This is similar to PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). It occurs when we experience something beyond what we are able to process emotionally. We suppress, numb, or forget the experience to protect ourselves. These things we suppress do not just go away- they get stored in our psyche. Later, when we feel safe, memories and dreams start coming back to us. That intense dream or horrific nightmare might be us trying to remember and feel something, so we can let it go. It is not coming back to haunt us, it is coming back so we can heal.
We get overwhelmed spiritually as well- by the vastness and unlimited possibilities of life. We don't have the tools to manage the expansiveness, so we create a veil between ourselves and creation to feel safe and in control. We create our own reality or world. We often do this at a relatively young age and then we forget that we did it. We start believing that our contrived reality is the way things are. We assume that other people are living in that reality too, but they created their own version. We miss a lot of life this way.
So what to do? To be open emotionally or grow spiritually, we must learn to manage overwhelm. The first step is containment. It is essential to limit our experiences and simplify our life to where we can feel it, again. This involves accepting that "all things affect" and becoming more selective with the things that we expose ourselves to (see previous blog). Just because we are not being affected intellectually, does not mean we are not being affected emotionally. Some things like work, ex-husbands/wives, etc., we may not be able to avoid- at least right away. But many of the things that overwhelm us stem from our choice to hang out in stressful environments. We could just as easy say "This is not a good place for me," and leave.
Forthcoming will be more tools to manage overwhelm. I believe it is one of the most essential and challenging things to staying emotionally and spiritually healthy in our world today.