With becoming more familiar with Reiki, I became even more familiar with my own feelings or emotions. Where therapy showed me I had feelings, besides fear, along with cognitive tools to feel better, Reiki showed me how to be more intimate with them and replace them with more positive ones.
I became a hungry hawk for my feelings. I started noticing when I was resisting a certain emotion. I could feel it start to rise up in my throat and then a tight clenching feeling on the left side of my throat like I was holding something back. I would know instinctively that I had to release that resistance and just allow whatever was there, to be there. I had something I had to surrender to. I started noticing how good it felt in my body when I let feelings flow and breathed through them. It was like a whole new world for me.
It was scary though. Usually they were wells of fear that I was resisting, and I felt like I would never know how big the well of fear would be. I realized I had stored it up in my body and I was now bringing it to the forefront. I was finally starting to acknowledge my fear on a regular basis that I had unknowingly, and perfectly hidden from myself and from the world for years.
I would start to allow it, but I was never sure how long it would last. I started doing this process a lot on my drives into work. I would pick a part of my body that was in pain or start with one of my chakras and work on sending love to that area. Then I would notice a fear cropping up. Especially from my left hip. When the fear would come into my awareness, instead of trying to push it away or trying to focus on something else, I focused on the fear and on my breath and on sending love to the area. It felt like a bit of a tug of war at first.
I could feel some of the fear creeping up my neck and escaping through the top of my head at times. I even had some moments of extreme pleasure and lightheartedness in doing this process.
It was hard though. For a certain set of fears, I never knew the amount of time it would take to completely allow them. I never knew if there was a “right” amount of time to allow them or if there was a point in which it would become unhealthy. I winged it and when I felt like I couldn’t take anymore I went back to my normal way of being.
It was really frustrating, because I didn’t want to feel scared, but I did. It opened my heart up. I was so used to convincing myself that I was fine that I truly believed it, until I couldn’t anymore. This process and they way in which I was growing let me feel fully accepted even with the feelings that I had. I could have easily made myself feel bad for being so afraid, but in not doing that I found a new path of love for myself that I would have never found otherwise.
Before I could be happy I needed to deal with that fear. Margaret had always told me, “well I think you have a lot of fear” and I wouldn’t know what she meant. I would do some tapping about it, but I don’t think I was ready to fully realize how much fear truly consumed me on a daily basis. It was blocking my way for happiness. There wasn’t enough room for it along with all these other feelings I wasn’t ready to let go of. It was like I couldn’t have one without the other. I could feel the hope of happiness and got tastes of it, but then I would feel a familiar tightness in my chest that told me I had something to deal with, and when I did, I would feel even happier and lighter afterward for it.
By dealing with my fear, and by that I mean sitting with it for a while and acknowledging it. Multiple, multiple, multiple times, and still doing it today. I’d figure out how it was moving in and out of my heart space and in and out of different areas of my body. Once I gave it attention in a meditative state it gently dissipated in some places and would pop up in other places.
Some fears, even if I didn’t know what they were necessarily related to were harder than others. Sometimes I would try to name them and other times I wouldn’t. I would try to name whatever the negative emotion was, but because I was an emotional kindergarten, or so my Margaret told me, I wouldn’t even be able to name what the emotion was. That left me feeling frustrated. I just knew it felt bad. It took me a while until I was able to distinguish between feelings like shame, despair, guilt and fear versus just knowing that it didn’t feel good.
I would ask myself what I had been thinking about right before I had noticed a negative feeling in my body. If I knew why the emotion had cropped up I could tell myself that although this recent event may have triggered this feeling that it was okay I felt whatever level of whatever bad emotion it was that I was feeling.
I’d tell myself that there may have been something else in my life that may also have contributed to this feeling that I still carried with myself. This enabled me to not shame myself as much for feeling whatever degree of emotion I was feeling. It could have been a feeling that I had carried with me my whole life and looked for ways to reinforce the negative thought pattern within myself. So, I gave myself time with each emotion. I could tell right away whether it would be an ‘easy one’ or whether it would be harder to shift.
Sometimes an emotion felt completely unmovable. But with time I could start to feel peaceful even while feeling gut-wrenching despair or heartbreaking hurt and still be okay. This is how I began to heal.
For so long, I had been putting my own feelings aside to make other people happy without even realizing it. I was also putting my feelings aside because I was too scared to deal with them or maybe because I didn’t know how. I was scared to let myself feel them because of how bad I knew I could make myself feel about them.
The moments of happiness I created for myself all felt like small successes to me. And they still feel like success to me. Every minute I’m alive and feeling genuinely good now, not just telling myself I feel good, is such a victory for me. I feel grateful every single day where I can have a good day and create positive moments for myself. It’s thrilling and inspiring. It is real and authentic and scary but also brilliant and fun and all-knowing in a way. Now I try to constantly put my efforts towards who I know I really am inside. Love not fear.