Emotional Peace - Staying Present
I have set out to write a blog about tools for developing emotional peace, sometimes referred to as just peace; a life skill and path.
As I am becoming more aware and responsible for the ways I react to people, and realizing more how I affect others, I want to share insights and practices that are helping me to respond more authentically.
Recently, for example, I noticed a big shift occur in me when I paused in the midst of a heated conversation. I felt my anger was being totally dismissed by the other person (my partner), and rage started bubbling up from my toes. The shift occurred the moment I caught myself. I saw how I had been intruding on my partner’s boundaries.
A huge part of the challenge with my partner was that I really felt like I had license to barge into his space and be heard because the decision he was making was having a negative impact on me. All of my feelings were galvanizing to defend myself, and the intense surge of emotions not only grabbed my muscles but gave me reckless permission to spew out whatever came to my mind.
As I became silent, I noticed my feelings subside; so, too, did the numerous, nagging, physical discomforts that I’d been putting up with for months.
In that moment, I realized that having a pain-free body is a positive side effect of resolving difficult emotions. I also realized that there is a part of me that remains undisturbed regardless of the emotions I’m feeling. I call that part my higher Self.
As I exercise my higher Self in everyday life, I am noticing the moment-to-moment experiential interception points where my higher eternal presence, my physical being and my conscious, inner experience meet.
I am a hybrid – a sweet being of light in human flesh – but being hybrid is a mixed bag because my struggles are a combination of physical, mental and emotional. And my higher Self can be tough to access when conflicts show up in my relationships.
When relationship upheaval arises, I would like to be able to clearly express what I’m feeling to the other person in order to represent myself. I think that if I can share my experience accurately, I will have more of a shot at being understood. But when a multitude of physical sensations flood my system, swallowing up my attention, all I want is to seek relief.
I’ve spent decades running away from painful emotions. Feelings of inadequacy have often overwhelmed my sensitive system. At times I’ve sought whatever I could find to avoid feeling at all.
As a compulsive overeater, I have used food to numb my emotional pain. Feeling empty inside would quickly be obliterated by eating too much pizza. With an insatiable appetite for attracting people with addictions into my life, I have found boundless opportunities for offering my help.
Because my early life was bombarded by emotionally deprived people, it felt normal for me to always be looking for ways to feel better. I was a “globber” – someone who attached herself emotionally to someone (or something, like an activity or specific behavior) – in an effort to fill the void with what was missing. From a deep place came the need to fix other people’s problems like my sense of wellbeing and self-worth depended on it.
I used to feel so alone. I wanted guidance and direction. I can remember being curled up on the floor and wondering, “What will it take to feel better?”
Right then and there … in the midst of my heated discussion with my partner … I decided that being curious would help me. Instead of trying to reach for the usual relief agents, I listened to my thoughts and body sensations. I became a witness for what was happening inside of me. And I found myself looking to the part of my Self that is undisrupted by how emotionally disconnected I may feel.
Choosing to silence my anger gave me a glimpse of peace – just long enough to calm myself. Letting my imagination run wild, I infused some of that neutrality into my body.