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Let it in to let it go

Welcome your thoughts and feelings of all kinds and release their power and energy for your highest good.

When we feel anger, sadness or other “negative” emotions, it is easy, if we have a personal growth mindset, or even simply a desire to function smoothly as a person and in relationships with others, to want to resist these feelings.

Yet this is the sure-fire way to far greater consequences. Even if you succeed in “controlling your emotions” in the heat of the moment, if left unchecked, it is like sweeping things under the carpet. My daughter was watching an early episode of Modern Family the other day and Phil came out with a great line that went something like: “If you keep sweeping things under the carpet, you’ll have a lumpy carpet.”

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best way to deal with these emotions is to welcome them. They are part of you and really there is no angry God judging you for feeling a certain way.

Clearly we don’t want to let certain feelings dictate behaviour which hurts others. But this is precisely about what you do when these feelings come up, so they don’t hurt others – or yourself, which manifest in mental and physical health problems. Denying or punishing yourself for having them only gives the feeling more energy and so power.

Instead, you can welcome these feelings by removing the judgemental “negative” labels (same goes for “positive”, of course) and simply feeling the power in the feelings. By noticing the physical sensations caused by feelings, especially strong ones), you recognise the energy they have. Stress and its consequences is a clear example of what happens when emotions are left unchecked and unmanaged.

Emotion is sometimes defined as “energy in motion”, which for me is a very helpful way of thinking about it as it allows you to manage something which is somehow easier to conceptualise than a feeling or emotion as it has some basis in the physical world.

By separating the “content” (he really makes me mad!) from the energy, we are able to feel that energy, feel its power, then release the content but keep the power! We can then either use that energy or let it go too, knowing we are in control, not vice versa.

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