Awakening Conscience: The Potential Value of Not Expressing or Suppressing Negative Emotions (Panel Discussion with Red Hawk, Clelia Lewis, and VJ Fedorschak)
Conscience is an internal uniting force that acts as a compass, always orienting us toward non-judgmental love. Though everyone in human form has a mustard seed of conscience, it must be developed. Buffers are mechanical habits that negate the influence of conscience and blind us to our contradictions to the positive qualities we like to identify with. We have to train attention to recognize conscience. Negative emotions are the ground of the buffer system, and the non-expression and non-suppression of negative emotion is one of the fundamental principles of work on self. This is different than suppressing unresolved trauma that needs to be talked about and worked through. We are trained to run away from strong emotions and sensations in the body. The heat and friction of containing energy through non-expression and non-suppression can create transformational potential for different energies to unite. This is a slow process, and it is actually the feminine force that heals. To skillfully work with ourselves, we need to develop discrimination, utilize support, and never work beyond the body’s capacity to hold energy. We can prepare the ground for working with non-expression of negative emotions with a change in attitude, by recognizing that no one else is responsible for our negative emotions which are already in us. We can do a turn-around in the moment when we find ourselves in a state of unlove. The non-expression of negative emotion can be easily misunderstood; it is really about learning to be with “what is.” Breath and sensation are doorways to the present, gateways to accepting emotion without identification. The distinction between emotion and feeling is discussed. Red Hawk is an acclaimed poet and the author of 12 books, including Self-Observation and Self-Remembering. Clelia is a freelance editor and author of Stainless Heart: The Wisdom of Remorse. VJ is author of Shadow on the Path and Father and Son.