I’ve noticed that many self-help gurus and inspirational speakers tend to ignore the unsavory and uncomfortable parts of life.
What I mean by that is they stress positivity and ignore the seemingly “negative” aspects of being human. They want us to ignore the stuff that makes us feel angry, sad, betrayed, and all the other dark and dreary emotions that can and will find their ways into our experience. Essentially, they want to put a band-aid over them and hope that enough positive affirmations will make them go away. Yes, it is important for us to consciously focus on the positive and feel gratitude for all that we are given in every moment, but if we are ignoring these parts of ourselves, we are just allowing them to still exist within us, silently eating away at us.
We’ve already discussed how happiness is a choice – and it is – but what happens when we just can’t seem to get there?
Usually, it’s because there are things we need deal with. Things we need to feel. Things that we’ve resisted acknowledging and repressed because it makes us feel “bad.”
The silly thing about this line of thought is that there are no “bad” feelings. All of our feelings are neutral. It’s our perspective of it that turns them into something evil and scary.
We’re human, and the beautiful thing about being human is that we have the capacity to experience such a wide spectrum of emotions. And these emotions have a purpose, otherwise, why would we have them in the first place? They are apart of our human experience and resisting them means limiting the totality of life.
“What you resist, persists.”
What happens when we resist these feelings is they become stuck. They have nowhere to go, so they wreak havoc on our relationships, our careers, and even our health.
There’s been a lot of research in recent years that there is definitely a Mind-Body connection. Repressed emotions can cause all sorts of illnesses and disorders. When we refuse to acknowledge them, they become stuck, and they start screaming at us in the form of these health issues that medical doctors can’t seem to find a physical cause for. Anxiety can manifest as a rash on the skin. Depression can cause all sorts of digestive issues. Anger can manifest as high blood pressure or heart problems.
They begin affecting our relationships by way of lashing out at our loved ones for no apparent reason. We become irritable and possibly isolating. Our work suffers because we realize, whether consciously or unconsciously, there are other things going on within us that are keeping us from staying focused and being productive.
Maybe it’s something hurtful someone said or did. Maybe it’s guilt for doing something that hurt another. Maybe it’s anger that something didn’t go as planned.
Whatever it is, it is there for a reason. And resisting it sets us up for so much pain and turmoil, whether emotional or physical, that we have to realize that we have a choice.
We always have a choice.
The most self-loving choice we can make is to allow ourselves to feel it fully.
As uncomfortable and downright nerve-wracking it can be feel things like anger, betrayal, sadness, and guilt, the light needs to be shed on them in order for them to not hide in the shadows, quietly sabotaging our success and happiness. Because that’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re blocking our way to our freedom.
So, how can we start feeling each and every emotion fully and completely so that they no longer keep us stuck and unable to move forward?
It’s simple. When it happens, let it flow. However it is that you can express and allow these emotions to move through you, do it. For some people, it’s writing. For others, it’s putting it into some sort of art – drawing, painting, or music. Or exercising. Or straight up crying and screaming our way through it. Find someone you trust who will not judge you and talk through it with them. Just get it out.
It’s imperative to remember that in order to feel it fully is we must first be willing to feel, and not willing to run.
We also need to be present and mindful enough of our state of mind and body to pinpoint when an emotion is asking to be acknowledged. Our bodies are the first to recognize what is happening both around us and within us. Maybe your stomach starts to hurt, or your breathing gets shallower, or your head begins to ache. Check in, and listen to your body if it’s trying to tell you something is up. It’s the most honest confidant we have, aside from our intuition.
And lastly, don’t analyze the feelings. Our emotions are a spectrum and they move along this spectrum all the time. They are temporary. There is no need to validate them with a reason. Let them be as they are. They will always pass, so long as we allow them a clear path.
The truth of the matter is that we will always find ourselves feeling these things at some point or another. BUT! The amazing thing is that you’ll notice that the more you practice this and allow them to be fully felt, the easier and quicker it is that they move through you in the future. This means less time spent wallowing or feeling angry and more time for joy and gratitude. Yes, gratitude, because as we talked about before, there is a gem to be found in everything we go through.
The path to freedom is the path of feeling our feelings fully. This ensures that they do not continue to subtly cripple our ability to be happy and successful. By having a willingness to be vulnerable, presence to become aware of them, refraining from criticism, and letting them flow we can begin to move forward with our dreams with empowerment and ease.