Emotions are hard; they hurt and sometimes linger for years and years causing deeper pain and anguish. Sometimes emotions are soft and joyous and fleeting. If we could only hold onto the joyous emotions as well as we hold onto the hurtful emotions our hearts would not ache as much.
I started doing shadow work about four years ago with Sherree Bailey and since then I have learned to hold the emotions that swell up at certain times and examine them to see why I feel this way.
During this shadow work I really examine my emotions and welcome them all to find the root of where they are coming from. Generally it’s past traumas from the abuse of my step father then the neglect from my biological father. All those emotions I was told to bottle up as a child now come back to haunt me as an adult. But now I’ve learned to Welcome them with an open heart and hold them till they are soothed and comforted.
I have literally opened my heart up to my most painful emotions to experience them over and over and evaluate the conditions I experienced those emotions in. Sometimes I cry in such agonizing pain at the memories of loss, abandonment and cruelty, soothing my ten year old ego with my now 42 year self. Other times I hold onto the joyous ones and laugh at the carefree moments my eight year old ego forgot that my 42 self remembers.
During this process I’m reminded of a Rumi Poem:
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
I’m so grateful I learned how to welcome the vast array of emotions we all experience. It has helped my soul feel peace and my ego feel safe with our emotions.
~Candice Currier Carver