Before reading this article, I suggest understanding how emotions work.
If there is a problem, I have several options:
- Ignore it.
- Fight it, and look for solutions to eliminate it.
- Accept it as a gift.
The only option that works for emotions is the third option.
Here is the emotional acceptance process I use when dealing with emotions:
I breathe deeply.
I accept to let the emotion flow through me.
John feels anger. He checks that his breathing is not blocked. He says to himself: “I accept to feel this emotion.” 1 minute later, the emotion is gone.
If the emotion lasts over time or loops in my thoughts, then I have an emotional memory that needs attention.
Here is the process I use when dealing with emotional memories:
Releasing blocked energy
When I resist a painful emotion, I build an emotional memory. The energy remains blocked.
Patrick gets his finger stuck in the car door at age 4. He cries. His mother puts a bandage on him. “There, you don’t have to cry anymore”. By drying his tears, he didn’t let the emotion go through him fully. 30 years later, the energy is still stuck in Patrick.
My heart can tell me how to make peace with this past emotion, and restore my energy. Here are the options:
- Feel and love.
- Breathe into the ground.
- Express the emotion.
- Identify my needs.
Susie uses the muscle test to understand that for this memory, she needs to breathe out into the ground, then identify her needs.
1. Feel and love
I observe the sensation in my body.
An emotional memory can always be felt in my body. If it is not, it is because I have blocked the body-emotion link so as not to suffer. When I can’t locate the tension in the body, I can imagine it in my heart.
I send love where I feel tension.
Virginia feels a little tightness in her chest. She sends love to that area. After about 30 seconds, the tension subsided.
2. Breathe into the ground
I visualize where the blocked energy is in my body, and I assign it a color.
Every time I exhale, I send that color into the ground.
When I feel it is gone, I replace it with love.
The tightness in Christopher’s throat is characterized by a red color. Gradually, he imagines that he is sending the blocked energy into the earth. Eventually it dissipates. He puts love in its place.
3. Express the emotion
This is a role-playing exercise that allows the emotion to be expressed.
The energy got blocked in the past because the emotion was not put into words (to the parents most of the time), and did not receive an adequate reply.
I identify the emotion(s):
- Anxiety / Stress.
To whom would I like to express the emotion? To my father? To my mother? To someone else?
I express the emotion to that person, out loud as if he/she was there. I can also add whatever is on my mind.
Second, I imagine that person responding to me:
“I welcome your emotions. Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay. I accept you. I am here for you. I love you.”
This text is adaptable. It is what I needed to hear at the time the emotion was experienced.
Ashley feels anger and injustice. She needs to talk to her father. In front of the mirror, she says, “Dad, I feel anger and injustice. You don’t care about me.” She imagines her father responding, “Daughter, I accept your emotions. I trust you. I love you. I am here for you.”
4. Identify my needs
Needs that were not met at the time of the emotion need to be expressed and integrated.
I identify my need:
I close my eyes, and imagine a symbol or image that represents that need. The first image that comes to mind is the right one.
In what area of the body do I print it?
Erica feels that she needs protection and tenderness. The image that comes to mind is a teddy bear. She takes it into her heart. She then feels lighter.
Most emotional memories do not need to be understood with the mind.
Only the deepest wounds require remembering what happened.
In this case, an image of the event may come to mind.
This is not always the case, as I do not remember all my memories, especially before the age of 3.
When Peter was 2 years old, his aunt told him a story. He was very afraid of the dragon that breathed fire. He has no memory of this event. However, his heart remembers it.
Intuitive writing (writing what comes into my head without thinking) is useful in helping to bring a repressed or forgotten memory to consciousness.
There is another need in order to release the blocked energy:
- Let my body move as it needs to.
- Shake the body.
- Write a symbolic letter to someone (which you tear up at the end).
- Become aware of something.
- Stimulate or press an energy point on my body.
- Inhale an essential oil.
What is the emotional acceptance process for?
This process can be applied as many times as necessary, for each emotion I feel.
If the emotion seems too deep to release on my own, I can call on a therapist specialized in emotions.