Love What Hurts

I have noticed that when we experience fear, sadness, anger or other disturbing emotions we tend to punish ourselves even further by judging or shaming such feelings.  However, punishing ourselves is like punishing a 5 year old who has just fallen down and scraped up her knee.  A loving parent would not judge or shame the crying child for experiencing pain. A loving parent would tend to the child’s wound, comfort the child and then allow the child to either rest or resume playing.  This is how we should treat our difficult emotions….like a loving parent.  If you’re afraid, if you’re grieving or you’re angry, instead of judging or shaming yourself for feeling these emotions, try nurturing yourself instead.  Close your eyes….take a few moments to breathe while intentionally slowing down your exhale…..locate the disturbing feeling in your body….spend a few moments just noticing the feeling in your body, like an outside observer….Now visualize your actual heart pumping and sending blood/energy to that feeling in the specific body location…. as you do this, visualize the word LOVE, just the word without any attachments.  Now observe the emotion and your body….how does it feel?  Imagine that area being more fluid as you see the word LOVE.  This exercise alone should lessen the intensity of the emotion, but the cherry on top is if you can visualize nurturing that part of you with this mantra: I’m learning to love this part of me. Doing this visualization along with the mantra tends to calm the emotions and relax the body. Just like tending to and nurturing a hurt 5 year old, we must tend to and love these difficult parts of ourselves. Only then will we experience relief.