This is a continuation of Louise’s story of doing Feelingwork, in her words, with my commentary in italics.
It started to come together as we got to the end of the process but I really didn’t see the whole shift until I had emerged on the other side. I can look back at myself in the midst of the process, and see the threads that tie it all together but at the time, it felt like a chaotic mess of upturned and scattered parts of emotions. I felt naked and exposed. Each part had an original state and its perfect state. As one part shifted it would leave other parts in chaos. Familiar ways of being suddenly felt unbalanced and ineffective. Each part I mapped and shifted was one point on the map of myself. Just the process of identifying each emotion is powerful and it gave me a deep sense of understanding. Once I shifted the emotions, I placed each one on the map. The new states make up my current self and the former states are a distant and vague memory. I say new states because it feels so new, but at the same time it feels like my most basic self stripped of all the layers of reactions, patterns and states of existence I had constructed over the course of my life.
Still a fledgling in my new feeling states I am slowly beginning the process of recreating my life and my relationship to the world. I realize I don’t need to be limited by old fears but they still show up rather regularly. I start to fall back into the patterns of my former state but as I do, I realize that that state no longer fits with who I am. It is disorienting at first. The old way doesn’t really work anymore but a new ways aren’t yet fully formed. I approach the process deliberately at times, and at times I just move aside and allow myself the freedom to react or act as it feels right in the moment. When I feel resistance or insecurity, I can look at it and move it to a feeling of confidence. I can also recognize when a negative feeling is telling me something important. Feelings are a guide. If something feels bad, its best to take another look and see if it is necessary in your life. Work you hate doing might not be the best thing to put your energy into and a relationship that constantly leaves you feeling bad might need to end.
As the weeks pass I realize increasingly that many of the ways I used to feel or react are simply gone. Once I went through the whole process, I felt rather raw and unformed. Now, slowly I am beginning to recreate myself as I always knew I could be, confident, happy, focused and self- aware without being self-conscious. As I find more energy to take care of my emotional self, I have more energy for other people. I have more energy to take care of my physical body, my career, my finances and my surroundings. I feel like I have been freed from a heavy burden that I carried for years though I had only limited awareness of it. It’s not so much that I am a different person now, but rather I am the same person without all the issues.
Each area of my life has changed in some way. I find new opportunities to develop my business and my skills daily and I have the confidence to pursue the opportunities. I enjoy meeting new people professionally and socially. I enjoy participating in conversations and adding my voice to the world around me. Instead of destroying me, I find that criticism gives me the chance to clarify my thoughts and on a specific subject. The many little fears that used to limit me in the world have all but fallen away. When I do feel resistance or discomfort now, I take the time to look at the situation and at my reaction to it. I can use my emotional response to guide me towards rewarding work and experiences and away from useless, limiting or damaging situations. I enjoy starting new projects and solving problems in existing projects and this leads to that wonderful feeling of satisfaction when the job is done and I know it is the best work I can produce. I still hate the idea of public speaking, but I could probably do it without passing out. I just hope I don’t have to find out anytime soon.
To write this I went back and read the transcripts from each session. I read my own words as Joe had transcribed them. All my fears and frustrations and hindrances were laid open. I thought about each feeling as I read. I started checking them off. Many I realized were gone, or at least they were a dim memory. I was aware of how different I felt but it took reading my own words to realize how far I had come. The rebuilding is an ongoing process. It is exciting and challenging. Life feels fresher, newer and the possibilities seem more possible and more numerous. I can see the threads of my life up to this point, and I see how I can shape my future at every step along the way.
To be continued tomorrow…