The relationships we develop in this lifetime with our fellow Earth beings begin with our immediate caregivers. From this foundation, we connect with others as acquaintances, friendships, and intimate partnerships. The primary link to the health of these relationships is based on the feelings experienced with others at the time of each encounter. But how often are we present to what we are truly feeling during our interactions and not distracted by unseen forces?
The answer (in the question) is elusive because we feel like we are present with others due to a vast array of unidentifiable feelings/emotions that arise. What we fail to realize is the emotions felt during the course of an interaction are common, frequent, and fluid. Like blood running to our heart, our emotions flow outward from the heart to the head, triggering many associated thoughts from our past. We experience pleasure or pain, subtly or intensely. Either way, we may not be emotionally available or present as this occurs due to our conscious mind being elsewhere and our subconscious mind controlling our responses.
Emotional availability is being conscious of our feelings (the practice of emotional awareness) in the moment, and relating to others compassionately from the inside out. Compassion is a culmination of love, empathy, and detachment. First and foremost, we take care of our self. Then, we can relate to how others feel because we have felt the same way and acknowledge the feelings and expression of the other. As a result, we maintain healthy boundaries/self care practices. When practicing emotional awareness, we respond to what is happening in an aware manner instead of reacting unconsciously. This maintains a level of balance in any situation. It matters not whether others are equally emotionally available unless we choose to cultivate a deeper and more intimate relationship with them (a friendship or partnership).
The awareness of our feelings diminishes during the course of our upbringing as most of us experienced dysfunction within our families resulting in emotional wounds. The casualty is always the heart with our mind as the interpreter. Physical bumps, bruises, and breaks heal much more quickly than our heart and our mind. We may consciously confess our experiences and believe we are “over” them; but truthfully we build up defense mechanisms within our subconscious to keep us safe. In turn, we may be outwardly expressive and described as “emotional”, but yet still remain shadowy, dark, and out of touch with our deepest feelings.
Emotional unavailability and unawareness plagues our planet. As a species disengaged from our emotion body, we wreak havoc on our self and the rest of the world. We act out our emotions as auto-responses/reactions, mostly based in fear, without any regard to the impact. It is not our conscious intention to behave so blindly, and requires immediate attention if we are to survive and live fully. We are prematurely dying in our ignorance and dying of disease (dis-ease).
When defense mechanisms from childhood remain in place as adults, energy does not flow freely and our physical body is riddled with tension, stress and disease. The parts of the body most affected are the heart and lungs. Since our emotional body responses to “matters of the heart”, it is natural that the heart is the center of strength and weakness. The lungs are the organ of our life force, the breath. Without breathing, we die. Heart disease, the number one killer of humans, begins with emotional illness. Although this is a dramatic realization of the human condition, we have the opportunity to heal through the “softer” side of our self.
Vulnerability is commonly seen as a weakness, but it is strength, reinforcing the heart = love. In our most vulnerable time period, childhood, we may have experienced control, manipulation, abuse, neglect, exploitation, etc… from our caregiver(s). Consciously or subconsciously we then disconnected from our vulnerability, and began to harden our self. These experiences were real and remain in our psyche because “nothing can be eliminated from the mind through willful intent” – Carl Jung. Meaning, we cannot be rid of our experiences or memory from our past; we can only transform the feelings regarding what happened. As we learn to identify and observe our feelings, we must learn the fine art of constantly removing judgments. Allowing our self to experience vulnerability happens when we reestablish a level of trust. This trust is all about ourselves and realizing that we can never truly trust another until we trust ourselves. We must then understand that absolute trust is unattainable due to the absolute unreliability of human emotions. Only through this realization can we become real and free!
Trust and faith are synonymous, and equate to what we believe something or someone to be. The investment of trust has an illusory aspect to being external; we look outside of our self for trust or faith to prove itself to us. Mistakenly, we do not manifest trust in many situations because we do not know our self well enough; also, we do not trust our self or have faith in our process or Universal Law. If we do not identify our own ability to waver, falter, or change our mind, we instill trust into people or things that will show us those traits in our own being. As this occurs, our trust diminishes further, along with our faith. It is a vicious cycle that can make us vicious. Emotional awareness is the only way out.
Awareness is our first step to healing, acquiring skills is the second, and finally, putting it into practice for a lifetime! Once we know how we are operating, we must implement skills to change. This involves breaking our pattern through interrupting our reactions/patterns. Consciousness is vital, and so is objectivity in observing our thoughts. If we become complacent, lazy, or attached, we will remain stuck.
Changing routine or considering a new approach to repeated situations helps us evolve. Seeing the world with the eyes of a child, allows us to embrace every opportunity as adventure. The newness of life will reawaken us to be in the moment and learn more about our self with others. This is not about throwing caution to the wind; it is about being open to what we are experiencing and making conscious choices towards betterment. Having healthy boundaries and understanding how we will participate, will be our saving grace when we are in situations or circumstances that challenge the very core our being.
It is essential to have a sense of humor in our healing. We will not necessarily resonate or like what we experience, as there will be many reminders of our past in the mix. This is the impetus to healing, and remembering to take things impersonally will ease the lessons at hand.
Most importantly, connect with others who are also working towards healing and raising their human potential. Teachers are everywhere; jesters and charlatans, along with the wise and true. Take it all in, know we are all the same, and persevere to be emotionally available in this lifetime through feeling, dealing, and healing. This is the answer to the evolution of our soul and all of mankind.