How often do we lie to ourselves by saying that we’re fine when really we aren’t?
If I had to wager a guess, I’d say we do it at least a half a dozen times a day.
Whether it is when our boss does something we find demeaning and we just choke it down, saying that it really doesn’t matter. Or when our child does something that bothers us, yet the guilt and pressure to be a good parent makes us turn a blind eye. Or when our spouse or partner says something that deeply hurts or angers us and we pack it away and say that everything is fine.
For those living with mental illness, often it is just easier to say, “I’m fine,” than to go into the depths of all that you are feeling at any given moment.
We all put on this mask of “fine” to some degree every day.
Within many of us, there is this divide that says some emotions are good and others are bad.
The bad or “negative” emotions like anger, jealousy, sadness or rage are pushed away and denied full expression.
But to this leads to deeper and more prolonged upset. The tactics of denial, avoidance, or suppression almost always lead us back to where we don’t want to be – in pain.
We all feel and when we are upset, we are upset. That is the truth of the moment. To deny that is a lie.
There is no need to run from it, deny it, or make it something other than it is.
And here’s a little secret: There’s no need to be scared of it either.
Whatever you are feeling – sadness, anger, jealousy, confusion, whatever it may be – is just a feeling.
All you have to do is allow them. It sounds pretty simple, right?
But it’s true. All your feelings want is to be felt.
How do you do that?
Simply breathe. Allow your body to fill up with the feeling.
You may feel like slumping your shoulders, balling up your fists, clenching your jaw, or weeping.
However the feeling manifests itself within your body is perfect.
Notice how I did not say anything about telling or yelling or showing?
It’s because you don’t have to tell anyone how you’re feeling to feel your feelings.
You don’t have to yell at anyone over how you’re feeling to feel your feelings.
And you don’t have to show anyone how you’re feeling to feel your feelings.
Are you getting how this works?
Your feelings are about you – you in the present moment, in your body. That is where you feel your feelings.
So just feel them.
And after you give yourself time to breathe and allow your feelings to be felt, then you have a choice to make.
Is there someone who should know about how you’re feeling? Would it feel good to share how you’re feeling with someone you trust?
Then do it. Share it.
Too often we get overwhelmed by our feelings and become afraid of them because we worry how they will impact those around us. But when we learn to control our feelings (and by control I mean feel in the moment) rather than letting our feelings control us (as when we are overcome and say or do things without thinking) we have nothing to worry about.
Then there will be no need to pretend to be anything other than how you are.
If you’re peaceful, feel peaceful.
If you’re mad, feel mad.
Breathe. Allow. Feel. Repeat.
Breathe. Allow. Feel. Repeat.
Until you feel complete.
How do you handle your more intense feelings?
Please, share your thoughts and comments below.
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© 2018 Tamara Jefferies.