How diving deeper into our uncomfortable feelings, accepting them and letting go, may help us to change our lives and our planet
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
What gave me inspiration to write about uncomfortable feelings?
One day as I was cycling to the local nature reserve to do some running, I felt uncomfortable feelings stirring inside of me. Over the last year, I have intuitively come up with an exercise to allow myself how I truly feel. I began the process of acknowledging the different ranges of difficult emotions, waiting to flow through me. Some of the emotions were familiar others came as a surprise. Anger, frustration, sadness were all coupled with abandonment, loss, confusion, and numbness.
I started feeling somewhat lighter after having acknowledged my emotions. I still felt stirrings inside but allowed myself to acknowledge and accept them. I surrendered, I let go of needing to find peace and balance. It was ok for me to not feel good, to just be with what was there in the present moment.
Pain and discomfort are part of our human experience
The problem is that most of us never got taught how to deal with uncomfortable feelings in a healthy way. Whether it’s frustration, anger, sadness, regret, hopelessness, guilt or shame. As we grow up we develop all kinds of unhealthy habits to numb the pain at the expense of our health and wellbeing and sometimes it affects people close to us too. It may be drugs, alcohol, sex or other distractions such as shopping, working or having too many sugary treats that give us a temporary relief, but it’s not a solution. You may be surprised but even ‘positivity’ can become an unhealthy distraction from allowing ourselves to witness and feel what is waiting to be healed.
Where do these uncomfortable feelings come from?
Family and/or personal trauma. Feelings are a powerful force. From one moment to the other we can feel blissful but then suddenly go into deep sorrow and pain. We often can’t control the emergence of our feelings as they are closely related to many different processes. Family trauma can be passed on, which means that we may react unconsciously to triggers that don’t even make sense to us. If we go deeper down the rabbit hole, we can see that past life experiences trigger us as well.
We get influenced by trauma and pain from as early as when we were fetuses. Many people may not be aware of the extent of how previous pain at different times in our lives can have an impact on our present lives. We create negative self-beliefs and patterns due to unresolved issues and it all has a massive impact on our unconscious, which we become aware of whenever we get into a place of discomfort.
Energy/emotions that we may have picked up from people that we are close to or integrate with on a regular basis. We may consciously or unconsciously pick up energies and emotions from other people. This can often be learned behaviours that we picked up as children if we had one or both parents that were/are suffering from pain. Children can take on emotional pain in an act of love for their parent and in that way get entangled with their energies.
Collective consciousness. Have you ever experienced an anger, greater than what was justifiable with the situation, greater than the sense of any unresolved anger in your own life? If you have, then you most probably would’ve tapped into the collective anger. What is collective consciousness? You may have heard the idea that we are all connected? If we are all connected then we ought to be able to on some level feel how others are feeling too, hence why many religious scripts and modern-day quotes talk about treating others the way you want to be treated yourself.
“Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do to you.” – Confucius
What makes us feel uncomfortable with certain feelings?
Most likely judgment. Let’s go back to our toddlerhood. During this time of tantrums showing up, often parents are either too tired or unknowing of the importance of allowing children to express how they are feeling. Children naturally throw a tantrum when they are overwhelmed with strong, bottled up emotions in a way of trying to release the discomfort they are feeling inside. If during this process the child isn’t allowed to let the emotions go, they learn that it’s not safe, not good or that they’ll get punished for it. This creates an inner conflict, a battle where there are no winners only seemingly a temporary win for the parent or caregiver.
To explain what I see about what happens when we don’t accept and acknowledge our emotions:
“I’d like you to imagine a saucepan with a lid and inside there’s boiling water about to boil over. What would you logically and intuitively do? Open the lid to let steam out and adjust the heat right? We must ask ourselves why we try and force the lid down on our emotions? No wonder people suffer from anxiety.”
What can I do to feel better, to let some of the steam out?
- In the moment – breathing exercises, acknowledging how you truly feel, visualisation, changing thoughts and thought patterns, changing your environment, going for a walk.
- Classes & exercises – meditation, mindfulness (to help clear your mind and come back to the present moment), physical exercises like running, going to the gym (to help you be present and grounded in your body), yoga (which combines a practice for mind, body and soul depending on the style).
