We live in a culture of suppression. It is everywhere around us. We suppress skin blemishes with acne medicine, we suppress headaches with pain relievers, we suppress needs for relaxation with productivity and we even suppress desires for chocolate cake with diet culture. It's no wonder since we live in a society that values beauty, thinness and peak performance productivity. But what is the consequences of all this suppression?
A lot of ANXIETY!
With a sprinkling of self criticism, thoughts of worthlessness and low self esteem. Not to mention the physical side effects of suppressing symptoms (an topic for a different newsletter.) And it does not lead to wellness!
We have such a tight grip on ourselves. These expectations are not achievable. In fact, I would suggest that they are much less achievable then they were even two years ago. We can not keep up this pace. The events of the last couple of years has provided us with an opportunity to stop and reevaluate our lives in every way.
The pace of our lives is unsustainable and the results are showing; in the failing of our institutions; the increases of climate disasters and the burnout and mental health issues of individuals. We must collectively seek a different future.
No wonder so many are suffering from anxiety! Our expectations of our future is crumbling. It is a frightful time for most. So what should we do with this fear and anxiety?
Feel it! Don't suppress your feelings. Talk about it. Identify where in your body you feel the emotions. Think about the origin of these feelings. Ask yourself if you have felt this before in your life. Now is the time to heal ourselves.
Put your feelings into a larger context. You are not alone. This is a global expereience.
Most importantly - MOVE! E-MOTION. Motion is in the word. Move through your feelings with curiosity and wonder not guilt and shame. Confront the grief, anxiety and fear. Experience with the vulnerability. Love yourself. Love those tender spots with the same loving-kindness you would care for a newborn baby. When we suppress our vulnerability it often becomes anger. And we do NOT need more anger in our world. We need more love. You are alive and feeling. You are human and emotion is part of the human condition. Aren't we lucky.