Many people are experiencing high anxiety, loneliness and fear. While we’ve heard from wellness experts and gurus that the best way to move on is to detach and ‘let go’ I’ve found that this remedy is only causing an influx in stress, isolation and negative symptoms, not relief. Why? Because detachment is about separation and we cannot be whole, healthy beings if we are detached beings. Let me explain.
Let’s say you are in the midst of a break-up or other painful experience. There’s a part of our brains that send a response that we should run, avoid and deny this difficult experience. It’s a ‘danger’ alert to pain. It says “If I can remove myself from the person or experience that hurt me, I won’t feel bad any longer.”**Some people run from relationship to relationship trying to get validation of their worth or avoid the fear of loneliness. We take jobs that don’t match our talents because we fear we aren’t good enough and will experience rejection if we go for what we want. Of course you can take yourself to ditch phone numbers, move, hide or avoid the person or place of conflict. But that only deals with the physical part of the issue, not the real emotional part. What’s hard to acknowledge sometimes is that no matter what has happened to us, we are the only ones responsible for addressing how we feel now. Healing isn’t about fixing the other’s behavior, it’s about tending to our experience. The part of us that is suffering is our emotional selves and in order to heal we must learn how to allow and process pain and trauma.
It can feel unbelievably scary to enter into our emotions because we’re afraid we will only get hurt again. That to allow or to touch the pain will only keep it alive and activated. This is a denial mechanism as well. In fact, the more we can allow the true feelings, the quicker they retreat and process. I believe one of the main reasons people are afraid of their emotions is the power they give to another in feeling “good” vs “bad.” In other words, if someone (or thing) can make you feel so good, yet make you suffer so, the amount of power they have over you seems life threatening. So we want to blame them for their actions, and then deny any positive gifts or feelings that they have allowed us to feel. We attempt to shut them out of our hearts all together, and this is what is making us ill.
In order to allow emotions we must allow the good and the bad ones. If someone has hurt us, on accident or on purpose, it’s difficult to process the pain while also acknowledging the positive emotions. We think we can’t cherish or remember the love and memories because it gives credit to the person hurt us. But that is just more denial that is trapping and blaming the other. The love, good memories or parts of the experience you cherished are also real, and they are they are the very emotions that give us the perspective to have the pain. To detach from the good emotions doesn’t negate the difficult ones, we only deny ourselves the positive and loving feelings and memories, which shuts down our hearts. Many people choose to do this because of the fear if they keep part of their heart open they will get crushed again. The truth is, if you don’t keep your heart open, you only cause yourself more suffering; more isolation, anxiety, lack of connection and exchange of positive emotions to and from another person or experience in this time or in the future. Allowing the love and the pain actually honors your truth and helps the healing process, your wholeness.
Believe me, I understand it doesn’t feel good to hurt, loose a loved one or a dream. But if we simply try to detach from the experience then we’ll eventually be disconnected from ourselves. Life is messy and hard to navigate through, but the more we ignore our authentic feelings, the further we get from the alignment with our souls. Our souls ask us to trust and go through the experience fully so we can grow. It asks us to rely on its strength to pull us up, to eventually evolve into higher beings. We can handle heartache and loss if we accept the love and the pain. The love can help heal the pain. It may not be easy or feel good all of the time, but it is genuine. Otherwise, detachment will trap our emotions and keep us stuck.
If you can trust yourself to experience the pain and grief as it comes, staying connected to your feelings, I believe you will have a healthier outcome. Let yourself cry and wail. Allow your anger and upset (throw pillows, scream, write letters, don’t hurt yourself or others), feel the love and joys that were part of the experience and be grateful for them. As you express and connect with your deep feelings, they will process through and make way for new feelings and experiences. This is the flow of healing. If you want to read more, there’s an excerpt on Conscious Life News I invite you to read, and for more in depth help, my book is always available.
**If you are in physical danger, of course seek help to remove yourself from the situation.