Oh Those Pesky Emotions!

steep-mountainIn my line of work, I repeatedly help people identify their emotions. For some, a lifetime of shoving emotions away in an attempt to avoid pain creates the belief that they don’t have emotions. Then I come along and challenge that line of thinking and completely rattle their world. A person enters my office because something isn’t working. It’s possible a spouse, family member, co-worker or friend may have suggested they seek counseling but no matter the why, the person has voluntarily entered my office (I rarely work with court-ordered clients). They embark on a journey that has twists and turns, rocks and ravines, steep hills and eventually a place of inner peace and integration. Life doesn’t necessarily get easier, just more manageable. The person has healthy tools to navigate the challenges that will inevitably come.

Integration means the person will now feel the full experience of life rather than run away from or try to bury the emotions they don’t like. At first this is unsettling because it’s unfamiliar. After time, as feelings become more understood, they are easier to accept, acknowledge and process. Now the person experiences inner peace and the confidence to be fully present in life.

I know this journey! I learned to stuff my emotions because I thought only happiness was acceptable. I cut off so many emotions. When I was challenged to fully feel, I had no idea what I was doing. It took years of therapy, coaching and participating in safe groups to get to the integrated place I experience today. I am not saying I have it all together, just solidly committed to this journey of healing and relishing the freedom I experience today.

Do you want peace, confidence and freedom, too? Get help! We cannot do this on our own. Find a therapist, coach or group that will guide you toward understanding and integrating your emotions. Check out Psychology Today or Theravive to find a therapist/counselor near you. If you live in the Denver/Boulder area you can contact me 🙂 Journey Forward

Categories: Acceptance, Emotional Healing, Growth, Healing, Processing Thoughts and Emotions, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Help | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Oh Those Pesky Emotions!

  1. It’s nice to know that even trained professionals still struggle with things like this. With the help of an amazing therapist, I have been working on digging out those emotions that were buried ages ago. It’s hard work; it drains me, scares me, but also makes me feel lighter. I was a Black-belt in cutting off my emotions until the last few years and at 51, that’s a lot of sludge to shovel through to get to them! Thanks for your honesty. Your posts resonate with me.

    • Yay! I’m thankful my honesty is helpful for you! Yes, all of us have our struggles. Some days or weeks are better than others but the reality is, we are all flawed human beings and no one is perfect 🙂 It’s comforting to know we are not alone! I’ll just keep being real 🙂

  2. cbbiederman@gmail.com

    Great practical advise ! Than you Karen!!!!😀

    Candy B Love, Joy Patience


  3. Thank you. This is such good stuff. My Father took his life when I was 5. I don’t remember him. I started looking after (being a carer) for my Mother, when I was 7. She was a depressive alcoholic. She took her life when I was 16. Frankly, although it was incredibly painful, it was also a relief. No more trips to the hospital to have her stomach pumped out. I was on my own and coped very well. At age 50 (I’m 65 now) I had a breakdown and was admitted to a clinic where I met a wonderful Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst. They told me that I was the worst case of emotional abuse they’d ever come across. That was a relief, but I felt that I had betrayed Mum.
    Anyway I carried on to have a successful career, 3 children and now 3 grand-children. For me my early days are all ancient history. But sometimes a button is pressed and I behave badly. I am very articulate, and that is the weapon I use. I have always abhorred physical violence, although sometimes I think that it is “kinder” than verbal violence.
    I know that I’ll never be “healed”, but the professionals have given me tools to enable me to manage. The best counsellor I had introduced me to CBT. It’s wonderful!
    Again, thank you for this thought provoking, and insightful blog.
    Ken. 🙂

    • Ken,
      Thank you for giving me a peek into your life. It’s amazing what we can survive! And yet, I think you are doing more than just surviving; you are finding a way to thrive in the midst of unimaginable emotional pain! It is a lifelong process and yet, we do get to see our progress…not perfection, progress 🙂
      I’m thankful my blog is helpful to you!

  4. Dr. Jerry Davis

    Love this Karen! This is a wonderful explanation of much of our work. While painful at times, integration is the God-given way for us to live fully.

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