The disembodied life

Feelings are the physical expression of unconscious emotions. If we ward off and attribute those feelings to others, we live a disembodied life. We never metabolize the truth of ourselves because we relocate it in others. Whatever feeling we don’t like, we avoid, withdrawing our love and acceptance, dooming those feelings to be permanent refugees looking for a home. Then we never experience that inner largeness, that landscape within that could hold everything.


Looking out the window, I see tree trunks, leaves, roofs, a blue sky, flowers, a neighbor’s deck, soil, stones, and more. The view outside is able to hold everything that is in it. Sometimes it holds snow, sometimes a dead squirrel, sometimes a piece of trash floating in the wind. But the landscape rejects nothing within it. Room for everything.


But then life happens. Maybe your loved one says something, or your enemy, or a patient. Something happens and that refugee feeling knocks at the door again. Whatever feelings we have rejected travel only temporarily until they magnetically return home again. They are always looking for you. You think they are awful or bothering you, not realizing they are the missing pieces trying to make you whole again.


Anxiety is the sign that those feelings are knocking on the door, trying to come in. Maybe it’s sad child, the angry one, the hopeless one, or the loving one. But the question every day is the same: can I come in? Will you love me? Can I come home?


Warded off feelings, all these prodigal children returning home. You rejected them before and sent them away to live in other people. Can you see now that they were never bad? Can you see now that they were always loving you, giving you the information you needed? Can you see they were just forms of love?


What we disavow will keep returning to us through children, spouses, friends, patients, and life itself. “He makes me feel…” Translated: “He reminds me of this feeling within myself that I thought I had gotten rid of.” Amazing how life and everyone we know is teaching us about what we have disavowed, our unlived life, and anxiety is its messenger.








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