Last night I sat on my bed cross-legged listening to Lee Harris’ recent audio titled, “You Are Needed and Now is Your Time.” In this channeled work, his guides, the Z’s, said something that struck me with great clarity. They said that one part of the awakening process is awakening to our emotional bodies.
I took this and chewed on it awhile. The meaning of “awakening” has taken on so much greater nuance for me over the years as I’ve progressed on my personal journey. And now with this little nugget, it’s evolving even more.
I’ve read about the different levels of spiritual awakening but, for some reason, this struck me in a novel way. It landed. I hadn’t quite tied together stepping into greater emotional vulnerability (a very human experience) and “awakening.” I look back, and I see my journey with my emotions and feelings. It’s been a long road, and it had a definite start.
Getting Started with Anger
I remember when I first came to realize that I had no conscious relationship with my emotions. It was anger that took the stage first. It was brought to my awareness through reading a series of articles and books that processing one’s anger in a healthy way is possible and even necessary to be a healthy human being.
I wasn’t angry at the time. It was just that all of a sudden I simply became aware that I had no clue how I related to anger. In other words, I had no clue how I normally “processed” my anger. I had felt anger plenty of times. But I was never aware or conscious of how I felt and expressed my anger. Neither did I have an understanding of the deeper meanings of anger. And just like that, a whole new vista of exploration opened up before me.
I asked myself, “What do I do when I feel anger? How do I express it? Do I express it?” These questions were the starting place. Deeper, more nuanced questions came later in my journey.
At the time, I was just getting started with my self-reflection process, and I didn’t have a history of self-awareness to look back on to understand my approach to anger. All I had was myself at that moment and an intention to know myself better. I started with anger. Fortunately, I had the best laboratory for exploring my anger – an intimate partnership.
The Laboratory of Learning
In my experience, my most intimate partnership had been the richest, most fertile ground for learning about how to consciously feel, express, and explore my emotions. While in the last years it blossomed into a beautiful experience, it took many years of sloppy shots in the dark to finally get it right.
In the weeks, months, and years to follow after my emotional awakening, I can remember a ton of moments in which anger surfaced and I stood there, completely unsure of what to do next. All I knew was that I needed to figure it out. I can distinctly remember thinking, “I don’t know how he’s going to respond. He may hate me after this. But I’ve got to do it. If I get it wrong, then I’ll course correct.” Then out flew some mixture of words and emotion.
It was difficult to watch myself. I knew I wasn’t getting it right but I knew no other way to learn than to get it wrong first. It was scary because I risked upsetting my partner or insulting him or injuring our relationship. But I did the best I could with what I had at the time.
Soooo many moments of: “Oooof. Nope. That’s not it.”
I’m certain it came across as blame. I’m certain it placed me at the center as a victim. I’m certain I held no responsibility. I’m certain I offered no solutions. I’m certain I had no idea how to make it better. But, I also know now that there’s no other way I could have ever gotten it right without first burning away all the unhealthy patterns of relating first.
In retrospect, I feel deep reverence, honor, and trust for the man that stood on the other end of all my emotional spewings. Each and every attempt to come into a deeper relationship with myself and with him was messy, difficult, and scary; and he took it all with such immense stride and stamina. I think I must have gotten so lucky to have someone who was so willing to be there through my (hurtful) fumblings as I learned my way into greater emotional knowledge.
Eventually, the pieces fell into place. While my lived experience helped me become versed in the embodiment and raw expression of feelings and emotions, it wasn’t until the Universe dropped these books in my lap that eloquence, self-responsibility, and pathways forward became known. I’m sharing them with you today so that maybe you can bypass the very difficult beginnings that I experienced in my journey…
- Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment
- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
- The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing Pattern’s of Intimate Relationship
- The Relationship Handbook
The top two are my most favorite with the clearest directions of how to practice conscious relating. They were the most life-changing for me. While these books weren’t my only source of information, wisdom, and guidance, they’re at least tangible resources that I’m able to share with you now.
Anger is a relational dynamic. All emotions and feelings are whether it’s relating to ourselves, to our partners, or to the more abstract elements of life. Awakening to one’s emotional body is a deeply rich and multi-faceted experience that directly impacts how we relate with one another.
In my opinion, our capacity to be in tune with how we feel and to honestly and vulnerably express ourselves with one another is the bedrock for long-lasting, healthy, conscious relationships. But it’s not without its difficulties, especially if we aren’t versed in how to go about it all, which is probably most people.
Fortunately, we live in a day and age where we have the liberty (if not the imperative) to dive deep into our own personal and collective healing to come into right relationship with our emotional/feeling bodies, as many are already doing so whether out of conscious choice or urgent need.
It’s an ever-evolving process. I’m no expert. I still get it wrong. I still forget. I still unconsciously respond at times. I’m still learning, too. I’ll always be learning. May we continue to grow and learn together. And may you have the courage to get it “wrong,” too, on your journey to getting it “right.”
All in conscious love,