I hope you are safe and well today.
Here’s a snippet from a conversation I had with someone recently. She asked about working with spikes of strong emotion she’s been experiencing, suddenly and out of the blue. I thought I’d share a comment I made in case it might be interesting to others. It’s below.
Have a beautiful day, friends!
“How interesting! Your description causes me to wonder something: are you aware of any sort of opening happening in your heart and mind over the past few months? I know you have a lot going on in your life, and at least one of the things is expansive (the possibility of letting go of some aspects of your work). Is there a shift of some sort occurring as a result? Or a deepening into your experience from some other cause? It’s been my experience that when there are sudden spikes of emotion of the sort you described it’s often the result of an internal opening of some sort.
Emotion (from my point of view) doesn’t need to be controlled. In its pure state the thing we call “emotion” is just energy, as you said, and we experience it simply as sensation in the body. The trick is to just hold the sensations in awareness and let the energy flow. That can be really hard to do, however, for two reasons. One is the thing you indicated, which is that we have tons of cultural conditioning that says we have to control our emotions because they will (supposedly) cause us to act in ways that are unacceptable. That goes right back to childhood, of course. The other is that generally what people call “emotion” is not pure emotion/energy at all. It’s the energy with a conditioned story attached to it. The story takes something (energy/sensation) which is really simple and not all that difficult to be present with, and turns it into something huge and complicated that is impossible to be present with (because if we’re in a story then inherently we’re not present) and which causes us to suffer.
So I would say, in terms of what to do with the energy, the first thing is to become aware of any blocks you have that impede the ways the energy will naturally flow through the body, any conditioning you have to try and control the energy, and work to let those things go. The next thing is to be aware of any conditioned stories that have attached to the energy and inflated the energy into something inauthentic, and let the stories go. If you have let go of the desire to control and manage the energy, and if you have let go of any conditioned narratives that have co-opted the energy in an attempt to generate suffering, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to just be present with and experience the energy–to just let it flow naturally, in other words. The thing that’s difficult in this, of course, is that it’s not easy to let go either of the desire to control or the conditioned stories, and so there can be a struggle to be present with the energy/sensations. That’s the work, though, from my point of view.
Great question! Thank you! And good luck with this! Let us know in group how it’s going if you feel like it.”