Navigating Deep Emotional Challenges: A Gentle Approach

by | Nov 18, 2023 | Inner Work | 0 comments

Have you discovered that there are deep core beliefs, fears and traumas at the core of many of your challenges?

“I’m not good enough”  – “I’m not loveable” and more.

Please, PLEASE do not keep trying to bring these up directly, with the hope that they will resolve themselves by ‘feeling into it.’ This is rarely appropriate.

Most of the time, going directly to these original traumas is simply too much, sending your nervous system into dysregulation.

Yes, you feel intense emotion and sensation, but that doesn’t mean anything productive is happening.

Unfortunately I see this often, and is sometimes given as generalized (bad) advice. You’re not doing it wrong.

The gradual, more manageable approach actually works much better, just as it does with physical exercise

Video Summary

When embarking on the journey of self-discovery and emotional healing, many face the daunting task of confronting their deepest, most painful memories and beliefs. It’s natural to want to uncover and resolve our core issues to attain peace and emotional freedom. However, delving too deep too fast can be detrimental, causing re-traumatization rather than healing.


The Risk of Diving too Deep

In the pursuit of resolving our core beliefs, the temptation often is to hold ourselves in the most painful childhood memory and to fully immerse ourselves in the emotions that arise, hoping that by doing so, the pain will release and resolve. However, this approach can lead to individuals re-traumatizing themselves repeatedly, with little to no resolution, feeling stuck in pain, wondering whether there is any benefit to such practices.


Building Emotional Capacity

Just like lifting a heavy weight at the gym requires a buildup of muscle strength over time, managing intense emotions requires developing emotional capacity gradually. Diving straight into the deepest emotional pain without the necessary emotional strength can be equivalent to trying to lift a 500-pound barbell on your first day at the gym—unproductive and potentially harmful.


A Simpler, Gentler Path

Working through your emotional challenges does not necessitate plunging into your deepest traumas immediately. Opting for a more manageable, gentler approach often proves to be more effective. Dealing with the smaller, more immediate irritations and annoyances that life presents can pave the way to uncovering deeper emotional truths.


Life naturally presents us with manageable challenges. By addressing the emotions triggered by everyday events, like a traffic jam or a minor disagreement, we can slowly build our capacity to handle more intense, deep-seated emotions. Ignoring these smaller issues, thinking they are trivial compared to our core beliefs, can actually be a form of avoidance, hindering our natural processing and unfolding of emotions.


Building Emotional Strength Gradually

When confronting our core beliefs and emotions, it is crucial to be gentle and mindful, being aware of our current capacity to handle emotional pain. Trying to force a resolution by constantly focusing on the most painful memory can be overwhelming and counterproductive. Instead, addressing and resolving the emotions around smaller, more current issues can strengthen our emotional resilience over time, allowing us to gradually work our way down to the deeper, core issues.


Seeking Solutions and Sharing Experiences

Understanding the mechanics of emotional processing is crucial for effective self-healing, and sharing insights and strategies can significantly benefit others on a similar journey. The comment sections, forums, or discussion groups can be ideal places for exchanging experiences, sharing what works, and learning from others who have found successful shortcuts or techniques in emotional healing.



Approaching emotional healing with patience, mindfulness, and gentleness can be significantly more beneficial and productive in the long run. By addressing and resolving smaller, more immediate emotional challenges, we can slowly build the capacity to handle and eventually resolve our deepest fears and traumas, paving the way for lasting peace and emotional freedom.



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