Talking it to Death
Salina has had a very difficult time with relationships. Sheís always looking for love, but often finds herself attracted to men who cannot reciprocate her feelings. The lack of reciprocation has elicited all kinds of painful feelings. Salina has an underlying sense of not being good enough and fears she will end up doing something that will cause men to lose interest in her. She had always dreamed of having a husband and children of her own, but now fears she will never find love or have the family she has always longed for.
Like so many of us, Salina has a tendency to analyze everything her partner said or didnít say and did or didnít do in her attempt to make sense of whatís going on. What often happens is that she end up making herself absolutely crazy by trying to figure out what it all means. She goes over and over all the minute details of her interaction with the other person and that fuels her obsession and then she finds herself becoming totally strung out on the guy.
Salina is holding a huge amount of hurt within her body because she has never learned how to process her own feelings. The pressure of all these hurts keeps building on the inside. Her internal state of being becomes absolutely unbearable and she begins to unload on her friends or anyone else that she can get to listen to her latest story of love or lack thereof. Having to listen to Salina go on and on becomes very burdensome after a while. It wastes time and leaves the person being dumped on feeling very depleted.
Salina started to unload on me when I ran into her a few weeks ago. I cut her off by saying "What you are doing is not helping your situation at all. There are times when you need to talk to make sense of whatís going on and sort through your feelings. But to continually talk about whatís not working in your love life is a form of resistance. Youíre disconnecting from the painful feelings inside your body by going up into your head. Spinning around in your head is escalating your feelings of anxiety and desperation. The fear and pain are getting stuck in your body and that is prolonging your suffering by causing the patterns to become even more deeply entrenched. I understand that youíre trying to find a way to ease your pain, but what you are doing is actually digging the hole deeper."
I asked Salina to close her eyes and bring the situation to the forefront of her awareness and then tell me how all of that felt within her body. Salina said that she felt a lot of pain and anxiety in her chest. I had Salina breathe into the pain and anxiety for about ten minutes and then I asked her how the feelings had changed. Salina said the pain had softened, but that she was feeling very tired as if she wanted to go to sleep. I explained that holding these painful emotions within the body consumes huge amounts of our life force and itís normal to feel very tired after processing them.
People like Salina fall into a pattern of talking things to death because they have been deeply wounded and lack the resources or understanding they need to help themselves. Talking about their problems may be the only sense of relief they get from their suffering. They feel overwhelmed by things they have gone through in their lives and the feelings they are experiencing in their bodies. They go up into their heads in an attempt to escape from their suffering and make sense of whatís going on. Disconnecting from their feelings in this way causes much of their body-mind consciousness to freeze up. They may come to an intellectual understanding of their issues, but they often remain stuck in the same patterns indefinitely.
Itís important for us to understand the limitations of our intellectual mind. Our intellect cannot heal the deep emotional wounds that are creating so much pain and suffering in our lives. Weíre not going to think our way out of the problem.
I used to become so caught up in my own relationship dramas. The pain held within prevented me from being conscious of what I was doing. I started talking about a woman who was not reciprocating my feelings of love to a friend during a party. My friend gave me a very irritated look and then walked away. I felt hurt by what I perceived as my friendís lack of sensitivity, but she actually did me a huge favor by forcing me to see the pattern I was enacting and understand how it was affecting other people.
I was caught up in a perpetual tortured thought-feeling cycle. The painful emotions held within my body were driving the negative thought patterns running in my head and those thoughts generated more of the same kinds of feelings. Talking about my lovesick dramas reinforced the patterns that were creating so much pain by further solidifying them within my body and mind.
Talking about what was happening sometimes provided me with a momentary sense of relief, but I also noticed that it was creating more confusion and escalating my sense of panic. I recognized after some time that this pattern was pulling me further into a downward spiral. It took a lot of discipline to reverse course and pull myself out of this long standing pattern.
I had resisted the painful feelings for so long and that only prolonged my suffering. I had to force myself to become fully present by breathing into the feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, the sense of unknowing. I continued by breathing into the awareness that I had absolutely no control over what was happening and the fear that I was going to f@#k things up.
Talking about what was happening was an attempt to maintain some sense of control. Breathing into the underlying feelings helped me to diffuse and then digest the highly charged emotions that were driving my obsession. I would often breathe for hours. In some instances I continued to breathe for days. I would sit with the feelings when time permitted, but I often found myself working with the practice in the midst of whatever I was doing.
Pain, anxiety and the horribly unsettling fear were replaced by a growing sense of calm. The internal dialog settled down and then I stopped attaching so much meaning to the other person and to everything they said or did. I also stopped blaming myself whenever things didnít work.
