What’s the Point in Feeling Uncomfortable Feelings?

Photo of forest treetops in thick fog

Today’s article was written by Change Coach Missy Maiorano


“This too shall pass” was once my lifeline.


During moments of intense sadness, fear, and hopelessness, the simple phrase, “this too shall pass” seemed to get me from one breath to the next. My mind assured me that if I could just hold on, the uncomfortable feelings would leave, and they would be followed by a fresh wave of good, positive feelings. My only job was to be patient and play the dreaded waiting game.


Feelings of fear and despair tended to either descend out of nowhere like a heavy fog or rise-up sharply like a white-hot fire ball. But, either way, I was armed with those four little words, so I knew what do: brace for the storm, praying it would be short-lived. Recite my mantra, and then patiently wait for the good feelings to come back.


And, sure enough, they always did. Relief was always around the next corner, even if that next corner was hours or days away.


But, something felt incredibly incomplete about that process. Over time, I began to notice the toll of all that bracing and waiting. The relief of the good feelings was always short-lived. My efficient little survival-based mind was always quick to return to the look-out tower in search of new storms on the horizon. It was exhausting—I was exhausted!


Eventually, I realized that this was not the path to sustainable freedom and peace. “This too shall pass”—while certainly true—was never meant to be an actionable insight. It was never meant to be used as a means to judge, categorize, manage, or mitigate our human experience. It was simply a description: Everything passes because everything is energy.


About that time, I began hearing things like, “You must feel to heal” and “All feelings are safe” and “Acceptance is the key to freedom.”


UGH. No thank-you! Nothing about that sounded inviting…


…until, by grace, I saw something I had never seen before.


Somehow, I sensed on a deep and heartfelt level that the energy of ALL emotions—when met with understanding and love—has the power to bring us home to the imperturbable peace and causeless joy that we are. They have the power to wash away layers of old, worn-out beliefs and cultural conditioning. They have the ability to cleanse and heal a system burdened by unmet expectations, childhood wounds, and long-held confusion. I began to picture those strong and visceral emotions as little scrubbers that scrape the barnacles off old, sunken ships.


It seems that, metaphorically, we each have within us our own little pools of energy that want to come up to the sunlight—up to the light of awareness—to be seen and understood for the very first time. The energy of fear, insecurity, sadness, shame, and even hopelessness have been universally misunderstood and demonized for far too long now. It is time for each of those pools of energy to be seen for the truth of what they are. They are energy—perfect, intelligent, pure energy. They were never “bad,” and the discomfort was never in feeling them but rather in misunderstanding them.


How perfect that each one of us is essentially a vessel for healing—capable of welcoming each of these pools of energy to move completely through us. We are, at our essence, the space of infinite love through which all wounds, traumas, and unmet expectations are healed. With each rising-up of a new wave of emotion—whether it’s fear, insecurity, shame, or rage—we are given the opportunity to heal; to have layers of old conditioned programming and misunderstandings fall away. We move ever-closer to remembering who we really are.


So, now, when the uncomfortable feelings want to move through me, there is a grace that accompanies them. There is a wordless knowing that what my mind calls discomfort is actually evidence of change—of a falling away of another layer that is NOT my essential self.


Does this mean an end to discomfort? Of course not.


Does this mean an end to the emotions that our conditioned mind calls unwanted? Nope.


So, what’s the point?


We begin to return to what we were always designed to be: infinite freedom; imperturbable peace; causeless joy; miraculous love.


And the ability to fully relax in the knowing that all experience is welcome.


No feeling, sensation, or experience needs to be mitigated, managed, or controlled. There is intelligence in all of them.


Last week, I wrote this poem after waking up with an unexpected wave of insecurity. It was unusually strong and loud, so I allowed it to pour through me without resistance. These are the words that came through:


Hello, old friend. You’ve returned.
Sorry I didn’t notice your arrival this morning.
Was it when my husband left for work—
So rushed that he forgot to kiss me?
Or was it during the phone call on my drive—
When the voice on the other end sounded angry?
Was it when the friend at coffee was dismissive—
Distracted and uninterested in my efforts to connect?
Or, was it when the old stories of inadequacy and failure rushed back,
Painting vivid pictures of memories I wanted to forget?
I’m not sure exactly when you arrived,
But your presence is now quite strong and unyielding.
I feel you deeply. Viscerally. In every part of my being.
I feel you in the tears my eyes are refusing to cry.
I feel you in the base of my throat like a hot ball of lava.
I feel you in my belly like a hollow emptiness longing to be filled.
Welcome home, my old friend.
Please stay as long as you’d like.
Do the beautiful healing work you’ve come to do.
Unveil the parts of me that want to be seen and held.
Bring up the childhood wounds that can only be soothed in the light of day.
Remind me that I am the loving space through which all is healed.
My arms are open wide to you, old friend.
It is an honor and a blessing to have you home.
~Missy Maiorano


Learn more about Missy here: https://www.missymaioranocoaching.com/



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