Ugh, Self Work is Hard Work…!!

Feelings are not something that are controllable. I may have a reaction to the negative ones that silences or contains them for the moment most days, but they have a mind of their own and make their way back the surface of my conscious experience over and over.

This morning I felt dread, and it has remained with me into this afternoon.

I began The Presence Process a week ago.

The Presence Process

I am meditating for 15 mins twice a day, and in the process learning out to attend to and integrate my feelings, even the ones that should be long forgotten, the ones that have been lingering for decades.

When I did my meditation this morning, I noticed that the dread, or whatever feeling that is (it is difficult to describe – it simply feels like a large concrete block on my torso right now). It is such a heavy feeling that I did not feel much else. Only a dark, kind of eery din, like one would hear if there was some kind of standoff between two deathly enemies, two gunslingers…and the whole town could do nothing but stand there, paralyzed, deathly quiet, lest they trigger a premature reaction. I sat in great discomfort, in uncomfortable anticipation wanting to make something happen but somehow finding the willpower to follow Michael Brown’s instructions and ‘do nothing’. Thoughts came and went about unrelated things, thoughts that sought to distract me from the discomfort, the darkness, the possible catastrophe… But I returned to my breathing each time, shallow, high-paced breathing…

And just after the chime sounded, just before I got up from the meditation, something occurred to me. I identify the feeling negatively, as ‘in the way’, as hurtful, ominous, as casting a shadow, crippling… All unfavorable descriptors.

But our feelings are useful messages, meant to help us find our way back to equilibrium. And meditation is about giving open-minded attention to what comes up. To accepting and allowing the feelings to be processed, with the understanding that they are valid, and necessary. The Presence Process is about learning to improve one’s experience of emotional trials and tribulations. Of any trials and tribulations. Even the experience of negative feelings. To see the value in those messages.

I realized, I have been trying to avoid giving an accepting recognition to that dread. That fear. That exasperation. I forget that because it takes up emotional space in me, it deserves my recognition, my undivided attention.

So, I affirm.
I feel dread. I feel hopelessness. I feel very, very low. Yes, feelings, you are correct. You actually are. You truly are as you appear.
And I can not deny you no matter how hard I try.
And I will find out what you are telling me if just be with you.

This means another change as well.

You, my inner emotional Sentinel. You have been a trooper. I can not knock you for having so often diverted the scary emotions for me, for having tried to save me from the worst experiences of people, events, the shock of my own feelings. There is nothing more capable than you of trying to save me from scary feelings. Telling them they can’t come in. Telling them they have the wrong address, the wrong door, the wrong girl, and keep them, more and more of them every day, at bay as they keep coming back, knocking, banging, screaming to come in. How absolutely exhausting a job you have had. Thank you.

The news is, I think I can ask you to start to let them in.

I know you are there for me. But I am willing to start to grow up. I am discovering my relationship to the world. The forces that be might be a little more sympathetic than I thought.

I think am willing to learn vulnerability. And I am willing to learn to respond for myself.

I would not be here without you.

But please see me on. On to the next way.
Living WITH myself and those feelings.
Living freely with feelings.
Living free.


About wonderfulshantelle

Journey To My Wonderful Self

Posted on August 24, 2015, in 12-step, Addiction, Adult Children, codependence, emotional abuse, emotional sobriety, Inner child, Meditation, recovery, Relationship, withdrawal. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. What a great, awesome post! Good for you for that whole experience – the sitting, the allowing, the insights. That’s the way it’s done! I’m an Energy Coach and I work with my clients all the time through this sort of thing. It seems like the next time you “go in” – if the concrete block is still there, you can start gently working with it: ask what purpose it serves; if it is willing to shift; what it wants to become if it is willing to change; invite it to make that change. Do all of this gently, like you’re with a fragile butterfly. And then write (and drink lots of water) afterwards. Keep me posted!

    • Hi Julianna, this message was a welcome sight this morning! I so appreciate you mentioning those questions. I am too often scared to and unaware of how to explore what I discover during the mindfulness process. Careful, gentle, patient attention to my self is something I certainly need help practicing. Thank you for reading and for sharing. The most inspiring support comes most unexpectedly! I did write about what happened for me in this morning’s meditation. I hope we keep in touch. -K

      • K – I’m so glad to hear that my thoughts hit the mark for you (that’s why I share them, after all!). If/when you do go in and ask those questions, be ready to allow any shifting to occur…maybe the color or density can/will change, or the size, shape etc. Do what you can to keep it in imagery (not words), as that’s how you can best tap into your intuitive mind. Words, or thinking of real-life people or examples, just serve to keep the block there, so do what you can to play with the actual image, and see what that can shift into…again, totally gently and allowing. Keri me posted! 😊

      • Yes, very helpful. Although I’ve done lots of reading and done lots of guided meditation, and ‘know’ the things I could do, I don’t talk to many people about the practice and often feel overwhelmed by the smallest changes in my experiences.
        Concrete block did change shape and took on a different meaning. A meaning that I could settle with.
        I seem to be experiencing a considerable amount of physical discomfort I noticed though, and notice increasingly uncomfortable silences that are triggering more and more instances of my mind jumping or running away with itself. The physical discomfort is the worst…waiting it out…and trying to remember that I’m not doing anything wrong. The Presence Process gives some forewarning of this though, so I am sticking with it. Sometimes I do feel like I’m punishing myself though, and other moments I remember that the author said “the only way out is Through…
        How long have you been practicing? Have you read the book?

      • I hesitate to admit it, but o don’t actually do a real meditation practice – at least not with sitting and clearing my mind etc. I have not found the discipline for that, nor the interest to create the discipline. Instead, I do guided visualizations, where I clear my chakras, connect to the light, deliberately shift any energy that wants to be shifted etc. It’s a very active set of mental activities, whereas true meditation is about total clearing.

        I am a big believer that any time we go “in” we are benefitting everything – ourselves and the world. I suspect “real” meditation would be a great addition to my Practice, and who knows, maybe this conversation is planting a seed?

        As for the discomfort – I imagine this is where “non-attachment” comes into play…not attaching to the pain, and noticing how much it lessens when we “allow.”

        I’m so happy for you that you have found such a life-altering practice – and have stuck with it (that’s the real key)!

      • I agree. I think ‘Going in’ in any way is a huge help. I have tried tapping, Sedona Method, basic guided meditations at local temples and the ones I can find on Tara Brach’s podcast station. They have all been very, very helpful. And I have even been led through and independently tried chakra energy movement. For some reason I kept on searching, feeling like I wasn’t getting as deep as the inner ‘nagging’ actually is for me. My baggage is scared and stubborn and has locked itself behind a such a large number of doors in a kind of maze…This book has such a way of easing me into the process that it has me not as afraid as I have been…And I feel unable to use the excuses and distractions that I have before… It feels kind of like the ‘deluxe’ of meditation instruction and guidance….even though the guru is nowhere to be found… I love the mantra “the only way out is through”. 🙂

        Yes, the non-attachment as been a difficult thing for me… And the intense experience of yesterday’s meditation was my first real success at allowing a super, SUPER uncomfortable physical experience just ‘be’. The author talks about noticing the uncomfortable sensations as ‘reflections’ of things we may or may not even remember, and noticing them without acting on them (projecting)… It was a helpful way to think about.

        Anyway, enough raving about that teaching. 🙂

        I appreciate your input and your comments and look forward to chatting more. I checked out your webpage. Do you lead people through both chakra energy visualizations and basic meditation sessions?

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