My feelings of attachment for the other person dissolved. The issues began to sort themselves out and that helped me to come to a place of acceptance for what is. I developed a tolerance for uncertainty and I came to the understanding that figuring things out or talking about whatís happening was never going to resolve the issues, make the other person love me or cause them to come back. I gradually came to a place where I felt more at peace within myself.
I still catch myself falling into circular negative thought patterns at times when Iím faced with stressful circumstances. I interrupt the pattern as soon as I catch it by asking myself "What are the deepest feelings behind all of those thoughts?" I notice where the feelings are located within my body and center my awareness in the middle of the underlying feelings and sensations. I just continue to breathe into any feelings that emerge until I come out the other side.
The changes that Iím describing became far more profound when I began to incorporate other tools and resources. Using Chi Gong practices to draw more life force into the body helped to lighten the heavy painful emotions that were surfacing and to awaken the consciousness in different parts of my body. Healing sessions and vision quests helped to reformat the old dysfunctional configurations that were causing me to recreate the same kinds of painful dramas. I began to attract healthier people into my life and create more fulfilling experiences. The painful emotions were gradually replaced with a greater sense of comfort and well being and connection to something far greater than myself.
We need to be very conscientious of the fact that continually talking about our problems only reinforces our sense of helplessness by preventing us from taking the steps that are needed to effect positive change. It is critically important for us to be proactive by doing everything we can to address the issues that are of concern to us. Knowing that we have done all that we can to address the issues makes it easier for us to let go. We also need to take constructive action by doing whatever else we can to better ourselves in other areas of our lives.
Many people are looking for some kind of instantaneous change, but itís important for us to understand that we have been rehearsing these self-destructive circular thought patterns for much of our lives. Many of us have accumulated huge amounts of stressful feelings within and have also become very disconnected from our bodies. It takes a great deal of consistent practice to train ourselves to become fully present and to digest the backlog of highly charged emotions that are held within the body.
Digesting our thoughts, feelings and life experiences is an ongoing process. We need to keep coming back to what we are feeling on a daily basis. We especially need to work with this practice any time that we find ourselves becoming upset or feeling stressed out over matters. Painful feelings will soften and become more diffuse and the issues will sort themselves out. Our fixation with the other person begins to dissolve. And then we will no longer feel the driving compulsion to keep talking about our loves and losses or the other dramas that play out in our lives.
What are the deepest feelings behind all of that?
There are times when you do need to talk to sort out your thoughts and make sense of whatís happening, but you cannot always reason your way out of your suffering. You can only think about your issues and concerns for so long before it becomes counterproductive. Talking incessantly about your lovesick dramas will only feed the beast. You will generate far more anxiety, uneasiness and other painful feelings. These feelings will continue to build within your body and that can cause you to get stuck in toxic dysfunctional patterns. That will make you less attractive to the people you want to attract and push the love you desire and all kinds of other things you want further away from you.
Talking incessantly about your problems disconnects you from physical body and your true feelings thereby making it harder to ever process or resolve the underlying issues. It cuts you off from the internal source of nourishment that you derive through your connection to the higher power. It depletes you by sucking the life force out of your body. You also leave other people feeling physically, mentally and emotionally depleted by sucking the life force out of their bodies while simultaneously leaving them with a load of your toxic baggage.
Running your mouth nonstop consumes valuable time and energy that you can be using to do the internal practices that will awaken the innate healing powers that reside within your body and mind. Stop the chatter and pay attention to the processes taking place within your body and mind whenever you find yourself getting caught up in some kind of drama. Notice how you feel within your body when you start going around in circles up in your head talking about whatís going on in your life. Does your thought process allow you to come to a place of resolution or is it generating more anxiety, confusion and leaving you feeling strung out?
Interrupt the circular thought process by asking yourself "What are the deepest feelings behind all of that?" Begin to breathe softly and deeply as you fully immerse your awareness in the middle of any feelings or sensations that come to your awareness. Continue to follow these feelings and sensations as they go through their progression.
Painful thoughts and feelings have a very intrusive quality about them. The same kinds of thoughts and feelings are going resurface from day to day and especially during those times when you find yourself confronted with difficult or challenging people and situations. Changing these patterns requires a great deal of personal discipline. Just keep interrupting the pattern. Bringing yourself back to the underlying feelings by asking yourself "Whatís the deepest feeling behind all of that?" Fully immerse your awareness by dropping down into the middle of the feelings and sensations and keep breathing. The highly charged thoughts and feelings will gradually diminish and be replaced with a growing sense of calm, wellbeing and a greater sense of connection to the source.
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