Being a River: Taking Care of What You Are Feeling Inside

Article By Make The Days Count Contributor Judy Mosley


Emotions are wonderfully vibrant things. How and what we feel often depends on the situation that we find ourselves in.


Sometimes, an emotion springs from a memory of the past.  Other times, a feeling comes from our present circumstances.  Still others come, seemingly, without any explanation at all.


Your emotions can often be a signal of something that needs to be taken care of in your life.  But sometimes, they just need to be acknowledged and sent on their way.


I call this being a river.


If you find yourself in a rut emotionally, and not quite sure how to change what you are feeling, this is a technique that I often use that you might find helpful.


1. Acknowledge the Emotion

This is the time where you take a moment to turn inward and pay attention to what you are feeling in a given moment.  Once you’ve identified it, be sure not to stuff it away or diminish it.  All emotions are valid, though what you may do with the emotion can vary.  Each of us are persons with real feelings. Give yourself that right and the privilege of taking care of what’s inside.


2. Review the Emotion

Take a moment and try to discern where this emotion came from.  Did it appear when someone said something?  Is there a memory tied to it?  Or, did it come at a time when it seems there is nothing connected to it at all?


I’ve noticed that during my pregnancy, for example, I will get emotional simply by walking through the supermarket or talking to my husband.  Having the understanding that I may not have to “dig deeper” with an emotion helps me to keep going throughout my day.


3. Release the Emotion

This is where you become the river.  I generally use this visualization but you can do whatever works for you.  First, try to figure out where the emotion is located physically.  For instance, I often feel great sadness inside of my stomach.  Yet I feel happiness in the center of my chest.


Once you’ve located the emotion and it’s one that you want to let go of, imagine the emotion inside of you.  Does it have a certain color?  Does it move a certain way?  Once you can see it in your mind, use your imagination and “let it go.”  Allow it to move through and outside of your body.  You can “watch” it move or you can simply go on to something else.


Many times I will start the process in my mind and then move onto a task that needs to be done.  I soon find that somehow, the emotion has moved on simply because I identified it.  You’d be surprised how soon you will be feeling better.


If you don’t feel comfortable with visualization, find a physical way of getting it out of your body.  Go into a room and cry.  Call a friend and let it out.  Pray and be honest.  Do something that gives you the opportunity to let go of an emotion that seems to have a hold on your life.


The important thing to remember is that you are a person with emotions.  You can have your emotions without letting your emotions have you.  Whatever you might be feeling, it doesn’t change or define who you really are.  So … be a river and discover what you are really made of.


“Joy is but the sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose.”
-Charles Du Bos


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Posted on 22 April, 2009 in Balance, Happiness
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