Learn to become the shaman for your emotional upsets…
When the two of us met and joined as a couple several decades ago, we made the simple vow to keep our hearts open to ourselves and to each other. We had reached the space within our own individual lives where we were no longer willing to do a relationship in the traditional, soul deadening, and damaging way. Separately, we had wandered through our own respective wildernesses of relationships, led by the dictates of our unconscious wounds and numbed by the addictions of our personal preferences. We felt ready for a relationship that supported each other, individually, in being all that we could be; one that made room for our authentic True Self; one that honored our emotions when we got triggered; one where the prime directive was to work through every upset as soon as possible to reclaim our open-heartedness.
We began to see that each trigger, along with the corresponding emotions, led us to feelings and memories that we had disconnected from due to overwhelm, shock, or immaturity. Our emotional body was not only the voice of our present affective experience, but also it was tapping into a much deeper reservoir of the unprocessed feelings from the disowned, wounded aspects of our Self. Each time we got upset with each other, a younger part of us was present, tugging on our shirtsleeves, asking us to remember who they were and the times when we had felt these same feelings.
Early on, we were painfully aware of the shame and rejection of the child that lives within us. Our resistance would say: “We’re adults now; it’s time to grow up and get over our story.” Another common reaction was “I don’t want to feel these feelings anymore; I want to feel happy now.” Yet, as long as we were rejecting our inner selves and our past experiences, we continued to feel alienated from our True Self.
As we developed a greater capacity to sit with the pain of our inner child, we discovered that our emotional body was directly linked to the wisdom of our soul, and that all of our upsets were designed to return us to our wholeness. When our hearts were open, we bathed in the feelings of bliss, joy, gratitude, and well-being. When we contracted or got triggered, our hearts shut down, and emotions emerged that connected to aspects of our selves that had been in a dissociated state due to various forms of trauma.
Indigenous cultures have long recognized that the psyche can be fractured and that lost aspects must be retrieved and reintegrated in order for the person to feel whole again. Shamans would do sacred ceremonies using trance, drumming, totems, and astral journeys to find and bring back these wounded parts.
We were seeing that the prime directive of the emotional body was to create an empathic link to the parts of our selves that had been lost and needed integration into our wholeness. With each relational upset, we became the shaman, ourselves, journeying through the turmoil of our emotional bodies, into the inner darkness of our psyches and the depths of our souls. In the moment of being triggered, we had perfect empathy for our inner child; we were feeling exactly what he/she felt before, but could not process. We began to realize that by triggering each other, we were actualizing the underlying Soul Contract that had brought us together: to unknowingly play out roles for each other’s healing.