One thing that is very different between Eastern and Western medicine is how our emotions are viewed. Eastern medicine puts a lot of emphasis on our emotions whereas in the west our emotions are often ignored. Our emotions can effect everything about us, from how well we are able to show up in our daily lives, to how it affects our self-care or dietary and exercise habits, to how they manifest in the body as various health conditions.
So many of us have been taught that emotions are bad, that we should suppress or ignore them, or that certain emotions require a set protocol for feeling them. This has led to all kinds of distorted patterns of emotions, and just like everything else we try to suppress, they tend to come out sideways or in unhealthy ways. Learning how to express our emotions in healthy ways can sometimes be a lifetimes work. Some of us have stronger tendencies towards certain emotions than others, and we may also discover that one emotion may be used to hide another emotion.
When we learn to honor our emotions, we free ourselves from the distorted patterns that otherwise arise. All emotions are natural, normal, and completely ok to feel. It is when we act out on them that we tend to get ourselves into trouble. To just sit with an emotion, to follow it through the emotion and come out the other side where we discover the peace and stillness where we can transform ourselves. All of a sudden we have the ability to feel a feeling in its pure state, without the reactions that we tend to add to them. Anger, fear, anxiety and grief lose their power over us and they do not settle into the body.
Can you imagine living inside of a body that is so supple and free, where it feels lighter and brighter as its default setting? The tensions and stressors of daily living float on by without attachment and we are easy and fluid as thoughts and emotions drift by on the gentle breeze. Nothing has to be so urgent as we discover everything in its own time. To develop the ability to perhaps enjoy our emotions, who could be so bold?