Last night at the movies I saw this advertisement for That Awkward Moment with this tag line: That awkward moment when you realize you’re eating your feelings, (this is not a movie recommendation). It’s always an awkward moment when I witness myself do something, anything, to avoid feeling the very emotion I most need to feel in order to grow.
We all swim in a culture that teaches us to avoid discomfort at all costs, stay in control and safely inside our comfort zones. It’s human nature and habitual behavior to protect ourselves and others from experiencing pain when we are struggling to move beyond our current limitations.
This is true whether we are suffering from injury, recovering from emotional pain or on a purposeful journey of personal discovery. But sometimes these avoidance reactions can get in the way of what we want most. With the best of intentions we disempower ourselves and others from taking the risks required to move out of our comfort zones, into the unknown and new realms of possibility.
Michael Singer In his insightful book The Untethered Soul writes, “One of the essential requirements of true spiritual growth and personal transformation is coming to peace with pain. No expansion or evolution can take place without change, and periods of change are not always comfortable. Change involves challenging what is familiar to us and daring to question our traditional needs for safety, comfort and control.”
As I practice conscious emotional presence, I’ve noticed that it is most challenging to do so with those whom I’m most intimate with. I’ve discovered that sometimes my attempts to ‘help’ my loved ones can be a way of protecting myself from experiencing my own feelings of fear or helplessness when I witness their struggle and pain. Do you ever do this?
During such times, I make the best effort I can to stay in my body and painful feelings until the energy moves. As this capacity increases, I gain more power to experience myself and my family as capable, powerful spirits, on a purposeful path of growth no matter what challenging conditions we are moving through. I want this for you too!
We humans are so creative and can come up with a zillion good reasons to avoid feelings to remain tucked into our limitations. I know I can. So, I ask YOU, the next time you arrive at one of those awkward moments when you are about to do something to avoid feeling uncomfortable but catch yourself, what is a different choice you might make?
Want to stretch beyond your comfort zone? My coach recently shared an avoidance clearing process that I find helps me move through my fears, beyond my comfort zone and into the flow of the empowered creativity. I invite you to try this simple but POWERFUL breakthrough writing practice. I promise you, your life will absolutely change for the better!
Emotions Check In & Avoidance Clearing Process:
- Get quiet and center yourself. If right for you, pray to connect.
- Write down a list of what you are avoiding.
- Ask for inner guidance to feel and understand the emotion and identify the fear that is underneath each avoidance item.
- Ask for inner guidance about the action steps and write that down.
- Give Thanks.
- Take the actions immediately, schedule in your calendar, or delegate.