You can't see them! You can't touch them! But you sure can feel them! Unless of course you have them buried under layers and layers of "protection" -- whether those layers are physical as in layers of extra flesh, or emotional as in standoffish walls that proclaim to the people around you, "don't get too close".
Many of us have been holding back and storing unfelt emotions. What's the purpose? Unfortunately, the reason behind suppressed emotions is self-defeating. Holding back from "feeling your feelings" is usually how we try to protect ourselves from being hurt. However, the resistance to feeling your emotions when they arise is what really causes pain.
How Do Unfelt & Unexpressed Emotions Manifest?
Unfelt and unexpressed emotions manifest in many ways. They may be felt only on a "discomfort level", as if something is wrong and you don't know what it is. Sometimes it's even hard to pinpoint what exactly is the cause of your dis-ease or dis-comfort. Maybe it's a feeling of dissatisfaction with yourself, with your life, with others around you. Sometimes it's a feeling of anger or disappointment that doesn't seem to have a cause.
If you stop and question yourself as to the cause of your confusion, the truth will come to the surface. There is always a cause for our feelings -- it's just that many times we have hidden it from ourselves as well as from others.
What Am I Feeling? What Feelings Am I Not Expressing?
So the first question is to ask yourself is "What am I feeling?" The typical repressed answer is "I don't know". Just walk past that hurdle by asking another question: "What feelings am I not expressing?"
If that still draws a blank, then ask yourself "If I knew what I was feeling, what would I say it is?" What is your answer? Ah ha! Usually that will bring up some type of response... Is it sadness, anger, fear? What answer do you get to the question? It may be more than one thing... you may have many layers of levels of feelings associated with your present state of mind or mood.
It Is OK to Feel This Way!
Once you have uncovered the emotions that you've been keeping in storage or repressing, look at them. You don't need to analyze and criticize. Don't judge yourself, blame yourself, or tell yourself that you "shouldn't" feel that way. Only look at them, and tell them (the feelings) and yourself that it is O.K. to feel this way. Then, let yourself feel your anger, your sadness, your fear. Really feel it! Go ahead and cry, or beat your pillow... whatever you feel to do (just don't hurt anyone).
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The repressed emotions need to come out so they stop poisoning you and your life. An example of how repressed stuff still affects you: Imagine that you are allergic to the odor of something. So you push the "something" under the bed so you can't see it. Well, will that help any at all? Of course not -- you'll still be allergic, and even if you can't see the "something", your allergies will still be stimulated.
The same goes with repressed emotions. Just because you have stuffed them "under the bed", doesn't mean they don't affect you. They do, and the solution to your problems can be identified even though you've hidden or buried or repressed the cause.
The Body Will Always Seek Healing & Wholeness
The body, especially once you have made the decision to heal yourself, will always seek to become healthy and whole. When energies are building up inside of you, somewhat like a volcano's powerful gases, your body will do everything in its power to get rid of the poison.
It is better for you, as well as for the people around you, when you clear and release your emotions without "dumping" on others. Those old feelings have nothing to do with people around you anyway. They are "your stuff". It is surely better for you to release your pent-up emotions in this way than picking a scapegoat to bear the brunt of that energy, or repressing the emotions inside and creating physical problems for yourself.
I Am Free to Feel My Feelings! I Am Safe!
Tell yourself often that it is O.K. and safe to be a feeling human being. In our upbringing, we were probably told not to show our anger, not to show our sadness or fears. So consequently, we "behaved" and poisoned ourselves by repressing those reactions to our daily life.
Take time to be with yourself, especially when you feel slightly out of kilter, and talk to yourself (silently is fine). Ask yourself what it is that you're not expressing, what feeling you are blocking... and then go into those feelings. Feel them. Experience them.
Feeling them will free you to go on your way unburdened by the chains of emotion that were binding you to your past.
Don't be afraid that you are unlocking the door of the dam and that you will be bowled over with a flood of emotions. It may feel like that at first, but as the pressure of unexpressed emotions releases, so will the pressure on your self be lessened, and you will feel lighter.
You will not cry forever. The anger will not keep on exploding forever. The pain will not go on forever. Once you release the pressure, you can fully take off the cover and let it flow out gracefully.
Free yourself. Feel your inner child crying out for your attention and your love. Allow yourself to be human. Give yourself permission to feel. Be real! You may be surprised... you'll like it!
The Law of Agreement: Discover the True Power of Intention
by Tony Burroughs.
Tony Burroughs offers examples and stories which show how the Law of Agreement, and its partner, the Law of Adversity work simultaneously. Full of real life stories, examples, and solutions, The Law of Agreement is a practical and world-changing book.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com