Barriers to Feeling

Let’s face it, as much as we might be able to admit the benefits that connecting with or facing one’s feelings, there are some serious barriers that can block us from those feelings.

For one, feelings are inconvenient. They tell us things that deviate from any plans we might set, any beliefs we might have, and may require time from us that we’re not ready to spend. They may completely call us to change our lives. And this change is for the better, mind you! But it’s still change.

Fear can also be a factor, and guilt, and various other things. Below I’ve compiled a list of major blockages to feelings that can stop one from really working and connecting with feelings. Continue reading

Fear of Feelings

Before I talk about the fear of feelings, let me start with an anecdote:

Like a microwave emitting unexplained sounds, sometimes our feelings can bring something that feels scary into our experience of life

Like a microwave emitting unexplained sounds, sometimes our feelings can bring something that feels scary into our experience of life

A few days before writing this article, I was microwaving some food, and as I was walking away from the microwave, I heard a strange sound, like something inside the microwave was breaking. I made a joke of it in my mind at first, but when I heard it again I became concerned about what was actually causing it. Was the microwave really breaking? Should I stop reheating my food?

I went to check and it turned out that it was just some paper towel that was in there on the plate, catching on the edge of the microwave’s walls as the plate was trying to turn. The sound was just the plate trying to turn when the paper towel was getting in its way. At this point, I knew that it probably wasn’t a problem after all, because a stuck plate  was something I had seen before. And from my experience, a microwave could handle that, so there was no cause to intervene.

It occurred to me that this was a great example for how fear works. From my experience with dealing with fear, it’s mostly due to a lack of information that fear takes and keeps its hold, especially in situations where we don’t know how to gather more information. What we’re afraid of is like the sound in the microwave: something difficult to explain, and potentially concerning, that occurs within our experience. Something changes. Continue reading