Emotional Repression Killed Someone Close to Me.

It almost killed me too.

Sarah Theresa
Jan 16 · 6 min read
Photo by Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash

“Discomfort is the price of admission to have a meaningful life.” ~ Susan David, PhD, Ted Talk

I, like you, have been fighting my negative emotions all of my life.

The problem with repression is that it eventually backfires.

As a therapist, yoga teacher, trained reflexologist, and former Reiki teacher, I know from firsthand experience that unprocessed feelings burrow themselves in our bodies. Unfelt emotion can manifest as chronic physical or mental illness — or perhaps a combination of both.

I have personal evidence that your unprocessed issues get stored in your tissues.

My years of emotional repression caught up with me when I experienced my second major loss: the death of my grandmother. My grandmother was everything my mother wasn’t. Her home was my safe haven from a chaotic, abusive household. But she was also one of my unconscious teachers in the subtle art of not feeling your feelings.

It stopped working for me at the funeral when I went into the bathroom and began to sob uncontrollably — the kind of sob that comes from the basement of the self.

My foundation was cracked. My mother came in and told me to stop; she put a padlock on the basement door and swallowed the key. I went back into the church and I was silent. I was silent for a long time after that. Too long.

The “dis-ease” that repression causes is insidious.

It may start out as a headache or fatigue, or perhaps a subtle melancholy. But, like a rapidly growing cancer, it spreads fast and furious when it’s ignored.

Being human is as magical as it is painful.

Being human is as chaotic as it is blissful.

Being human, with a logical thinking brain and deeply feeling heart, is as scary as it is profound.

Frustrating as it is, there is no rule book for feeling your emotions, and there is a good reason for that.

We are all unique. DNA makes us all snowflakes — intricate and complicated. We are so individually, biochemically unique that there is no one-size-fits-all method for processing your feelings — no matter what some self-help “gurus” may proclaim.

Perhaps we have all given someone else permission to tell us what we can and can’t feel.

To begin the process of feeling it all again, we don’t need their permission. In fact, we don’t need them at all. What we need is the inner courage to trust what is arising and allow it to flow through. We need to become our own ally — and when we do, we realize the keys and the locks and the shoulds and the shouldn'ts begin to dissolve.



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Sarah Theresa

Written by

I write as a soul having a human experience. FB @Sarah Theresa Lamb, and Instagram @Zenchic23. www.sarahtheresalamb.com

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