I’ve been thinking a lot lately about emotions; my own in particular and also how we deal with them as a society.
For the past couple of years I’ve been working on feeling my emotions. From a young age I was able to name them and talk about them, but somewhere along the line I adapted to not feeling them in order to protect myself.
I learned to suppress my anger, to restrict my tears, and to skate over feelings of misunderstanding and unfairness. The crazy thing is that I had no idea what I had done, I just adjusted so I could feel emotionally safe in the situations I found myself in.
Well, a few years ago I started focusing on my healing journey and there were multiple occasions where either my healer or my neurocoach instructor would ask how I was feeling. And, for the life of me, I couldn’t feel, I could only talk analytically about what I was experiencing.
Feeling felt like it was too much, too raw, too vulnerable.
At some point I had so much going on and I felt so overwhelmed that I believed if I let myself cry, I’d fall apart and I’d never be able to pull myself back together. So, I kept it all inside.
But when I was ready to deal with my emotions, when I finally realized I needed to release the pent up anger, sadness, frustration, exhaustion, and a million other emotions, I couldn’t do it. My brain and my body had become disconnected.
Well, there is one exception. I am an empath and I feel the emotions of those around me really, really strongly, as if they’re my own. When my friends cry, I cry. When a stranger cries, I cry. When I’m coaching my clients and we get to a sensitive topic, I cry. And of course that’s the exact time when I don’t want to cry!
Eventually I started telling my clients, “hey, I’m a crier, I’m going to cry for you. We just have to let it happen because I can’t stop it.”
They all accepted it and although I felt slightly embarrassed, I also started to feel better. Not so much because I cried, but because I wasn’t trying to keep myself in an emotionless state.
I extended myself grace to let whatever needed to come out to come out. And it felt good. It felt gentle, it felt like like the kindness I extended to others was now being extended to myself.
Recently I started thinking about all the things we do to suppress our emotions. We learn from a young age not to cry in public and boys learn not to cry at all. We’re allowed to show happiness and occasionally anger, but not too much anger, especially if you’re black.
We’re told that women’s weakness is that we’re emotional and that we should be logical like men, the strong ones. *Side note men are emotional too, it just shows up differently.*
But what if we stopped fighting our emotions and learned how to embrace them?
How did something that is so much a part of us, that we’re all born with turn into this “bad” thing in our society? Why are we working so hard to repress the very attribute that makes us human? Our emotions.
How would you feel if your parents had taught you how to process frustration and hurt instead of burying it?
How would you show up if you were allowed to express anger or sadness along the way?
What if you learned to love the feeling part of yourself that allows you to loves so deeply but also to be hurt by others? What if you saw it as a strength instead of a weakness?
Would you trust more? Would you believe more? Would you love more?
My challenge to you from this day forward is to learn how to feel more. Learn how to express your emotions rather than repressing your emotions.
See what opens up for you. See how your relationship with yourself grows, see how your relationships with your loved ones grow and see how your relationship with the world changes.
You my dear, are not broken or flawed when you experience your emotions. For that is the very thing that makes you human.
In love and gratitude,