repulse. This knot is fueled by wanting, the illusion that what we need is outside, beyond us. For most people, 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, to that which is available to us here and now. Yet, what we believe we want, we erroneously believe to be outside ourselves. So we cultivate sorry stories about ourselves that perpetuate an experience of disconnection, of suffering by seeking approval, wanting to possess, attempting to gain. Yet beyond the grasp of this false self-perception, we are the healing, the Love, the approval, the acceptance we have been seeking all the while.

From a yogic perspective, suffering comes through resistance to what is. When we are attached to this moment being other than it is, we experience constriction and disconnection in an attempt to control the moment. We then feel dissatisfaction, which births mild irritation to 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 behaviour that hurts ourselves and others, such as outbursts or an attempt to medicate pain through addictions, be it food, substances or even self-defeating thoughts.

Yogis practice witness consciousness, to be present for 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 of which I am an integral part. Our universe is every changing, evolving, so that which I perceive now is also changing and evolving.

If you like, do a little test. Take a quiet moment here, now, and check in with yourself. Sit quietly. Breathe deeply, several breaths. Allow your awareness to move inward, perhaps from your head, into your heart and down to your belly. See how you feel. Perhaps you find that you feel relaxed, satisfied, fulfilled. Perhaps you feel anxious, angry or sad. Whatever you find, allow it to be, without judging. Just witness what is. In this, there is no narration of likes and dislikes. Neutrally witness, without judgment. By witnessing, a vast space naturally arises through and beyond the habitual tendency to constrict and try to control what is. In this space, possibility is born and your true nature arises. Cultivating this inner space is essential to developing lasting inner calm and joy. In this space, the love you are returns and flows. Positive possibilities flow and I AM consciousness arises.

As you continue to practice inner awareness, your awareness goes deeper. Often during this process, parts of the psyche that hold pain begin to emerge. As pain rises, notice it, how it feels. Does it feel hot? Does it feel cold? Does it seem to have textures, edges? Does it feel loose or constrictive? Where do I feel it in my body? Is it in my gut? Is it in my chest or my head? Where am I holding? What am I holding on to? Watch what begins to arise without trying to change or fix it. Allow it to be as it is. Allow the intelligence of Nature to move within it. Let the feelings and sensations have room to breathe. As you practice this witnessing, by its own volition pain will begin to move, unfold and eventually release.

Like an eddy of water that swirls around and around, caught in its own rhythm and disconnect to its environment, our psyche and perceptions can be like a repeated swirl of painful thoughts and we become unaware of the magnificence within and around us. Like the eddy, which is within a rich flowing river, so too emotional pain is an energy swirl caught within the flowing river of life. Eventually the pain will release and the energy caught there will find its way back to the river. That life force returns to flow.

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, we feel more expansive, energized and vital. This very moment seems richer more possible. The energy once caught in painful, sorry story eddies now flows back to the river of I AM.

And throughout this day, we can continue to breathe and witness this moment. So it is. So it is. One moment gives birth to the next, each moment unfolding perfectly. Our individual awareness opens to infinite consciousness, and we meet that which is, without resistance. Then we awaken to the reality that we have been one with the River all along.

May all beings feel the flow of pure consciousness now and always.
Jai Ma,