Tuesday, 10 October 2023

Linda-maree Conyard

Resistance, particularly when it comes to confronting our emotions, can act as an invisible barrier to our personal growth and self-fulfillment. This week's Trauma Bytes delves into the battle against emotional resistance, shedding light on the recurring challenges women often encounter when avoiding their emotional experiences. We'll explore how this struggle, when seen through a trauma-informed lens, can offer a path to emotional healing by dropping the fight.

Resistance isn't just a fleeting sentiment; it's a powerful force that can impede self-discovery. In this edition of Trauma Bytes, we'll explore:

  • ​The Weight of Emotional Resistance;
  • The Trauma Connection; and
  • Strategies for Emotional Liberation.

1. The Weight of Emotional Resistance: Understand why many women grapple with resisting their emotions and the profound impact it has on their overall well-being.

Emotional resistance, like a silent undertow in the ocean, can pull women away from their own emotions. It often begins with societal norms that encourage the projection of strength and composure, requiring us to be unemotional, which perpetuates the myth that showing vulnerability is synonymous with weakness. Women can often buy into these external pressures that expect women to resist feeling their emotions, concealing their genuine reactions to life's challenges and joys.

Denial of our emotions often manifests in the physical body as health issues and in our mind as mental health issues. Pushing down or holding in our emotions is detrimental to our entire health and wellbeing.

Healing Movement: Build awareness (not judgment) of how you may play into these societal norms that prevent you from being true to yourself and your emotions.

2. The Trauma Connection: Discover how past traumatic experiences can intensify resistance to emotions, hindering healing and personal growth.

Unresolved trauma can be fertile ground for the seeds of emotional resistance. Past traumatic experiences may have ingrained a deep fear of feeling, as emotions might have been linked to pain, powerlessness, or vulnerability during those challenging times.

I remember my father preparing me to visit my grandmother, who was very sick. He said, "Don't cry, you be strong". Crikey, I was just a kid and boy, did I take that on for a large portion of my life. Maybe you have clear times in your life when you learned to stop your emotions.

None of us enjoy the feeling of those difficult emotions, but keeping them trapped inside will create more harm to us in the end. Women who've endured trauma may inadvertently resist their emotions by subconsciously attempting to shield themselves from reliving those painful experiences.

Healing Movement: Identify those moments where you learned to stop your emotions. Gain clarity on how that has impacted your life and potentially your health. Is there anything you can do in this moment to validate the feelings that may be trapped inside?

3. Strategies for Emotional Liberation: Learn practical tools for breaking free from the grip of emotional resistance.

Sayings like 'boys don't cry', 'come on, that's enough of that', and 'stop being so emotional' or others blaming our emotions on our menstrual cycle (not in a good way) need to stop. Our tolerance for this kind of behaviour can do with a little bit of a challenge.

I gained an interesting perspective and appreciation of emotional resistance when I was doing my Master of Gestalt. It was a powerful experience to fully stay with the sensation of resistance in my body. Almost magically, as I stayed with the sensation of resistance, I felt it release within me and let go, and I was free to feel fully. It was an incredible relief, and I could feel the space it created within my body.

I realised we don't need to fight or break free from the clutches of emotional resistance, we simply need to be with resistance and honour how it has served us while we didn't have the resources to do anything differently.

Healing Movement: Give yourself permission to allow resistance, then when it lets go, experience the emotions behind it and let it all assimilate into you.

If you engage with this and give it a try, I would love to know how it worked for you. Just reply to this email and share your experience with me.

May this week's Trauma Bytes be your guiding light on the transformative path toward self-liberation, self-determination and authentic self-expression.

I love hearing from you and receiving your updates, so please keep them coming.

May you be well, may you be happy, and may you have inner peace.

Linda ♡

If you try out any offered practices, I’d love to hear how you found them and what you now understand that you didn’t before. I love, love, love hearing from you guys.

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