When you feel sad, worried, disappointed or frustrated, some self-help gurus would have you believe that there is some sort of curse in voicing those negative feelings–that by expressing those thoughts you will send out a negative vibe and the universe will bring you more negativity. I thank the heavens that the universe is more discerning than that! If I created everything I have worried about in my life, my life would truly be soap opera material and it isn’t.
What those gurus don’t tell you is that suppressing those negative emotions can hurt you. When I am doing energetic healing work and we track the causes of illness or the blocks to moving forward in life, those very emotions–shame, guilt, grief, and anger, feeling unworthy, misunderstood and unseen come up again and again. They come from traumas in this lifetime. They come from wounds from past lifetimes and in our ancestral DNA.
Many of us believe that there is a good portion of our human experience that is too dark or negative to be expressed or honored. No wonder our western world is struggling so much. We are sitting on big piles of manure and we are denying that we are. Instead of looking at those negative emotions honestly in a safe place, we deny or minimize our own pain and human experiences. We never get to the point where we can turn those negatives (manure) into fertilizer because we are denying the manure is even there to begin with. We shove it down. We resort to all sorts of coping mechanisms so that we don’t have to deal with it.
Putting on the false mask of “I’m okay” when deep inside you are screaming, “This sucks!” leads to isolation and depression. Yes sometimes we can act our way out of a funk by pretending to be okay and acting as if we are; but many times that just doesn’t work. It simply makes us feel like imposters and adds more fear and self-loathing to the mix.
Last Thursday night, I was in a funk. I was frustrated. Every whisper from spirit had been followed and yet I felt betrayed, overworked and under-compensated for my efforts. I got a call from one of my dear friends, Victorea who is also a shaman and energy worker. She had just traveled over 800 miles to look at a property in a new area she wanted to move only to find out the real estate agent hadn’t been truthful with her about the property description. We were both cranky and fed up!
About five to ten minutes into the conversation when we both realized we were having a funky day, Victorea asked me if we should do some work together—meaning try to shift the energy to something more positive. I said no because I felt like the negativity needed to be heard on both our sides. So we create space for a good old fashioned bitch fest. We expressed all the disappointment and frustration. We asked God in not so nice terms, “What the bleep is going on? Why was this so hard? What am I missing here?”
Once or twice we had to laugh because one of us would try to steer the other person to a more “positive” outlook. Instead of moving to that higher ground, we went back to intentionally letting all the negative feelings be expressed and heard. The more we talked the more outrageous we became and then we started laughing about how cranky and negative we were. We loved each other in that conversation with all our negativity instead of trying to fix it.
The problem with many of the “you create your reality schools of thought” is that they ultimately can lead to blaming ourselves. “I must not be vibrating at the right level or thinking the right thoughts or everything would magically work out exactly as I envisioned.” We need to be careful that we aren’t creating another dogmatic thought system that we use to beat ourselves up with. No matter what we believe, there comes a point where we don’t know what to do next and we have to surrender. How freeing it is to simply say, “It is a mystery! I’ll do my part but honestly I don’t know how it is all going to work out and sometimes I really don’t like that!” That’s what Victorea and I did that day. We threw out all we knew and just lived and laughed in the energy of “We don’t have a clue!”
Something interesting happened the next day. I woke up with so much energy. It was like I was plugged into my life on a higher level and I was more positive. The speaking out loud of all the negative feelings that I had judged as unworthy of a healer and spiritual author freed me. After all I’m still having a human experience and that includes days where I simply don’t know what comes next. The shift came not simply because I expressed the negativity but because I was held in love by my friend. I didn’t have to hide and neither did she. This is true intimacy and healing. When we can share our dark sides, our fears and frustrations and not have someone rush to fix us or whisper to us a platitude but sit with us and honor that sometimes life is hard, in those moments of applying love, we free ourselves.
As I was writing this story on Sunday night, I happened to flip forward in the inspirational calendar, A Year of Daily Wisdom by Marianne Williamson that is on my desk and how appropriately the wisdom for today said:
“Negative emotions have a place in intimacy. They need to be released in order to be detoxed. Having negative emotions doesn’t make us bad. Thinking that they do is what keeps so many people from exposing their emotions. It is when our feelings—all our feelings—are revealed appropriately and then forgiven that we have a chance to heal.”
I don’t think there was anything that needed to be forgiven in either of what we shared. I’d use the word love, honor or hold space for instead. But that honoring is the key. No one is ever healed by judgment; instead it is in the love, empathy and understanding that we are freed.
So go ahead be negative, admit you don’t know. Write down those deepest fears and insecurities honestly in a journal or find a loving friend or counselor to share them with. Hold them with love. That’s the true healing power of the universe.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
I’d love to hear what you think. How good are you at honoring your negative feelings? Do you ever use Thinking Positively as a way to beat yourself up or avoid what you truly are feeling? What happens when you are able to sit with the darkness and honor your negative feelings?