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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Reflecting on Gut Feeling to Deal with Sadness and Loss in Love Relationship
This post is for anyone feeling the sadness of a loss of a relationship, but it is also for anyone dealing with the feeling of sadness in general. Sadness and the feeling of loss are connected to depression, so this may also be helpful if you are tending toward depression due to a feeling of aloneness that is accompanied by sadness. There are some techniques for dealing with sadness that successfully dimension it and actually use it as a gateway to self-awareness. We talk about these in this blog post.
We thoroughly look at the anatomy of emotional feelings in our book What’s Behind Your Belly Button? and give a new twist to the understanding of these emotions as having a combination of a feeling component coming from the gut feeling of emptiness (generally not fullness as needs satisfaction brings intuitive knowing rather than emotion) and a thinking component coming from the thinking brain. If we experience an emotion like sadness, we can be sure that our thinking brain (CSN) and our gut brain (ENS) are at odds with each other and not communicating completely, although they are certainly trying to do so. We need to separate them further so we can identify what each is saying to us, and that will allow us to bring in some fresh information about ourselves that will set the course of a natural unity of body-mind. In simpler terms, we have to center on how we are feeling emotionally and allow ourselves to look at both the thinking part of this emotion and the purely gut feeling part, then trace the source of those in our understanding of the impact of our experience.
Generally we found in using the Somatic Reflection Process with people who were experiencing sadness and loss, that the sadness was related to a past experience in which they assumed some guilt for the loss, blaming themselves. The sadness that we encountered in the hundreds of people we counseled was found in somatic reflection to be largely related to a feeling of guilt. The feeling of guilt is the same feeling of emptiness whether a person has taken on the thinking judgment that they did or did not do something particular that caused or contributed to their loss or whether they took on the judgment that they were too small and inadequate, unprepared, ill-informed, not-good enough or unaware to act in a manner that would have avoided the loss.
Often, when we ask people for the first time if they can see a relationship to their feeling of sadness to the feeling of guilt, they think we mean something they have done wrong, for which they will say “no”. But once they examine their feelings, they see their sadness has a thinking component of how they think they were “not powerful enough or good enough” and this identity of a “less than” feeling or guilt opens a door of perception up. It is much easier to deal with one’s guilt from the past and find the source of the judgments that we have put upon ourselves (generally back in early childhood where we originally accepted judgments from authorities or others who did not understand how we felt inside) than it is to deal with a profound feeling of sadness and loss for which we have no control or think simply relates to some event in recent times or adulthood. Generally, our adult romantic losses trigger feelings unresolved from earlier life and are even set up to happen because we have not cleared our understanding of ourselves in this earlier event. It does take quite a bit of reflecting on the impact of life upon you, your gut feelings, to reassess your past and understand that you are perfectly human, caring in your instincts., and always have been caring. But until we do find our caring and loving nature inside, we will not feel we deserve love and happiness, and that is our biggest loss.
We often find that people write us and say that they have a breakthrough as they read the dialogues and discussions in Chapter 3 and generally this is a profound feeling experience in which they find some peace and self-acceptance, and sadness and aloneness begins to shift toward hope and a feeling of soundness and peace inside. Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 3 of What’s Behind Your Belly Button? on the "Anatomy of Feelings". This excerpt introduces the dialogues of authentic sessions of the Somatic Reflection Process:
“People commonly experience the awareness of feelings as a combination of logic and feeling rather than a purely instinctive gut feeling of necessity. The inner instinctive feeling is surely there but our conscious awareness is so distracted toward the outside situation through our senses that the instinctive human feelings are available to us only in a combined form with some outside authoritative thinking we have accepted. In contrast to the purely instinctive somatic feelings of the human organism, this type of common feeling experience or level of feeling consciousness may be called psychosomatic feeling.”
“We experience the psychosomatic level of feeling to be allied with our attachments to outside authority. In situations where we are conscious of the importance of what other’s think or how we perform, we become aware that our basic feelings are set side-by-side with the logic of the external authority in the situation and we tend to judge our position in terms of that outside view. Invariably, we come up short and lose in that comparison. We experience the tendency of the logic to judge this type of feeling position to be weak and unreliable. The weakness seems to be related to the logical compromise of our instinctive feelings. Compromised feelings are inevitably unreliable because in such a situation we find we are strung-out away from ourselves. From the point of view of the Self, we find in reflecting on what is important to us that it was the logic system that we accepted that were unreliable. We find it always unreliable to accept outside principles that do not satisfy the instinctual feelings when we apply them to our inner needs.”
“It is helpful to remember that if the feeling is named—fear, hostility, guilt, jealousy, joy, sadness, etc.—it is not a basic instinctive feeling since the act of naming by the logic system attaches the feeling to an outside judgment even though it is related to emptiness or fullness on the inside of us. And it is the inner instinctive feelings with which we need to deal not the outside person, situation or thing with which the named feeling is associated. Often the outside situation is not even a real factor with which we can deal. We can project on a host of fantasies in the outside world while the real problem lies deep in our inner instinctive feelings of necessity.”
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