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Focusing Tip #533

What can you do when you’re struggling with “forbidden” feelings?

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Maria writes:

I am in a difficult time in my life. It is apparently forbidden for me to be capable of being alone and strong and happy after the end of a long relationship. The feelings of anger get immediately blocked by something saying “That is not allowed.” It doesn’t allow me to feel good if another person is hurt. The block avoids the enjoyment of really being alone and also the anger about all that happened. In your experience: is it possible to start to feel forbidden anger? In little steps perhaps?

Dear Maria:

There is a lot there! Something in you is blocking you from feeling strong and happy after the end of your relationship AND blocking you from feeling angry — (I’m guessing the angry feeling is also about the end of the relationship).

It’s interesting that you do know that those feelings are there… the angry feelings and the good, strong, happy feelings. You know they are there. But you feel forbidden to feel them. (A strong word!)

The first step is to cultivate your Self-in-Presence — which means growing your ability to turn toward anything in you with interested curiosity. It helps to feel your breathing, and feel your contact with what you are sitting on. Feel how you are supported.

Now turn toward the part of you that “forbids” you to feel strong and happy, or to feel angry. (Either one of those might be the place to start.) You have already sensed that this part of you doesn’t want you to feel good if another person got hurt. That’s a good start! You can connect with that part of you again and let it know you hear that.

Next, ask it what it is NOT WANTING to happen to you IF another person gets hurt. In other words, we are hearing the first response and then going deeper.

Most important of all: We are connecting with empathy with the part of you that is shutting down your feelings, shutting them down so strongly that you feel you are “forbidden” to feel them. That part must be terribly afraid about something.

Is it possible to feel your anger? Yes, it will be… and all your other feelings, too. And the way to do it is to be Self-in-Presence and listen with compassion to the part that is blocking the feelings.



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