If you’re like me, this list might be titled “My Least Favorite Feelings.”
Truth be told, I’d rather feel nothing at all than feel any of these.
If I were allowed to choose my palette of feelings, they’d be bright and sunny, deeply joyful and radiantly happy, all the time. But that’s just not the way this living thing is designed.
Whether it be our religions, our families of origin, our feel-good society or our metaphysical or spiritual readings or seminars, we get the message loud and clear: Feeling “negative” feelings is trouble. Feeling these feelings lowers your vibration and stops the Universe from blessing you. (Gasp!) Feeling these feelings is ungrateful. Feeling these feelings is not spiritual. Feeling these feelings is unenlightened.
I call bullshit.
It is not the feelings themselves that get us into ruts, or block our capacity for joy, as much as our resistance to them, as much are our judgment of them.
In the last week, I have heard my clients say things like…
It’s stupid but ____.
I know I shouldn’t feel this, but ____.
I should be grateful for the good things in my life, but ___.
This is ridiculous, but ____.
I’ve also had three or four clients this year talk to me about their strategies for getting through heartbreak as quickly as possible. They usually have the word “more” in them…
All in efforts to avoid the pain of their current experience, to avoid the reality of their current feeling.
In the short term, this may seem to work. I don’t have time to feel my pain if I am overextended, or hungover or have a new purse to get excited about, right?
In the long term though, what is buried alive never dies.
What we resist persists.
The wounds transmute and find a way to show up and be felt in a completely unique and unrelated, though painfully familiar situation.
One way or another, these feelings must be felt.
Is it fun? Hell no.
Is it necessary? Hell yes.
And unless there is a chemical imbalance or an actual physical condition that requires treatment, most of the time our feelings just want to move through us.
They just want to be acknowledged and felt, so they can move on.
You are a safe place for every feeling.
And when your feelings learn you are safe, they are not afraid to move through you. They stop for a while, engage you, consume you, exhaust you, drain you. But then they trust you. And they move on.
I urge you to watch the way you moderate and allow or disallow your emotions. Which of them are you most judging?
Catch yourself in the act of resisting your less-desirable emotions. Then find a healthy, loving way to feel them. Express them.
Here are some tried and true methods…
- Journaling (saved my life a time or two, or thousand.)
- Smash, burn or rip something. (your own property, of course.)
- Talk to a friend.
- Write a sad poem.
- Dig in the dirt.
- Swim, run, bike, hike or dance it out.
- Spend a day or two wallowing.
- Clean something.
- Take gloomy selfies.
- Wear black for days.
Some of these physical expressions of emotions can become healing rituals in your processing, a tactile, sensory experience of energy in motion (emotion = energy in motion!)
Allow yourself to have your moment. Feel your feelings. All of them, even the less-savory. Let them move through you. That’s all they ask of you.
I read recently “It’s a full-time job, avoiding your feelings.” Ha, isn’t that the truth? Ain’t nobody got time for that. I want my full-time job to be a life fully felt, fully expressed, fully experienced.
Life is for feeling. So go on, feel it all.
Allow it all, for you are vast, and mighty and brilliant and contain multitudes.