Emotions are our most common experience of being moved by forces seemingly beyond our control. As such, they are among the most confusing and frightening phenomena of everyday life. People often treat them as a nuisance or a threat, yet failing to experience them straightforwardly undermines sanity and well-being.
How can we begin to relate to emotions in a more direct and fearless way? Can we ever befriend our emotions and accept them as part of us? Why is emotion so hard to come to terms with in our culture?…
…If we could let ourselves feel just what we feel, instead of reacting against it, condemning it, or trying to manipulate and suppress it, perhaps we could develop greater confidence about facing whatever life confronts with.
Excerpt from Awakening the Heart by John Welwood
Author Brené Brown writes, “Our culture teaches us about shame – it dictates what is acceptable and what it not. We weren’t born afraid to tell our stories. We weren’t born with a fear of getting too old to feel valuable. We weren’t born with a Pottery Barn catalog in one hand and heartbreaking debt in the other.
Shame comes from outside us – from the messages and expectations of our cultures. What comes from the inside of us is a very human need to belong, to relate.”
Last night, we had a powerful Royal Flush – Food as Medicine session. Lisa began by guiding us through 15 minutes of guided meditation. The session was full of raw emotion and honesty. Group members opened up regarding issues of perfectionism, feelings of inadequacy, anger, fear, shame and food.
Throughout the session, we discussed the ability to observe ourselves through binges and make connections between our binges and feelings. We noted and appreciated the openness of other participants. For example, one woman shared how angry she was with the current state of the world and the affairs in her life. She mentioned that she felt overwhelmed and out of control. That led another group member to share her feelings about a recent sugar binge. And from there, group participants experienced a positive upward spiral where they felt safe to be present and vulnerable. Ultimately, we all had something in common. Every single member of the group could relate to feeling inadequate, insufficient and/or small at times, – that we weren’t enough. Our facilitator reminded us that we were enough – that by being and taking action to improve our lives, we are not only changing ourselves, but positively impacting the world around us. From this experience, we left the group with an increased sense of self-confidence and self-awareness – the bedrocks of personal growth. We also left with a meaningful affirmation, “I am enough!”