If you’re looking for peace and happiness, you’re not alone. Many of us seek “feel good” emotions that bring a sense of serenity and okayness into our lives. However the actions that bring about the “feel Good” feelings can actually bring less peace and more negativity in the long run. Many of us unconsciously choose to live in a certain way, with certain behaviors so that we can find goodness or happiness in our lives. Many times these actions are given the label of coping.
Taking a hot bubble bath, going for a run, eating ice cream Sundays, sleeping, watching show after show – season after season, scrolling through social media mindlessly multiple times a day, compulsively purchasing through Amazon etc etc …….these can be all coping mechanisms “to get through” feelings that we don’t want to feel. By the way, there is nothing wrong with being healthy! Eating nutritious food, exercise, and rest are all important for our mental, emotional and physical selves. The key is – why we are doing what we are doing? Are we trying to leave a feeling behind? There is always the argument that some coping methods are better than others, but the real deal is that trying to escape the dark cloud or lump in our throat just doesn’t work. The lump and cloud stay within us because we have business to attend to. The unfinished business of actually feeling.
To feel is to be alive. It might take some awareness to really allow ourselves to stop and pause for a moment so that we can feel. Just taking a moment to acknowledge a feeling can help us stop the protection mechanism of escape and move us toward befriending our emotions, whatever they are. Befriending our pain, sadness, anger etc can change our lives in a dramatic way. It can change what we do, how we think, and bring in a much needed sense of peace.
There is a deep sense of peace found within our souls. It’s not a surface fleeting feeling that we need to strive for. Through feeling what is real within ourselves, that deep peace can start to emerge within us. It’s there. Underneath all of the ice cream sundays and bubble baths. We just need to stop digging for serenity and actually feel. Once we stop digging, and face whatever it is that we are feeling – a sense of wholeness and serenity can make its way into our lives.
Facing what we are actually feeling takes courage. It isn’t easy to surrender to what is. Life isn’t always fun or always happy. Finding acceptance around that allows us to connect deeper to ourselves. A connection that isn’t constantly trying to drown out the “noise” of what we are really feeling and instead is a source of acceptance and calm.
Don’t get me wrong, I love bubble baths and will still take some. In all honesty, I could probably use a little less of the icecream Sundays….. But that’s not the point here – It’s the why. Why am I doing what I’m doing, that’s what matters.
The next time feelings arise, you’re invited to stop, pause and feel within yourself. Aknowedge it’s existence. Maybe you write about it or share it with a trusted friend. Perhaps it leaves for a while and then comes back. Feel it again. It’s the only way to really move on – to be able to really truly let it go. It might take awhile or a long while, we may need some time and space. That’s the nature of the deep peace and inner sense of serenity that comes with feeling. At some point, even when it feels like it will never change, the sadness or the anger that is present can have an underling sense of peace.