An Emotional Embrace

Let it go. I hear myself saying these words often.

“Let it go; it doesn’t serve you.”

“Let it go; it’s not worth the pain.”

Recently, I had a powerful, introspective journey through guided breathwork and meditation. The imagery I saw was beautiful. An open, silver pool expanding into the horizon. And then, a shadowy figure emerged full of pain, suffering, worry. I wanted to pull away, but it gently grabbed my hand.

Then we danced.

Through silver waters, twirling and swirling. I felt light, free and full of compassion for this figure. Then I realized this figure was me. My inner struggles coming out to dance.

I realized in that moment that “letting go” isn’t exactly accurate. Yes, we carry way too many burdens for our overstuffed backpack and some things need to be unloaded. But other items, we carry with us always and we can’t just let them go.

Our emotions – they are always in the backpack. But we push them down, shove them aside to make way for other stuff in the backpack. Our emotions get forgotten but we carry them…and we feel them. They are shoved deep in the backpack, but they are there all the same.

They show up in our bodies with tightness and pain. They show up through anxiety and stress. They show up through digestive problems and late-night refrigerator raids. They show up in disrupted sleep and disease. They are always in the backpack.

So, what if, instead of working so hard to let go, we simply embraced?

What if we saw our emotions, reached out a hand, and danced with them? What if we let them out of the backpack and shared them with others? I imagine the backpack would feel lighter; and the load, less of a burden.

Embracing is not easy (though not any harder than letting go). Embracing means sitting with our emotions with gentle awareness and trying to understand. Not letting go but letting be! Practicing Mindfulness. Mindful awareness is the practice of “paying attention to” the present moment, item, thought, person…emotion. Being with the moment, not in it. Feeling (or embracing) the moment but not letting it consume you. You are mindfully aware of the emotion but not getting dragged down by it.

An emotional embrace to say “hey, I see you. I feel you. All will be OK. Now let’s dance.”

 

Learn more about mind/body wellness at the Happy Healthy Holiday Expo on November 2nd. Amber will be speaking and sharing her book at the event. Also learn more about Mindfulness and our emotions in her book available here.

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