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The Bliss Mistress Guide: Fierce & Tender Feelings

by Edie Weinstein

I’ve been a therapist a long time, so feelings are my business. Over the years, I have encouraged people to acknowledge them, give voice to them, put them on paper and dance them to life. I have reminded clients that there are no positive or negative feelings. They just exist as expressions of our inner landscape. All well and good, except what happens when the one who invites others to share their emotional states, is shut down at times with her own?

She sits down in her inner office, complete with comfy chairs, flowering plants, bookshelves filled with entertaining and informative tomes, motivational prints and pictures and faces her wise mind self and asks what’s behind all of this.

What comes out is an awareness that since my mother’s death in 2010, I have felt what I can only describe as ‘flat’. Not depressed, not deeply grieving. Simply present sans ups and downs. I had prepared for her passing, sitting with her in the six months she was on hospice, speaking about life and death, what might await her on the Other Side and how I intended to carry on once she had passed. My father had died a few years earlier, so I had some semblance of practice. Even so, nothing could have prepared me for the intensity of missing them at times, even as I kept on keeping on. Yes, I cried. Yes, I wrote about my experiences related to loving and losing them. Yes, I spoke with trusted family and friends. And still….

As I write these words, there is only thought, only presence, still no emotional flux. Stillness and now-ness. 

I sense that it is what impacts my daily interactions. I can identify a variety of emotions, but they are not as intense as they were at earlier stages of my life. It is as if they are sequestered behind a closed (but not locked) door awaiting the invitation to peer out. 

What calls them forth are experiences like I have had lately. In the past week or so, I have spent time with friends who are dear to me. Most have been in my life for 10 years or more. We know each other by heart. In their presence, I feel seen, known and loved. What more can be asked of friendship than that? Conversations go deep; not skating on the surface of the pond. It doesn’t mean that what is shared is always light and fluffy.

 Necessary at times to have difficult conversations, but always with a mind toward resolution and win-wins. When I have sat face to face with them, I have also sat heart to heart. I walk away with a feeling of tenderness toward them and deep gratitude that our paths crossed.

Another side of the spectrum arises when I hear stories of ways in which people I know are abused or taken advantage of by others in their lives. That’s when my Mama Bear stands on her back legs and bares her claws and fangs and wants to roar “How dare you hurt this person!” I know that I may never be face to face with the one who caused harm, whether unintentionally or on purpose, but it feels good to imagine it.

Do feelings exist to serve us or are we their servants? I don’t like being at their mercy as they carry me along like so many twigs on a stream, or being tossed about on a blast of wind. I prefer to be steering the boat.

I take comfort in these wise words:

“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.” Iyanla Vanzant

Edie Weinstein, LSW is a colorfully creative journalist, inspiring transformational speaker, licensed social worker, interfaith minister, BLISS Coach, radio host www.vividlife.me and the author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into the Extraordinary. She calls herself an Opti-Mystic who sees the world through the eyes of possibility. www.opti-mystical.com

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