The price of emotional renunciation is a constant, wasteful expenditure of energy that leaves us depressed and taciturn, imprisoned in the apathy and ennui of the "Seen-that-Been-there-Done-that" syndrome. When we surrender and soften to our feelings, we reconnect with our inborn vitality, and with the invaluable instinct and intuition that our feelings naturally carry.
The Tao of Fully Feeling describes the middle ground of emotional aliveness that lies between emotional deadness and emotional explosiveness. It helps us to soften and relax into our feelings without exiling them or enshrining them. It guides us to be emotionally expressive in benign, intimacy-enhancing ways.
The Tao of Fully Feeling teaches us to respond to our painful and potentially disruptive feelings in healthy ways. It illustrates the enriching aspects of the so-called negative emotions, and helps us achieve the emotional flexibility whereby sadness easily mellows into solace, anger unfolds into laughter, fear evolves into excitement, jealousy opens up into appreciation, and blame gives way to forgiveness.
The Tao of Fully Feeling refutes the black-and-white notion that blame is never justifiable. It describes safe, non-destructive ways of feeling and expressing blame-ways that ironically enhance our capacity to feel genuine forgiveness.
When we authentically forgive our parents, we know what we are forgiving them for, and what specifically was blameworthy about their behavior in the first place. When we forgive before we blame, we risk dragging the full weight of our childhood hurt and anger around forever, like an exhausted backpacker who is too dulled and over-trusting to notice that someone has put a boulder in his/her pack.
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by Pete Hautman
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