Have you ever been overwhelmed with too much feeling or emotion? To me this is like a log jam in a river. It starts off with one single log that gets stuck, and one by one other debris gets caught on the pile until one day the whole river is cluttered.
If something happens to you that causes too much emotion than your current ability to process, it gets pushed under the surface into the subconscious to deal with another day when we are ready. This is our automatic subconscious survival programming in action which creates coping behaviours to deal with similar situations in the future when feelings happen that are too much for us to handle.
If we keep doing these automatic coping habits like distracting ourselves or pushing away what we feel, the byproduct of this is a logjam of unresolved emotions in our subconscious. When a log jam of emotional debris accumulates too much in our unconscious, when something seemingly small happens it can overwhelm us with negative thoughts, anxiety or panic because it triggers all the years of unresolved feelings to arise all at the same time.
With a log jam, if we remove the key logs that are holding it in place, it will support large clumps of other logs and debris to let go more easily. If when emotion happens we take the time to sit with and gently breath into what we feel in our body sensations, the process of accepting, allowing and experiencing these feelings through our body awareness will calm and relax our body and mind enough for them to release.
For the first while it will seem very difficult to do this because we have been so used to doing things to distract ourselves from these feelings or pushing them away, but if we keep practicing, bigger and bigger clumps will release until the whole log jam of past emotion is completely washed away. It may seem like a lot to do this at first, even overwhelming, but remember, we are feeling beings designed to feel, so breathe in and out through your emotions and know they are just energy moving through your experience. With practice doing this will bring a sigh of release as they move through you and let go, because true emotions only last moments when we accept and allow them. It’s our resistance to them that causes the painful experience of anxiety, overwhelm and suffering.
When you get into the habit of doing this, when something happens that stretches your emotional balance you will not only be able to mindfully process through what you feel, but as well you will only be feeling the energy from what arises in the present moment experience because there is no longer an accumulation of past unresolved energy left to deal with.
Our freedom really is through mindfulness!