Loving yourself is about getting to know yourself. When you get to know who you are, your true essence, that's when you realize that you are love. Everything in the world is made of love. Love is everything. You are in this world, so you are love. Your essence is divine love.
You may be thinking, okay, I get that I am divine love--I get it in my head, but I don't get it in my heart. In my heart I feel worthless, rejected, depressed. if that is the case, then you are out of touch with your true essence. Growing up, you probably never learned who you really are, and today, you are suffering from it.
If you do not know who you really are, it doesn't mean that you're worthless. Just because you don't know it's raining outside, doesn't make it so. You are love because you are, whether you know it or not. There is just something in the way of your view. Something is blocking your ability to see yourself, to perceive your valuable, true and beautiful essence.
What could it be? It can be a number of things. One thing that could be blocking your view of yourself is repressed emotions. Emotions are energy-in-motion that can become trapped inside your heart without expression. If you hold onto emotions, these emotions, this energy never dies, it only cycles in your psyche over and over again, many times below your conscious awareness.
Your perceived worth and value, that is, the way you see yourself is determined by your core beliefs. Your core beliefs are determined by the decisions that you made at a very early age, from the womb to seven years old. These core beliefs are positive and life-enhancing when your needs are properly met as a child. Positive core beliefs lead to feelings of positive self worth. However, negative core beliefs tear you down and keep you low. If you feel worthless (which is untrue), then you have negative core beliefs that see yourself not as who you really are--a being made of pure love, but for who you're not. If you feel worthless, if you disrespect yourself, it is due to poor core beliefs.
Core beliefs are created in childhood. When you have emotions inside yourself that were not dealt with in childhood, for whatever reason, these emotions never go away. Some emotions fester like a fiery furnace, hot with anger and rage. Other repressed emotions press you down, making your mood low and depressed. Other repressed emotions make you nauseous, others make your hip or other body part hurt. Emotions will not be denied! Emotions must be felt directly for the reason in which they were generated, or else they will come out in whack ways. Lots of ailments, relationship problems and emotional issues are rooted in emotions that were repressed when we were children.
The feelings of danger that are encoded in the unprocessed memories stored in the brain can be triggered by events in the present. - Francine Shapiro, PhD "Getting Past Your Past"
Other emotions are FROZEN. Frozen emotions are emotions that you were not safe to feel as a child. For example, a child may be told to "stop crying, or I'll give you something to cry about," or maybe a child had to be an adult before his or her time. These things cause damage to the heart of a child, even though the child can't let on. When a child has to keep a smile on his face to protect the heart of his mother, to keep her from feeling guilty for not being able to attend to his emotional needs, that child becomes damaged. Emotions are conjured by the abused child, but not necessarily released because releasing negative emotions might hurt someone or make their caretaker angry. Children are hard-wired for survival. Emotional repression is a tool that helps us survive... but it is not conducive to a happy, healthy, whole and full life.
The emotion of FEAR cause a distinct psychological and biological reaction in the human body. Three things happen in the threat of fear. 1. Fight; 2. Flight or 3. Freeze. This article is about the frozen kind. The fear that causes such terror that it freezes. Stuck.
This frozen emotion is caused by intense fear during childhood. It means that the child was deathly afraid of being abandoned, which means death. The child was deathly afraid of not being loved, which also means death to a child. (Children die, literally die from lack of love.)
The emotion stays frozen because the child is not safe to express his or her reality within her environment. Instead of expressing her reality and being validated for who she is, she puts on a show for the caretaker. This show is a mask which represents the False Self. This mask is not who she really is, but is what the caretaker needs her to be. It is only when she wears this mask that she gains the acceptance needed for her to continue growing up into adolescence. This is the acceptance that will do, however, that doesn't mean it is healthy. It's like a plant growing up with a disease. As long as she wears this fake mask and as long as the original emotions stay frozen in her heart, she will never fully bloom.
