Sometimes the last thing we want to do is feel our feelings. Because feeling can hurt. Feeling can make you cry in the laundromat. Feeling can make your face unattractively red in the frozen food aisle. Feeling can make you think this whole being human racket is not the best way to spend your time. If you’ve been stuffing your feelings back into your rib cage whenever they try to break for the light, this is especially true.
Those crafty feelings would make the occasional jail break, and then I’d vibrate with a nameless rage that ended in cell phone destruction when technology met brick wall. Or I’d start screaming and yanking at my clothes—yes, actual rending of garments—because the rush of pain was too intense to contain within my frame.
So I learned to stifle my sensitivity and emotion in a well-meaning but mistaken effort to protect those around me. Many of us do.
We learn that emotions aren’t safe. We learn that crying is not appreciated. We learn that life runs more smoothly when we pack our emotions into our spleen and forget about them. It wasn’t until my father landed in the hospital thirty years later that my personal emotional apocalypse began. Trapped in a hospital bed, unable to move, all the feeling and empathy my father had successfully stifled for seventy years—with work, wine, and science fiction novels—rose up to claim him. He couldn’t bear to be in his body any more, so he stopped eating until he didn’t have to be.
Devoting myself to processing my feelings, rather than letting them build up until they drained me, began to shift and transform my life.
Every feeling has a message.
Maybe that message is simply to allow yourself to feel the emotion until it dissipates. Maybe the feeling is guiding you toward some action. Once, when a boyfriend and I were talking about moving in together, fear and anxiety began flying through my body like cocaine-addled pinballs for no apparent reason. In other words, I started flipping out, which didn’t make any sense, given that this was something I’d been wanting.
If something persists—anger, fear, anxiety—simply ask it what it wants to tell you. Sit quietly and allow the answer to appear. When you feel peaceful, you have your answer, whether or not you like what that answer says.
Processing your feelings gives you access to your own inner wisdom and innate creativity.
If I sit down to write and nothing comes, I hunt down any feelings that I’ve been avoiding. Sometimes I’ll need to abandon work to roam the beach and cry. Sometimes I’ll give the feeling five minutes of attention and get back to work.
You already have all the answers you will ever need inside of you—and your emotions are a primary vehicle for those answers. Learning the language of your feelings will give you your own personal Sherpa through life.
All this feeling you’re carrying around may not be yours.
Sensitive, empathic people are the proud recipients of a double whammy. You’re not just carrying around your emotions, you’re also carrying the emotions of people you walked past in the grocery store, the homeless woman you spoke with on the corner two years ago, the friend who vented last week.
Your own emotions may be crowded by the emotions of others that you absorbed unconsciously, sometimes by simply walking past them in the street.
Learn how to clear the emotions of others from your field. One way to do this is to imagine roots extending from your feet into the center of the earth. Send all the emotion and energy that doesn’t belong to you down those roots and into the earth. Feel it draining out of your field and into a place where it can be transformed. Do it daily.
Feeling your emotions brightens your life, both internally and externally.
You already have every answer you will ever need inside of you; you just need to learn how to access that information. Answers about your relationships, your life direction, how to take care of your health, how to move toward what you want. Translating what your feelings are trying to tell you provides a direct conduit to your own higher wisdom.
It may take time and sustained attention to clear out what you were in the habit of stuffing down, but the more you lean into whatever is asking to be seen, the more your life will open and expand.
Brain gremlins won’t have as much sticky emotion to latch onto and they’ll become easier to gently set aside. What once felt heavy and overwhelming will feel light. And everything will change.
Article Credit: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-feel-your-feelings/