Facing the unfelt parts

File:Bald Eagle Looking Forward (20266064642).jpg

For many of us, when our particular place of insecurity or woundedness is touched, we easily regress into the fullness of trance. At these times there seems to be no choice as to what we feel, think, say or do. Rather, we “go on automatic,” reacting in our most habitual way to defend ourselves, to cover over the rawness of our hurtYet, the very behaviors we use to keep us from pain only fuel our suffering. Not only do our escape strategies amplify the feeling that something is wrong with us, they stop us from attending to the very parts of ourselves that most need our attention to heal.

As Carl Jung states in one of his key insights, the unfaced and unfelt parts of our psyche are the source of all neurosis and suffering. The good news is that when we can learn to feel and face the fear and shame we habitually avoid,  with compassion, wisdom, and courage, we can begin to awaken from trance; we can begin to free ourselves to respond to our circumstances in ways that bring genuine peace and happiness.

Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance

photo eric kilby

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