When You Claim Something Doesn’t Affect You, It’s Already Taken Its Toll - Grasshopper
Glossing over the effect keeps the energy of any denied hurt alive and working behind the scenes.
The denial of emotion, either as braggadocio or for avoiding attendant pain, causes it to secretly visit you again and again.
There have been too many TV shows and "B" movies where a cop shoots someone and is sent to the department shrink. Here we see the scene where the police officer is asking why he is there because this incident has no emotional effect on him. "The guy was scum and I shot him, end of story."
Then we see scenes of nightmares and night sweats and examples of him acting out of character on the job. The effect of not being affected is emotional pain and its child - counter-productive behavior.
There is no need to go on an architectural dig to find your buried pain. It's much closer to the surface than you can imagine and it affects you in every phase of your life.
It's like the hangnail that you forget about momentarily. It is still there even though you have placed your attention elsewhere for the moment. The effect will come back quicker than a bad penny.
Stoicism, false bravado, stiff upper lip, etc. are the disguises of emotional cowards. This seemingly tough, brave, suck-it-up soul is a caldron of emotional brew who can't really connect with people and their emotional situations because they are disconnected from their own feelings.
Some other emotion deniers suffer from minor, unexplained physical pain. It shows up fairly regularly and none of the physicians they consult has a remedy that works. What if they discovered the cause was emotional disconnection? Would they then take the prescription?
Most often, they will answer "No." "It's nothing," and "I'll be fine" are the phrases and clues that point to the source of the suffering.
There is a lot of unexplained surface behavior that becomes clearer when we get a glimpse of how disconnected we are from our emotions.
The better news is that behavior melts and fades away when we stop keeping our emotions at bay.
What keeps many people from experimenting with emotional connection is their mental picture of it. Many have emotional connection filed in their mind as teary-eyed drama. That's not it. Someone who consistently displays that type of behavior is caught in their head and nowhere near the place where their emotions live - in their body.
Real connection with your emotions happens in your physical body. Most of us live in a place that there is no physical evidence for - our mind.
If you don't think you have a piece of behavior that keeps you at a distance from others and from your goals, ask around. Someone will gladly point it out to you.
My suggestion is to connect with the emotion that keeps that behavior alive. The behavior has an emotional component - a specific feeling in your body that keeps showing up. If you are so divorced from your physical body, as many are, you may have to work a bit longer at this than others who aren't so "tough."
Ask your body to show you where that emotion lives. If you remain mentally quiet for a moment, you'll start to feel the answer. A part of your body will come up in your awareness. Once you notice the feeling in that part of your body, keep your awareness on that feeling. Stay with it! The conditioned response is to run away from or discount the feeling. That is an insurance policy to keep the feeling around longer than is necessary.
Keeping your attention on the feeling in your body, rather than on the story in your head as to why it's there, will cause you to move through the feeling. You'll know this is happening when you start to notice the feeling subsiding in intensity.
It will take sustained practice with this method of emotional connection to become adept at moving through pain. There are two measurable upsides:
1. The pain is fully felt and it dissipates.
2. The behavior being caused by the pain loses its energy and it disappears.
If you just said, "This doesn't apply to me," You are the number one candidate for emotional connection.
If you would like help with specific methods for connecting with your emotions, may I recommend the book, THE ONE THING HOLDING YOU BACK by Raphael Cushnir. It's eye-opening and extremely practical in its approach.
Any workshop held by Jerry Stocking will have you reconnect with your body.
If you are hell bent on staying disconnected, you already know what the rest of your life will be like - an exact copy of what it is now.
If you're curious about the benefits of emotional connection, you have the research laboratory as close as your nose - your body. Get a feel for it now!
All the best,
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