Along with the frozen emotions, stuck in her heart until she willfully allows for free expression later in her life, there is also pieces of her humanity broken off and silenced. Parts of her that are needed in life that she will not be able to access because it is tangled up with frozen, repressed emotion. Emotions that wanted to freeze, but instead acted happy, like nothing was wrong.
A good example of feelings being repressed and potentially frozen is when a child feels required to stop crying, for whatever reason. When a child is not honored and given space for the full expression of his or her self-compassion, he may freeze out of fear of loss of love and acceptance, and pretend to laugh, even though inside, he feels like wailing. This is how emotions are repressed.
These frozen repressed emotions can be triggered later in adulthood. It shows most obviously when you have a fight with your spouse and you go berserk. Repressed emotions are obvious when you overreact, but there are other ways that repressed emotions rule your life that are very obscure to the untrained eye. When you continually choose unsuitable marriage partners, allow your boyfriend to cheat on you, can't stop drinking or gambling... the list is longer than you think. Most of the problems of human emotion are created in the formative years and rooted in repressed emotion. This is the core.
These frozen emotions that the child was not allowed to feel never go away. This is huge! These emotions stay buried, contributing to limiting beliefs and negative self views. It is not until this pent-up energy is expelled, expressed and processed in the presence of an understanding, safe and validating other that the emotion is released. Every emotion that you've never dealt with is still shut up in your heart. You can see the results in your daily life today. Your actions and reactions can be triggered by these frozen emotions, wreaking havoc on your life until you thaw it out and begin to finally heal.
How to Thaw Frozen Feelings
If you have issues in your life that are repetitive and you're unsure why, it could very likely be due to repressed emotions. Perhaps you have feelings that are frozen inside your heart like a cold block of ice. What do you do? How do you know the feelings are there? How do you connect with what happened to you so long ago when you were a little child? That's what I'm about to share.
First, let me explain the positive benefits of expelling repressed emotions. It's wonderful! Inside every bubble of blocked emotion tucked inside your heart is a piece of you. This part of you is repressed alongside the unfelt emotion. When you face the pain and allow the emotional expression of your truth, you will also release parts of yourself you never knew existed. You will gain clarity you never thought you could have. You will be strengthened to win victory over situations that have oppressed you your whole life. The benefits far outweigh the sacrifice.
1. Get to know your feeling self intimately. Spend time with yourself. Journal. Do art. Find out who you are and how you are thinking and feeling. Keep a record of your thoughts, your dreams, your actions and reactions. Dialog with yourself inside your mind about what events trigger what thoughts and feelings. Use Mindfulness to know how you are feeling at any given moment. Notice the physical sensations that you feel in your body such as tightness in your chest, certain tastes on your tongue, pains in your body. Be the observer of your person.
2. Stay consciously aware of negative life patterns. The key to knowing what emotions are repressed, which are frozen and which are on fire inside of you is to stay awake. Ninety percent of what happens inside of you happens in your unconscious. You are not likely aware in the here-and-now that you're upset because your father refused to play with you when you were little. Your brain will try to project that on other people, or blame some other culprit more readily available.
Patterns of negative behavior and reactions that seem uncontrollable can be a great clue to where your repressed emotions are. This requires brutal honesty and willingness to see the truth. It can be painful to look beyond your psychological defenses, but the results of locating these hidden emotions and expelling them completely is worth every effort. Your life will never be the same once you are free! All the problems that you've never been able to figure out will easily fall to pieces when you are free from blocked feelings. Look for clues in what is happening to you TODAY so as to understand what happened to you long ago that you never got to process.
3. Give yourself space to be, and to express your repressed emotion. Just reading this article starts the process of healing for your frozen emotions. Reading this article is a way of tending to your soul, of honoring the potential lost part of you that is attached to the hurt and pain that is frozen inside. Bravo to you for reading this far... Now, go a step further and spend time with yourself and let yourself know that it is okay to be real now. This is inner-child work. It is the process of you re-parenting yourself and telling yourself that although it was not okay to cry when you were little for whatever happened to you that hurt you, but that it is okay now. This is about being a loving adult to your inner-child and giving yourself room to express what's hidden deep inside.
