Your feelings outline your story. We carry all sorts of stories within us and when we discover them, through our feelings it enables us to make better sense of who we are. We have good stories, stories that make us proud, stories that make us happy, and we also have stories that bring us hurt and pain. These are the stories of shame and fear, anger, sadness, etc. We have a tendency to hide these stories, keep them safe inside, not give them a voice, not give them space to be heard or seen or known, and therefore not giving them an opportunity to heal. There are three ways in which we have to process our stories, stories may come to us from our mind, the things that we say about ourselves, from the heart which are to do with our feelings, and our body which is to do with our sensations, and how our body talks to us, and as well how it looks and feels and what it is that we have done to it.
Our stories are both guide and messenger, they represent something of where it is that we have been to, how we felt about it, and how we have made sense of it. So, it is important to be able to get in touch with these three ways of being when you come across negative feelings, negative thoughts, and body sensations. So when you get in touch with the feeling associated with a food, then it is important to be able to identify what that feeling needs. So for example lets just say you are at an event and you are provided with a huge plateful of really good smelling cookies. It is really important to be able to get in touch with your thoughts, your feelings, and your body sensations and where these feelings are hanging out in your body, and remember that feelings are our messengers and our guides. It is important to be able to sit with the feeling and be with the feeling.
What is your mind telling you? What are the voices saying to you? Take a breath and realize that this is an important story teller. Now, get in touch with your heart, what are your feelings telling you? Take a breath and realize that this is a story teller. Take a look at your body, what are the sensations in your body telling you? Take a breath and realize that your body is a story teller. The reality is, that we need to be able to increase our capacity and to be able to sit and be with these thoughts, emotions, and sensations. To be able to do this and not react to them, not to play into them, not respond to them, to do this is an act of triumph. It is important to be able to identify what these thoughts, feelings and sensations are, and to have a response of compassion for these feelings. Self-compassion is a combination of both self-kindness and self- love.
This helps you to be able to tolerate the intolerable. When you get in touch with the need for survival and/or self criticism, they activate the threat system, meaning that you are getting in touch with your reptilian or mammalian brain, not your prefrontal cortex, meaning that you are reacting and not thinking. To be able to connect with self-compassion means that you are actually able to think the situation through, to be able to obtain what you are actually really wanting.