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Feeling the Unfeelable: Freeing Yourself to Love


Feeling the Unfeelable: Freeing Yourself to Love

Marina Smerling

We humans are so precious.

Loving light beings with aches and bruises and owies galore.

Doing our best to love each other.  Doing our best to be kind.  Doing our best to get the dang laundry done, the kids in bed, our teeth and theirs brushed quickly and on time, without hurting anyone or anything in the process.

We try.

And yet those feelings arise in us, the ones we would rather do anything than feel, the ones that have us lash out, say things we don’t mean, pull away when we actually want help, go quiet when there is actually so much to say.

We’ve all been hurt.  In ancient ways, ways we may or may not consciously remember, but ways that impact us in our everyday lives regardless.

And with these ancient hurts came ancient beliefs, often along the lines of:

“I’m bad.”

“I’m selfish.”

“I’m alone.”

“I’m unloveable.”


These beliefs live in our bodies, just waiting to be poked and inflamed.  They color our everyday behavior and personalities in infinite ways, causing us to appear brave and confident when we feel scared, to act small and confused when we know exactly what’s going on, to be nice when we want to scream, and lash out when we really just want a hug.

We’ve gotten immensely creative in hiding these beliefs, because they feel so incredibly shameful. Our resulting survival systems are awe-inspiring, and help us to maintain a sense of calm, status quo, equilibrium and all-is-well amidst the tumult of everyday life.

Until, of course:

… Our partner complains that we don’t care…

… Our friend doesn’t call when we wish they did…

… Our parent/sibling/child looks away when we wish they’d gaze straight toward us, and find us in a vulnerable moment

In other words, until we encounter another human being whose words and actions are the precise recipe to taunt our ancient beliefs out of their graces.  Suddenly, the skeletons rise out of the earth dancing, smiling in our faces, having us feel That Thing, that thing we can’t tolerate.  That thing that seems it could burst every cell in our being.

It’s in these moments that we say the thing we don’t mean, or we run for the hills, or freeze like a deer in headlights, our capacity to feel and think alike suddenly diminished to that of a protozoa.


How, then, to be a kind human, to be The Aware and Awake One, the one we so dang wannabe, even when the old feelings have flared and snatched our survival instincts?

Blaming the other, blaming ourselves – as easily accessible as these strategies are in the moment, they keep us locked in the same old cycles that get us nowhere, and only replicate the ancient hurts, again and again.

Thus, the inevitable question:

What would it be like to break the cycle of hiding and reacting, and instead turn toward the feeling itself?

To feel it?  For a moment, for a breath or two or three… to *feel* like the bad one, the selfish one, the alone and unloveable one?

Perhaps, therein lies our salvation.

Perhaps in being willing to feel the Unfeelable, we free up our lives.

Breaking out of the trance of “me vs. them,” setting the other person free from responsibility for our well-being and happiness, and in turn, freeing our ourselves from the fiery flames of hell when they trigger us.

So much of our time and energy is spent trying to avoid the Unfeelable.  But when we actually give ourselves permission to feel it, the other person’s words and actions become a mere trigger, not The Almighty Truth.  A mere reminder of something else, usually something much, much older, a fundamental falsehood and misunderstanding we were graced with early on in this life.

I invite you to try it, daring to rest a moment as…

… the bad one

… the selfish one

… the alone one

… the unlovable one

Finding that you can still breathe here, that the ground still supports your feet, that the earth still turns, and often, the other person *isn’t* going away.


So often, the Unfeelable is kept in the same compartment as our love.  When we free ourselves to feel the Unfeelable, so, too, do we free ourselves up to love.  We unlock a treasure chest long hidden, and from within its dusty confines, a beam of light streams forth.

Here you are then, the bad one, coming for your beloved with open arms.  Here you are, the unlovable one, choosing love regardless.

You can do this.

Feel the Unfeelable, and relieve the other person of responsibility for it.

Feel the Unfeelable, and love yourself anyway.  Love wildly, and without borders.

All of you out of hiding.  Love unstoppable within you.


But feeling the Unfeelable takes help, it takes support, it takes unhitching your wagon from the other person’s human personality with all its follies and foibles, and hitching your wagon instead to something larger, more trustworthy, more solid in this life.

Maybe it’s God.  Maybe it’s the moon.  Maybe you love goats.  Hitch your wagon to goats.  To anything.  Just not to the other person.   Because a) they’re not the true cause of your feeling, and b) they can’t actually free you from it.

This re-hitching of your wagon frees the other person, but most importantly, it frees you.

From here, there is sweet healing work to be done.  Listening to yourself.  Holding the young ‘un within.  Questioning the old belief.  Telling her the story of what is true about her – that she is good, and loving, and loved always and forever.  Telling her you’re here with her to stay, not going away.  No one’s going away this time.

We put in so much work to avoid these feelings.  So much time and effort and creativity to get “good” and “loving” and “loved” in the eyes of another.  Trying to get them to prove to us that we’re okay, that we’re not defective after all.  It’s exhausting.

In the end, may we dare to try another way, to allow the feeling of that thing we fear, in so doing, discover who we really are – innocent, precious, sweet and loving stardust-in-motion, doing its best to survive and thrive in this life.

Mercy upon us all.


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