Are you trying to change your thought patterns but you keep coming back to something that upset you? Do your thoughts force you to relive the experience and you get angry or upset all over again? When we have “stuck” emotions, we do not seem to be able to get past them—they are like a toxic substance which resides in us and continues to fester. Obviously, I am talking about negative emotions like anger, revenge, hurt, guilt, shame, anxiety, disgust, and grief. Typically, we drag these emotions with us through life, sometimes never getting rid of them. Think of the analogy of a traveler; every time the traveler experiences an unwanted emotion that they do not process properly, they acquire this emotion like unwanted baggage. Picture that traveler as he/she goes through life – the more baggage acquired, the harder it becomes to travel.
At some point, you may wish to remove this excess baggage, these unwanted emotions, but you do not know how. My husband Steve is a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and I asked him how he used to treat clients with negative or painful memories. He explained that there are many methods, and he covered a few of those for me. I also took a video of him explaining the Sedona method below.
Probably the most powerful way to let go is forgiveness. When we perceive we have done wrong, we hold blame against ourselves. When we perceive others have slighted us, we hold this against them. When we carry this grudge, it becomes a heavy burden. And the longer we carry it, the heavier it becomes. At some stage, we get to the point where we can forgive ourselves, or forgive the other party, or both. Forgiveness is very important. “Unforgiveness” causes physical harm over time, and typically leads to negative behavior (e.g. like avoidance). But often we want to hold on to the grudge; ask yourself why? What purpose does it serve holding on to the grudge or unwanted emotion? Clearly there is a reason you cannot let go. We all know that anger is one of the many reasons why we do not let go of an issue, or an emotion: “How can I ever forgive [insert perpetrator here] when they did [insert catastrophic event here] to me????”
Anger can be a positive tool, for instance when our boundaries are crossed and we need to fight back. But anger was designed to be used for a short period of time (as in a fight/flight survival mechanism) and then discarded. In modern times, we hold on to that anger, and it becomes toxic. It harms us physically and emotionally.
Each of us sees the world differently from other people. We may have perceived an injury when none was intended. Whilst we cannot control the events that happen to us, we can control our reactions to those events. In this regard, we know that negative emotions hurt us more than the other person. So, it is wise to choose to see events and experiences in a positive light. The older we get; the more Peace of Mind is a valuable asset.
It takes a leap of spiritual maturity where you perceive an injury was intended, to let it go. Somehow, we must learn not to take it personally. So, the slight may have happened, but you can choose to see it differently, to not let it have a negative impact on you, to not let the toxic thoughts and emotions become a part of who you are.
Life is absolute duality, we all have “good” and “bad” in us, and through our lives we display good and bad behavior. If we choose to see that life is in balance, then we can accept the good with the bad. In fact, if we consider ten things about our life right now, we will probably see that eight are good and two bad (for example). So not only is “life in balance,” it is heavily weighted in our favor! We can then choose to overlook the negatives, and focus rather on the positive aspects.
A good cry every now and again is a fantastic release of pent-up emotion. When people in a sad/happy drama cry their eyes out, it was not just the movie that caused this—a whole bunch of previously repressed emotions were being released. They feel good at the end of the movie because they just released emotional baggage!
The metaphysically inclined are familiar with the belief that we are here in human form to learn a spiritual lesson. Each lesson has a gift, when we have mastered the lesson it leads to a rise in consciousness, and an elevated platform from which to receive our next lesson. So, embrace each new challenge – our soul chose it – and it is there for a reason. This level of acceptance is extremely powerful, and leads to accelerated lessons and learnings.
We are so often disappointed because of our attachment to a pre-decided outcome. If we let go of that attachment, we also let go of the disappointment.
Meditation allows us to connect with our Higher Selves. This Source relaxes us, fills us with resources, and renews our spiritual energy. When we believe in, and connect to, a higher source, we remember that we are temporary beings on Earth, and the “bad” experiences are also temporary. This allows an emotional release.
The outpouring of emotion through a creative outlet such as singing, dancing, painting or writing allows a conscious AND subconscious venting of repressed emotions (I am doing it right now!)
If we have interrupted the process of experiencing an emotion, we have not fully processed it. This leads to “stuck” and repressed emotions. Like the anger example above, when experiencing an emotion, allow it to happen. Let it start, let it process, and let it finish. Consider how many emotions are inside of us that have not been fully processed, and realize this is a lot like undigested food, with the same negative physiological effect on our body.
In meditation or yoga or hypnosis, we can consult our subconscious (long-term memories are held in the subconscious mind) and identify these emotions, and agree to work through them over the next few days. Then we can consider giving ourselves permission to release them, and let go.
A picture paints a thousand words, and this is no truer than when applied to our subconscious. Our subconscious works in abstracts, metaphors and symbols. Stuck emotions, repressed emotions, and partially processed emotions reside in the subconscious. A metaphor is often a powerful method for subconscious release of unprocessed or toxic emotions.
Interestingly Steve took me through the Sedona method, and I enjoyed it. There were certain specific emotions I realized I had, that were ‘undigested’. Basically, this is a method for releasing “stuck” emotions: it is a tool for letting go of them. It seems very simple:
Ask yourself: “Can I let this go?” Assuming the response is a positive “Yes!” carry on—but watch for any signs of resistance.
Then: “Would I let this go?” or “Am I willing to let this go?” Again, wait and monitor for a positive response.
“When will I let this go?” If the moment is now, then “Can I welcome this feeling in?”
Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling at that moment. Keep quiet for a few minutes and observe your thoughts and feelings. It is possible to shift a stuck emotion in just one session, but repeated sessions work effectively. Check out this video.
Finally, think of the area in your mind that holds memories as a computer hard disk drive with a finite space to hold these memories. And the memory that is burning currently takes up your limited RAM. If you are filling the space with toxic memories, there is no room for happy memories, or joyful events. Perhaps it is time to defragment your mind, and reboot your life?
Sending you feel good vibes.