This article has been sitting in my drafts for months. I have attempted to write about the process of feeling our feelings and yet, I came up short every time. Every moment I tried to put something constructive onto paper, it never read right or made little sense.
I realised recently, I am only as wise as I am today and often, I’m not that wise.
While I may feel like I know everything at this moment because I have experienced my life subjectively, sometimes I need to be patient and allow new information, new feelings or new experiences to come into my life and to the surface so I can express them in ways that are manageable and concise.
I needed to really understand what ‘feeling my feelings’ meant, be humble enough to acknowledge that I am not the smartest in the room and also be vulnerable enough to say that sometimes the process hurts and it’s not as simple as attempting to intellectually decipher them.
So here is the new attempt of the blog, with a little more vulnerability and humility. Hopefully it makes sense and can help.
For me, acknowledging my feelings sometimes looks like getting clarity on situations. Time and time again I have been triggered by what someone has said because it took me back to a past trauma or painful event. My biggest triggers are: not being understood, not being heard and not being seen. These come in many different forms and when I get triggered, I get defensive and fearful. Sometimes it can feel so chaotic and I feel like the easiest way to live in this world would be to not have any feelings at all. Closing off my emotions sometimes feels like the safest place because then it won’t hurt.
Learning not to shut myself off from the world has taught me 2 things; I can not heal by myself & connection generates growth. Building a wall around my heart just stopped me from experiencing life in the way it is meant to be experienced.
The fear of the pain – kept me stuck in the pain (read that again).
I had to practice coming to more manageable ways around my emotions, and by understanding that honouring and acknowledging my feelings can be a healthy practice. That’s not to say this isn’t a messy and vulnerable practice. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes feels very isolating. It sounds counterintuitive to sit in your feelings and feel them in their entirety, but, by learning to stop, sit, feel and repeat, you will move past the things that are holding you back and move into a place of freedom.
Having feelings does not make us weak or different, they make us human and the moment I surrendered to the idea that I am not ‘too emotional’, ‘too intense’, or ‘too much’, I realised I was exactly where I was meant to be. It was a freeing moment to realise I will learn something new by allowing myself to feel deeper.
Gaining the courage to speak our truths, especially when our feelings are hurt, is the thing that will set us free. Outbursts of sadness, annoyance and anger are not always socially acceptable. It is a part of our society that we have learned to avoid. When we see someone on their own crying, we tend not to step in and ask if they are okay, because we are unsure of what to do if they say no. But, imagine if we were all accustomed to understanding what our own feelings meant and how they showed up in our lives, we would be able to meet others where they are and lend a helping and compassionate hand. We also gain the practice of having deep, honest and vulnerable conversations, which can remove a lot of misunderstandings too.
In a previous blog (The Journey Of Healing), I talked about the baseline of emotional health and how sometimes that can be built on abandonment, lack of love, neglect and pain. When this is the baseline, the individual is already right in the middle of survival mode. There was never any room to grieve the lack of compassion, love and peace. And this is why feeling our feelings are so important; so we can give ourselves the much needed space to start that grieving process and walk hand in hand on that journey of healing. We learn to soothe ourselves and then learn to pass the compassion on to others too.
Einstein once said ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result’. We will never start the healing process, if we do not learn to feel our feelings and allow them to be expressed in ways that feel comfortable and easy instead of hectic and hard. By continuing to ignore how we feel, we continue the cycle of feeling stuck, being misunderstood and unable to grow as individuals and as collective.
We should honor ourselves when we take a moment to choose growth over stagnation. We should lean into the vulnerable, humble and uncomfortable moments. We should try to feel deeply to build connections and we should celebrate the fact that we have indeed chosen peace over pain.
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About the Author
Founder and CEO of Meet Your Mind Online. Jessica has spent the last 8 years working on self development to help coach and assist others in their journey of self discovery and healing. Her objective is to generate a deeper awareness around mental health for individuals and their communities alike, so each person can navigate, understand and pursue the route to inner peace and in return create a life they love.