A big benefit of counselling is increasing our emotional landscape. In psychosynthesis, Assagioli’s ‘egg diagram’ is a handy visual for showing our capacity for sorrow and joy as well as different levels of consciousness and our connection with Self.
I often well up (or sob) at something that hits me either because it’s so beautiful or sad.
Happy tear catalysts include a video of people dancing in celebration after succeeding in protecting the earth, drinking water and sacred ground from the Dakota Access Pipeline, a stunning piece of art, a moonscape and many, many other things (especially involving acts of kindness and compassion).
Similarly, I regularly cry at the news or horrors which I won’t repeat.
Often, the kinds of emotions that were ‘allowed’ when we were growing up are used to suppress feelings that were deemed intolerable. For many of us, feelings like sadness, fear and anger were discouraged. For some of us, even ‘positive’ feelings like joy (for example, if a parent was depressed and needed quiet) might have been discouraged.
Often, in an effort to numb ourselves from pain, shame, fear and trauma, we similarly cut of our capacity for joy. By healing what’s repressed – both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’, we can live life more fully.
I regularly recommend Elaine Aron’s work around the Highly Sensitive Person to clients as, so often, sensitivity is seen as a bad thing. Obviously, we don’t want to be so raw that we’re incapacitated (although, looking back, I see that when this was the case for me, it turned out to be a good thing as it made me make some big changes in my life) but sensitivity and empathy are strengths.
This time of year can make us feel more raw in lots of ways – bursting with love for people and also cranky and irritable.
When we accept all of our emotions as fleeting and equally valid, it can be easier to handle no matter the intensity.
When you think of the weeks ahead, does anything spring to mind as a time when you may feel emotionally overwhelmed?
What might you do in such moments to support yourself through it?
How might you better honour (or hone) your sensitivity to a range of feelings and emotions rather than numbing yourself?
Feel free to comment below.