One of the basic tenets of Inner Bonding is that our feelings are our inner guidance system. Our wounded feelings such as anxiety, depression, fear, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness, emptiness and jealousy – the feelings that we cause with our false beliefs and resulting behavior – inform us that we are being unloving to ourselves, that we are abandoning ourselves in some way.
Our deeper existential core painful feelings – the feelings that are caused by others and events – are also informing us. Our loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief, helplessness over others, outrage, and fear of real and present danger offer us an enormous amount of information about what is happening externally.
What Your Existential Pain Might Be Telling You…
When you feel lonely when you are alone, it is fairly obvious that these feelings are telling you that you want to connect with another and share love with another. But when you feel lonely when you are with another – and you are certain that your own heart is open – this feeling is telling you that the other person’s heart is closed, and you cannot connect with him or her. This is very important information, and when you acknowledge it and embrace it with compassion and the intent to learn, you will ask your higher guidance about what is loving to you in the face of the other person being closed. You can then take loving action on your own behalf.
The same is true when you feel heartache, heartbreak, or helplessness in interaction with another. These are such difficult feelings to feel that the wounded self might have learned to immediately step in to protect against them with your learned protective behavior, such as getting angry at the other person or at yourself. But doing this bypasses the information that your inner guidance is telling you – that the other person is being unloving to you, to others or to themselves. When you are willing to acknowledge and embrace these feelings with compassion, and open to learning about what is loving to you and to them, then you can bypass the anger, anxiety, caretaking, resistance, or withdrawal that you might usually do in the face of others’ unloving behavior.
Likewise, when you feel outrage, it is letting you know that an injustice is occurring and that you may need to take loving action on your own or others’ behalf.
Your fear in the moment may be letting you know that a person or situation is dangerous and that you need to take the appropriate action to prevent harm to yourself or to others.
Now, Learn from These Feelings Rather than Block Them Out
I hope you can see that blocking out these existential core painful feelings by invalidating them with self-judgment, ignoring them by staying in your head, trying to control another, or turning to addictions to numb them out, also blocks the very valuable information they are giving to you. Blocking them out is like trying to drive blind. While we had to find ways to block these feelings out as children, in order to survive, as adults we need to learn to manage them with caring, tenderness, gentleness and understanding toward ourselves, so that we can receive all the invaluable information they have for us.
In addition, blocking out your core pain also blocks out your wonderful core feelings – the joy, love, aliveness, and passion for life that makes life worth living. You cannot block out your painful feelings without also blocking out the wonderful feelings of life, because they are in the same place in the heart. This is why many people say that they never experience true joy.
Our wonderful positive feelings also have information for us. They are telling us that we are taking loving care of ourselves and being loving with others. These incredible feelings are the result of living with an open heart, open to learning and taking loving action on our own behalf and on behalf of others.
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