Today’s message comes from a deeply personal place; a place I don’t generally share outside of my intimate, cozy and safe inner circle. Yet, when I checked in with myself on this week’s topic, my inner wisdom told me to share what I’m about to share.

As one of my friends reminded me just this week, when we hear the inner whisper, it’s a sacred message not just encouraging us to listen, but also subtly and lovingly warning us to disregard it at our own peril.

Our refusal to listen to our inner wisdom often has two consequences:

  1. we miss out on an opportunity to grow, and (pay close attention to this next one)
  2. it’s a guarantee the whisper will come back louder and more uncomfortable the next time around.  

I’ve learned to listen and respond as early as possible to the best of my abilities to avoid a future thumping!

So here goes…

I lost a dear friend last week. 

It broke my heart and crushed my spirit.  I ached to my core and life felt intensely harsh, mean-spirited and cruel. I could not find my light and I certainly could not understand the purpose of taking the life of someone so young, filled with so much life and making such a huge impact on her community and the entire world.  

My intellectual mind reminded me I’m not supposed to understand the larger design of life and, trying to be helpful, added the reminder that I live from the philosophy that the omnipotent source of all is benevolent and serves all of our highest good.  

My emotional mind told my intellectual mind to fuck off.  I’m keeping it real.  My mind is not for the faint of heart.

By Saturday, I was in a full-blown depression. George Bailey was taunting me and I was looking for Clarence. (If you don’t know the reference, you’re missing out on the BEST Christmas movie ever.)

None of the tools in my toolbox worked.  Yes, I actually use all of the tools I share with you and then some.

I do, however, know what these moments require: to stop fighting, distracting and numbing and start feeling.

We have been conditioned to “feel good” at all costs and avoid pain and discomfort. But pain and discomfort are not our enemies – they are our teachers.

If we numb them, shun them, ignore them, act out over them, or try to disregard them, we lose out on a valuable message they are trying to share with us.  And the really bad news (again, learned from experience) – if we don’t resolve the underlying cause, it is guaranteed to return bigger and badder until we are ready to heal it.

Here’s what I have learned from some of those bigger and badder experiences:  these moments require surrender to feel my way through the pain.

There is nothing for me to “do.”  My only job is to sit with the emotions and not judge them, not judge me, not make them wrong, not make me wrong, not curse them or beg them to go away (although some begging is usually at the front end of my processing.  I admit, I’m a work in progress).

To sit with them, feel them, experience them and allow them to move through me.

To give myself permission and the grace to simply be with what I’m experiencing.

To understand that having the vulnerability to honestly and wholeheartedly connect with our emotions is not weakness – it’s our greatest strength. (Thank you Brene Brown.)

So I let the tears flow, the anger rage, the sadness ache, the hopelessness pass. 

I gave myself permission to stop thinking and be ok in the nothingness of it all. 

And I sat with it. It was gooey.  It was uncomfortable.  It was a long day.  

And I survived.

Sunday was a better day. Not as dark and painful.  I could feel my emotions stabilizing. And I could access the lessons and messages waiting for me, which were ripe for journaling.

By Monday, I was coming back to center.  And my personal Clarence arrived at my front  door when one of my extraordinary girlfriends showed up with a soul gift – a beautiful angel, candle and essential oil, perfectly themed to help me navigate the rest of my odyssey with love and gentleness.

I strongly believe we need to give our emotions permission to move through us and let them be expressed in a safe environment so they, and we, don’t get stuck.  We can then learn what we’re meant to learn.  

We can recalibrate and find our new center. 

We grow as a human being.  

We become stronger and more healthy. More empathetic. More connected to what is truly important to us at a soul level.  

We connect to our divine nature that resides, and often remains hidden, within our humanity.

Give yourself permission to feel and heal.

CAVEAT:  If life is overwhelming for you and it’s too much to feel your way through, please ask for help. You are not alone and there is help for whatever you may need. If you need help finding it or talking through it, reach out to me and I’ll help you find the resources you need.

Thanks for bravely being on this journey with me!  What a ride!

Joan Jakel

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