While the workshop covered all chakras, I’ll focus on the 2nd here. It plays a key role in our experience of life and our ability to create what we’re seeking. The second is the main energy centre for our emotional sheath, also called the astral or vital body. It’s also where we tend to carry the most baggage. The related third drives the lower mind and will, that which names and judges. It is also the lower protector or guardian.
Much of our disappointment in life is from unmet emotional needs. Out of touch with ourselves, we unconsciously project our needs into the world and seek them externally. Expecting others to somehow mind-read what we don’t recognize in ourselves, the world fails us repeatedly.
When someone else is projecting on us, it takes a lot of strength not to get caught in it. Ironically, if we close our energy in protection (common for most of us), our energy will amplify their projections, reflecting it back. This of course amplifies conflict and discord too. To just be able to see it as their projection of unmet needs profoundly changes relationships. (not that I’m well-practiced at that)
Many relationships fail because of unconscious needs that cease being fed by the other person due to changing circumstances and growth.
Yet if we can learn the simple ways to resolve internal conflict and repressed feelings, we can clear the way to meet our emotional needs internally. For example, we can’t project when we’re grounded and present. And wouldn’t you like to be happy for no reason? Happiness is part of our nature and will arise if we cleanse the emotions.
This is not to say we shouldn’t love and express feelings, only that this is a giving and sharing rather than a co-dependency. When we don’t depend on another for basic emotional needs, our inner life settles markedly. But this requires skills, like learning to tell the difference between our old baggage (unmet or unresolved) and what we’re feeling now (new).
What we feel, we believe
Like seeing is believing, what we experience directly we tend to believe. However, events can trigger emotional memories that feel real but may no longer be true. Like that we’re bad or unworthy. They have a kind of “magnetic” quality, due to embedded desires. They are the story of what was not met in the past. And they continue to filter our perception of ourselves, others and the world. In some ways, beliefs are named emotions with ideas attached.
This causes us to live driven from the past and from avoidance rather than from what is here in front of us. It also tends to create life dominated by what is unmet (used to want) rather than what we want now. Emotional literacy helps us become aware of our internal dynamics and differentiate between a triggered memory, resistance, and what is actually here now.
Inversely, if we’ve repressed our feelings and don’t feel the dynamics, we’ll tend to try and force things, striving and pushing against what is. This is more common for men. ‘Real boys don’t cry.’ And if you can’t relate to this, numbness is an emotion too, a good sign of long-term overwhelm.
Where do we feel it coming from? What is the “tone” of the feeling? Does it feel forced or resistant? Is it a natural response to circumstance we can let flow through us? If it’s not clear, a reality check may be helpful. Talk it out with someone not involved for perspective. It can take time to resolve an emotion fog. But it’s more than worth it.
One belief we do want to have is that feeling good is safe. Many such beliefs are quite healthy. But many messages we got out of anger or to correct childhood behaviour may no longer serve us.
We all experience areas of life that move well and other areas that are bumpier. These bumpy spots indicate we have unresolved emotional dynamics (aka karma) that create a conflict between our higher and lower selves. Nancy called this a “warble.” Where our higher self is open to what is unfolding but our lower self is hesitant and blocking that flow. In a way, we hold both the problem and the solution in a duality rather than letting the solution through. Old past belief-experiences get in the way of solution. But curiously, even familiar suffering can feel safer than the change of opening to happiness. With the familiar, we feel safe and in control even if we feel bad. Or nothing.
Feelings, even fear, are not the enemy. They are life’s richness. Fear and anger are often a form of protection. They are not a problem in themselves. It is the attempt to resist, suppress and control emotions and not let them resolve that makes them an issue. This doesn’t mean dwell in the muck but rather allow them to complete and leave. When we face a large trauma or change, it is natural for it to take time to heal. But we need to give it that time and not repress.
Because we often experience others as emotionally fickle and unable to meet our needs, we may come to distrust love. I’ve met many in my age group who have become ambivalent. But love isn’t a second chakra emotion. It’s the divine in focus and flow. Love is simple and unattached. What we love will grow in our hearts. Love based on needs is not really love. This is why we can love someone but not like them.
When the higher and lower are in sync, we experience the smooth flow of the formless into form. What we know the feel of, we can create. Do you know what hope actually feels like? Safety? Feeling is the energy before form and what sustains our world. What do you feel?
These points were only a small part of the other chakras we also discussed and experienced. But they are key things to get to know in ourselves. Especially for a guy. Real guys do cry – especially out of happiness.