Emotional freedom doesn’t come free in the same way that getting into running shape doesn’t happen by sitting on the sofa. Getting into physical shape, putting your financial house into order, and attaining emotional freedom all require a plan and daily action.
It’s almost like we live in two separate worlds, both at the same time. On the surface we have the life that we can see and the one that most of us talk about. Down beneath the surface is the emotional world that is running the show, calling the shots and generating the recurring patterns up above that we see again and again in our relationships, in our money and in our body. Most of us spend very little time being aware of the world down below.
Emotional freedom is about letting go. We all have at least three things to let go of in the emotional world. First is letting go of “I am not good enough.” Second is “what I am supposed to do.” The third is suppressed trauma.
What you want to know is that hidden shame and doubts about our value to other people runs rampant throughout the culture. It’s not just you. The way that we grow up in this world, the competitive nature of human interaction, and the notion that we need to prove ourselves is a multi-generational tradition handed down from our ancestors. Our parents and our grandparents all generally suffered from a hidden belief that they were “not good enough.” The need to prove oneself to a love partner, at work or with friends is, unconsciously, a reaction to a learned belief that maybe “I am not good enough.” You wouldn’t need to prove yourself worthy if you actually, deep down, knew that you were worthy.
Secondly, we are all programmed with a script of “what I am supposed to do” in this life. Many of us run around all week long dancing to the music of needing a good job, a great house, the right car and the right relationships. Some of us have unquestioned stages of life memorized long ago. Like, maybe for you the script is or was to get married, set up house, have babies, etc. Maybe for you, your script is “I am not getting married and not having babies.” It is okay to have a script and a game plan for our life. It’s a good idea, actually. But the question is this: is it your game plan and your script or did someone else hand it to you?
On the surface, the game plan and script that we are following is often programmed into our bodies deep down at the emotional level. It is great to be busy, running around all week to live up to our game plan. But the opportunity here is to become aware of the difference between “what I am supposed to do” and “what I am truly passionate about.” Which script are you living?
Third, but not least, all of us have suppressed traumas buried deep within us. Maybe you had something terrible happen like physical violence. Maybe the violence was a little more covert and subtle. For some of us, the traumas we experienced don’t seem like such a big deal. Like, if you felt isolated from other kids at school or maybe your dad just was never around. Sometimes the violence we experience in our life is deciding that we just don’t belong or feeling that we are not loved for being who we really are.
As boys, we wonder if we will ever be man enough. Similarly, girls must find their own way into the adult world.
Whatever your particular life story, if there is upset, rage, or grief that you have stuffed down in your body and never fully experienced then, guess what, that non-experienced emotion is still in your body waiting and wanting to be experienced. Even if you continue to keep that emotion stuffed down deep in a place that you are not consciously aware of, the emotion continues to try to bubble to the surface and creates the reoccurring patterns, the ongoing drama in your surface life. The suppressed emotions will show up again and again in your love life, your relationships, your money and in your body.
Emotional freedom requires work. It is a discipline like running. I went for a run today. But if I want to be in good running shape then I will need to go for a run again tomorrow and again later in the week.
And like running or, say, backpacking in the mountains, I am going to want some expert advice on how to do it. I am going to need some experienced support. I probably even want a coach.
The work of emotional freedom is not something that you can do alone reading a book. The work involves working with someone else one on one or in a group workshop setting. Emotional freedom is gained by expressing and releasing suppressed emotions, repressed experiences, unconscious beliefs, and old habits.
It is true that meditation and yoga are paths that support attaining emotional freedom if you are willing to go the distance over several years. But if you want results now, you need to be witnessed by other people now. You need to begin expressing yourself in a safe environment. To dig down beneath the surface to the emotional world, you need a guide. The guide might be a coach or therapist working with you one on one. The guide might be leading a group workshop into deep emotional work.
But like anything else, the first step is to have the desire to go there. Once you become aware of how the hidden emotional world is shaping events and driving the repeating drama on the surface, and once you decide to get into better shape emotionally, you will find the right guide for you.