Stuck Emotions by Laurie Fraser
published by Tone Magazine, Summer 2013
Emotions enrich and deepen our lives, but they are meant to come and go, always ebbing and flowing in a natural rhythm. Gibran wrote “Together joy and sorrow come and when one sits alone with you at your board remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
Sometimes emotions get stuck and we have trouble letting them go. For so many reasons, we hang on to our emotions: nostalgia, fear of change, enjoyment of secondary benefits (eg- sympathy, assistance, attention…) Sometimes getting stuck in an emotion saves us from looking at what’s under it. Or what’s next.
Generally, smokers are sad and drinkers are angry. Sadness, loneliness and grief get stuck in the lungs. I also remove sad emotions from the heart chakra and the second chakra (concerned with relationships, creativity). Anger mostly gets stuck in the liver and the bladder (pissed off), but some anger settles into the bowels and throughout the digestive system. Anger shows up the root chakra when it’s about work, money, will to live.
Worry and overthinking tend to build up in the spleen. Fear finds a home in the kidneys. I might remove fear from the root chakra of a person who is looking for a job, or from the third eye of a person who has lost touch with their intuition.
Removed fear from the kidneys re: falling in love again.
Removed anger from root chakra re: unfair inheritance
Removed grief from smoker’s lungs re: husband’s death
Removed anxiety from stomach re: conflict
Removed self-doubt from the solar chakra re: living alone
Removed loss from the heart re: break-up
Removed fury from the liver re: childhood abuse
Removed paranoia from the kidneys re: situation at work
The problem with emotions getting stuck is that they then resonate with similar emotions in the future making them seem more intense. We call these our “triggers”, right? If a supervisor criticizes and your reaction is to feel like a 4-year-old who can’t do anything right, the experience is resonating with old emotions. If your only response is tears or paralysis, well, those old emotions are really interfering with your ability to keep the boss’s criticism in perspective. It gets hard to do the “smile-it’s-constructive-feedback” performance convincingly.
When your partner leaves, does it resonate with every other time in your life that you were abandoned? Are you coping better each time it happens? Or worse?
And so we’re back to that old image of the full glass. If your energy is chock-full of anxiety, the next visit to the dentist is going to put you over the top. If some of that old anxiety is removed from various organs and chakras, the dentist becomes much more manageable.
A woman who I worked on telephoned to say, “I don’t yell at cars on the Queensway anymore. I mean, I’m not holding anything back. It’s just not there. I just don’t feel angry.”
There are many ways to remove emotions from our bodies and energy. One way is to let them flow through at the time they happen. This is a conscious choice. Joy moves and so does despair. Don’t let emotions stagnate in the body. They can cause illness.
Emotion, especially when it’s flowing, is truly musical, adding a dimension to our lives that can be exquisite: the deepest love, the sweetest empathy…awe, inspiration…even the gulping tragedy of loss is exquisite when we allow ourselves to feel it, fully feel it, and then move on.