Feel your feels

For the past number of months I’ve been seeing a similar thread in my readings, in my searching for inner peace and calm and personal growth, even my therapist has been trying to get this notion through my stubborn head. I may be a very emotional person, but I still have a mind that wants answers and rationality, and the thread that keeps popping up over and over just didn’t fit that, it didn’t give me something I could understand, figure out.

But as the thread kept coming back at me, from so many different angles, I decided to give it a try.

Feel your feels is a term I first heard from my ex, an uber rational, ignore all feelings type of person, as she received that advice from the outside, and it immediately struck me as true, and I realized that it was something I had always done automatically. I truly experience my emotions, bathe in them, explore them and question them, let them flow over me and revel in the beauty they can bring me.

My mistake, my defense mechanism, was that when it was bad feelings flooding me, I’d do everything in my power to ignore them, to get rid of them, to hide from them, to rationalize them away, to explain to myself why those feelings weren’t valid, that I didn’t need to feel them or go through the pain of living with them. That they weren’t real. And as they hit, I’d do my best to distract myself or just grit my teeth and bear them.

In doing this, over and over again throughout the years, using every means I had possible including the green cloud, I never learned to accept the dark aspects of myself, the negative emotions, and as a result, I gave them incredible power over me. I saw them as something external, something to be avoided at all costs and something that I could hide from. Try to ignore the elephant in the room and that’s all you can think of.

But then, I started to sit with my feelings, instead of cringing and running when my dark shadow came to visit, I let it in, apprehensively yes, but I allowed it its place. I examined the feelings it could create within me, and I embraced them, I held them to my heart, and I told them

“everything will be OK”

I imagined a light within me, coming into me through my breath, infusing that darkness, that fear, that anxiety, with love. Comforting that aspect of myself, because that’s what it truly is, simply a part of me. As I embraced this darkness, something beautiful happened, it began to fade. Sometimes it would simply pass, other times I would break down and unleash a torrent of healing tears, but at the end, it faded. It didn’t hold onto me for days, or months, I let it in, I suffused it with love, and I let it move on.

Being sad is as natural as being happy, part of the human condition, and expecting to have a life without sadness is simply…. not human.

This is my new definition of processing your feelings. Talking about it helps immensely, and I still do this when I feel the need to do so, but ultimately, it’s up to each of us to accept our darkness, to embrace it.

When we run from our dark shadows, our anxieties, our fears, our sadness and hopelessness, all we learn is that these feelings are wrong, and we gear our life towards never feeling those things again. How we do this can happen in a myriad of ways, avoidance, drugs, constant distraction, over work, living in a fantasy life, sex, all things designed to stop us from actually living our full potential, experiencing all that the human condition, this life that we have been blessed with, has to offer. But as a result, we live less, we lose confidence in ourselves and our abilities to handle life, we block ourselves off from the full potential of who and what we can be, we run from intimacy or relationships, or even worse, we stay in relationships, both platonic and intimate, out of fear of feeling those feelings, thinking that they will never let us go, that they will control us the rest of our lives.

But when we let them in, give them a place to sit, and show them love regardless, what we are doing is showing love to ourselves.

These feelings are as much a part of us as the joy that we can feel. They make us who we are, they complete us, and as the old adage goes, there is no light without darkness



One Response to "Feel your feels"

  • It sounds like you are finding balance and learning incredible things about yourself and about life.

    That fucking rocks! Please keep shining that light because your journey is inspiring and watching you heal is so positive for all.

    All the best.

    1 Rachel said this (June 1, 2015 at 2:40 am)

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