Giving yourself space means turning from the ways you typically abandon and ignore yourself. This means staying sober to attend to the brokenness in your heart without medicating. This means staying home and allowing yourself to be alone with your feelings. This means taking time off work, turning off the TV, fasting from the internet, forgoing golf--doing WHATEVER IT TAKES to give yourself honor and space to feel and express what's deep down inside.
5. Seek the root cause of the painful emotions. You will have more clarity, understanding and release when you are able to pinpoint the actual cause of the original hurt. This could be something that happened to you on the playground as a kid, or something that your brother or sister did to you. Whatever the case, your emotions bring more clarity when you know the exact moment of impact.
6. Express the emotions. Once you've discovered the emotions to be released, you must find a way to express what is there. Your emotions are begging for release! Let it out! Cry, cry, cry, weep, do whatever you can to truly connect with the original source of the pain. You will know you've hit the mark when you can express the reason for the tears as being from long ago--like a child crying at the moment of being hurt. This is an incredibly cathartic experience! You will not be the same when it is over.
The process of expressing emotions is very interesting. At first, you may be afraid to lean into the pain and seek out these negative, hurtful emotions that scared you so badly that you've kept them hidden in your subconscious since day one--but let me tell you, there is nothing to fear!!! It is only when you are able to feel these feelings first hand that you will be free. Healing comes with the expression of emotions that you tried to ignore.
7. Find supportive people to confide in. Your repressed, frozen emotions are not for everyone. You want to be careful who you share your innermost secrets with... however, there are people who are caring and loving and qualified to help you release your repressed feelings. This may be a support group online or off, a counselor, or a friend. Whomever you find to help you, make sure that person is capable of giving space and VALIDATING your feeling. Without sharing, you cannot fully process what happened. The emotions will not be fully released without the caring, validating presence of another person. We are healed in connection.
8. Find the negative core belief tied to the repressed emotions. Once you discover your frozen emotions, question yourself as to what beliefs stem from this pain. What lies did you believe about yourself as a result of holding your emotions inside. This is a fascinating process! Here is a list of potential negative core beliefs you may find tied to your repressed emotions:
- You cannot be vulnerable, weakness makes you unlovable.
- Never be alone because who you are is boring.
- No one will ever love you because you are damaged.
- You must be perfect to be accepted in this life.
9. Connect with your spiritual source. You are a spiritual being. You cannot heal without connecting to the spiritual aspect of who you are. The spiritual is what makes you ethereal, eternal and is where the ultimate power to heal is found. Without being connected to your spiritual source of love, assurance, trust and knowing, you will get relief, but not ultimate healing. Ultimate healing requires an understanding of your divine nature. Healing and learning to love yourself requires a connection to the god of your understanding. Healing and growing into a mature, happy, healthy and whole human being requires that you realize who you are--a conduit of love. You must do whatever it takes to know, really know that!
Frozen feelings stay in your heart and control your life in negative ways. It's not that the feelings are bad, per say. Your feelings are feelings and each is valid and to be honored. The feelings are not bad, it's the repression and denial of these feelings that bring you pain. Feelings are energy that must be dealt with. Not dealing with feelings makes you contorted emotionally and can make the whole world seem whack. It is up to you as an adult to embrace your inner child, face the repressed sadness inside, and allow yourself space to unfold and experience what you rejected in you long ago. You cannot love yourself, you cannot see yourself, you cannot know yourself or anyone else to the fullest extent until you have felt all that you can feel.
It's time to thaw...
“In addition to reaching out for help, you will also need to reach within yourself. Your biggest ally will be your emotions. Through them, you will learn more about what really happened to you, how the abuse affected you, and what you need to do in order to heal. Your emotions will enable you to reclaim the self you long ago hid away.”
― Beverly Engel, The Right To Innocence