I loved hearing your thoughts on honoring and giving life to our feelings... Thank you all for sharing!
I'm sharing a few of them at the bottom of this blog post -- if you have others, please comment! :)
Like I said in the last post, I think giving yourself permission to feel (instead of stomping those feelings down) is a wonderful first step --- it helps begin to clear out any judgment or shame about our organic feelings; it helps to reduce their charge; and reminds us that they're a natural, and NECESSARY part of ourselves.
But I do think it's just the first step.
It still keeps us in a very "us vs. them" place in relation to our emotions. Like "they" (the emotions) are the enemy.
As if We (our 'selves') are righteous and calm and mature and evolved --- but we will also allow those silly, immature, beneath-us Emotions to sit at our table (even if we are scoffing and staring down our noses at their atrocious table manners).
See how that puts us still in a place of judging them and considering them to be BAD?
And remember how I said they were like our children or like mini-us?
Alan Watts (whom I ADORE) says, essentially, that those impulses we have to squash, judge or override the emotions we're feeling --- the tough emotions, the ones we're scared of, the ones we'd rather not admit we have or would rather avoid --- "ARE EMOTIONS THEMSELVES."
By running away from, judging or suppressing one feeling, I'm giving into a different feeling.
How very meta.
Basically, no matter where you go -- there you are. ;)
But this is huge. Stay with me.
Check this out: If we are to accept our feelings, if we're to give ourselves permission to feel -- then which feelings are we are we supposed to be feeling?
Which one is more important or more 'right' than the other -- the original feeling, or the other feeling that comes in and makes us not want to feel the first feeling?
Which one is allowed to look down its nose at the other?
Watts says, "When we are too proud to cry, or too frightened to fall in love... Which feeling do we accept -- the sorrow or the pride, the fear or the love?"
Imagine again that these feelings are all children, your little Yous -- the sorrow and the pride, the fear and the love.
Hell -- go ahead and actually visualize them being little kids, and needing your patience and care.
Are you really going to choose between your kids? Which one to love? Which one to give your attention to?
Instead, what if you just noticed.
Pay attention to them.
Show them BOTH some love, some patience, some gratitude (after all, they are both trying to make you feel good in the long run).
Sit it down on the floor and spend time with both of them.
What if you were to say, "I'm so sad, but I'm afraid to cry".... or, "I think I'm falling in love with you, but I'm terrified..."
Both kids get to have your attention; have their time in the sun; feel loved.
Nothing is squashed, spit-shined, or suffocated.
Neither one of these is forced down into the darkness to fester and become something even bigger or scarier to deal with.
Watts says, "There is almost an uncanny wisdom in the spontaneous and natural reactions of our organism to the course of events."
So let them both shine in their wisdom.
Let them both guide you.
Let them both protect and serve you.
It takes some getting used to, and some practice, and some gentle self-love and reminders.
But I'm guessing that walking and chewing gum at the same time used to be hard for us, too --- we can totally do this. :)
You guys had some incredible insights after the last post -- here are a few...
- Putting down the habits, substances, and behaviors that allow us to mask, numb, avoid, ignore, and gloss over the 'icky feelings.'
Yes. That's a HUGE one -- I'm guilty of this myself: a bad day = permission to take down a half bottle of wine? Feeling chaotic and hurt and overwhelmed by life = make jokes to appear a-OK?
- Healthy self-talk and healthy people surrounding you.
Heck yes -- especially the former (because we certainly can't always control who surrounds us)!
Tame that inner-voice that cuts you down, berates you, tells you you don't deserve what you dream of; change its tune so that it, instead, just LOVES you and supports you and encourages you to fly.
- Acknowledging that needs and feelings are universal...and that they are also neither permanent nor all we are.
Isn't it so much easier to give ourselves some grace for even the feelings we dislike when we remember that everyone has them? And that none of it is forever?
- You have to try to do two contrasting things at once: be willing to face painful feelings and let them wash through you.
Exactly -- so well and beautifully said!!
Love you all for sharing!