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In my previous blog, I talked about the benefits of feeling free to roam your inner world. Tis true, there’s nothing like it, but it does not come naturally to most of us. To gain this freedom, we have to unchain ourselves from the past and from mistaken beliefs that have kept us from traveling the full range of our emotional terrain without fear.
If you want freedom, you have to work and fight for it—financial freedom, breaking away from abusive relationships, feeling easy with food, and liberating yourself from the craziness of your upbringing. However, you can’t just sit around waiting for these things to happen. First off, you need to believe that being able to roam your emotional world freely is possible and is your right, that it’s not a fantasy or dream. You need to accept that it can become reality with diligence, practice, and patience.
Second, you must realize that we’re not all struggling on an equal playing field. If you’ve suffered trauma, abuse, neglect or any combination, you likely will have a more difficult time getting comfortable with all your emotions than with someone who had a fairly stable and loving childhood. This is not a penalty; it’s a simple fact. You may have other abilities that someone else doesn’t. While you breeze through math, science, or Spanish class, they might be struggle. While you’re a natural at sports, someone else might have to practice day and night to be half as good as you are. If you didn’t have great emotional training, then you will have to work harder than other people to achieve ease and freedom with your feelings.
Third, you must hold beliefs that support healthy emotional management. That means combing through your beliefs and reframing the ones that are holding you back. You will need to shake up your thinking about feelings in order to break through to the other side of fear. Fourth, you’ll need a desire as fierce as what you’ve felt for chocolate cake or French fried onion rings. This kind of desire springs from the imagination, from envisioning what it would be like to have no fear of emotions and live in easy companionship with them. If you believe this isn’t possible, then it won’t be for you.
Fourth, you will need persistence. Many people fail to gain emotional freedom because it is difficult to acquire and they give up too easily. Ask for help if you need help. Take your time and be patient and compassionate with yourself. Keep moving more deeply into emotions and living on the edge of your comfort zone, and you’ll get there.
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