- Hobbies – Spend time in nature, do some cooking, painting, poetry, music, dancing.
- Authentic sharing with family members, friends or therapists – there’s a difference between complaining about how you feel and sharing from a place of vulnerability. When we complain we don’t ‘own’ what is happening, we are seeing ourselves as victims and judging the outside world. If we instead practice authentic sharing and vulnerability, we are allowing ourselves to really feel our uncomfortable feelings, surrendering to what is and letting go of control. Whereas when we complain, we believe that things could be different and wanting our circumstance to change from a place of frustration and anger. We are basically fighting and not wanting to accept the past, present or future.
- Pets – Spend some time with your pet, go to a cat café or a farm.
What is important here is that you don’t use any of the above as a way of escaping. Instead, use it to find the space to process.
What can I do to support someone going through a hard time? How can I hold space?
While it’s not for us to change other people, we can become role models and inspire others to change. It starts with each one of us. We all go through tough days and others more than the average person. Instead of judging them, consider that they may be highly sensitive people that feel all the pain around them and in the collective consciousness. You can help them by letting them know that you are there for them, listen to them without judgment, without needing to ‘fix’ them, without making them feel inadequate or trying to impact the outcome. If we try and take their pain away we are ultimately taking their power away, believing that we can do a better job. We can offer gentle support when needed, walk alongside them, but what they need more than anything is our unconditional love.
What does people’s emotional state have to do with saving the planet?
We are living in times where there’s an epidemic of people feeling at their edge, where surviving is their first priority. A lot of people in this state are only just able to keep their own lives and themselves together. How can we expect them to be thinking about what our planet needs to survive? I recommend looking into the work of Dr. Candace Pert. She writes about The Physics of Emotion in her book ‘Everything You Need To Know To Feel Go(o)d’. Emotions, Pert explains, are not simply chemicals in the brain. They are electrochemical signals that affect the chemistry and electricity of every cell in the body. The body’s electrical state is modulated by emotions, changing the world within the body. In turn, Pert finds emotional states affect the world outside the body. She says: “It is a whole new paradigm shift that basically leads you to realize you’re not alone. You are connected to everybody else. Your emotions are key. And you are leaving a wake, changing the world around you in a huge way.”
What benefits have I received by accepting and acknowledging uncomfortable emotions
By accepting my ‘darker’ emotions, I’ve learned to accept myself more fully. It’s helped me to open my heart to a different level of consciousness and helped me be less judgmental with others too. I feel that I move better between life’s ebbs and flows and I’m able to stay more balanced and abundant. Because I spend less time resisting the feelings that want to be acknowledged, I spend more time in a higher vibrational state, in a state of inner peace, joy, and love. I have increasingly more moments where I feel good.
“I believe that our emotions are messengers not meant to be judged, but witnessed. By witnessing them, acknowledging and accepting them, letting us feel them as they move through us, they can become our guides instead of our enemies. They may bring great healing, transformation and abundance to our lives, allowing us to move forward instead of feeling stuck. Dive deep and allow yourself to follow wherever you’re being taken, where magic can happen, where dreams come true, where we become one with the great mystery of life. Are you ready to venture into the unknown, in exchange of an ordinary life? Are you ready to live your wildest dreams? I invite you to go within, go deeper where you haven’t been before, your destiny is awaiting you!” – Maria Love Yoo
About the Author
Maria brings transmissions, wisdom, and stories from both East and West. She was born in South Korea, adopted to Sweden at 18 months old and has been living in London for 15 years. Her Life purpose is about Love & Unity.
She started the Empowering Women’s Circles back in 2016. A space for women to feel heard, held and supported while going through transformation together. She facilitates monthly Women’s Workshops, Gong Baths, Cacao Ceremonies and has just started an Online Women’s Circles too.
While healing her own wounds she became passionate about holding space for other people’s healing journeys too. She trained as a Masseuse 9 years ago and since then has trained in Angelic Reiki, Life Coaching, EFT & Matrix Re-imprinting, Theta Healing, Sound Healing and Family Constellations.
Maria has been part of many different circles led by healers and shamans. The powerful feeling of feeling connected and having a sense of belonging had a big impact and inspired her to facilitate this for others too.