There can be so much talk in the Self Development world about ‘being with’ a feeling, when an emotion arises we may be asked to “stay with it” or “be with it” - but what does that actually mean?
Here’s how to “be with”
Name what emotion is arising.
Notice how you feel about that emotion, are you labelling it negative or positive? Is there conditioning, judgement or programming around that particular emotion? This is likely impacted by how comfortable or skillful your care givers were in your younger years with expressing and modelling healthy emotional expression.
Be willing to observe what meaning you have attached to how you feel.
‘Being with’ is the opportunity to separate the actual emotion (the truth of the feeling), from what it is that you have been conditioned to believe around having that feeling.
So what I'm saying is - Be aware that you’re having a feeling, name that feeling and then notice how you feel about that feeling.
Heighten your awareness to free yourself from judgment, conditioned reactions and creating distinctions that don’t serve you.
Then the final step is to drench yourself in tender compassion and acceptance for what is.
This is the part that truly seals the ‘being with’ into the present moment and brings a sense of ease, peace and capacity to your emotional experience.
The ability to say, “Oh… I feel sad. And I find it really hard to feel sad because I’ve been told sadness is self indulgent and that I should try and always be happy and grateful for what I have. I send myself deep tender, compassion and understanding for the ways in which my sadness has been avoided, unattended and devalued - I give it space and value now.”
The more you can be with your feelings in this way, be present with what’s moving through you, bringing awareness and tenderness to your experience and discomfort the more capacity you have to be with others discomfort and intensity of emotion - when you are open and available to your emotional experience you can be more supportive to others.
So “being with” is an important practice in awareness and deep listening to your feelings- naming them, becoming aware of how you feel about them and being able to drench yourself in compassion and acceptance for exactly how you feel and what you’ve been taught to feel about your feelings.
And then simply be present with what is - “I’m sad… And that’s OK.” Or “I feel energised, that’s interesting”.
Deep compassion to you darling soul - this human experience is one wild ride!
I hope this feels supportive to you and your inner emotional landscape.
And I wanted to add one more thing around “being with” your feelings- there can be a certain set of feelings we label as wrong, treating them as problematic, trying to make them right, fix them or suppress them.
Notice which set of particular emotions they are for you. If it’s difficult for you to “be with” these feelings it will be challenging to hold space for your loved one’s when they are moving through that set of feelings too.
And so just noticing this and drench yourself again in extra loving acceptance and compassion when you come up against the set of feelings that you adjudicate, label as ‘wrong’ or try to avoid, shun or shame.
So that’s my thoughts on “being with” and now it’s your turn to give it a whirl-
Simply be aware you are having an emotion.
Name what you’re emoting, notice how you feel about it and simply drench yourselves in copious amounts of delicious compassion acceptance and love.
Love to hear any experiences you want to share about putting this awareness practice into play!
All my love
PS We can kickstart a new level of awareness and acceptance together, stepping you into a more ease filled, skillful and elevated way of relating to yourself, within your relationships and life choices today - Contact me and let’s communicate on how I can support you to live your inner world out loud!