Feeling my Feelings

I admit that I have never been the person who easily covered her feelings and emotions. When I am excited I show. But I also express my sadness and frustration. I admit this lead me to some embarrassing situations in the past: crying in public or being inappropriately emotional. But I always felt bad about it.

Society tells us to shut our feelings up. Suck it up. Move on. Most definitely never show our true feelings in front of people, especially if they negative. For the question “How are you?”, in the US, the answer is always “I am good. I am fine. I am so freaking wonderful.” But even in the most honest part of the world – like many European countries – a general complaining is the acceptable one. We cannot truly experience and express our feelings in public: cover up the bad and contain the good to an appropriate level.

Dealing with emotions should be private. But even in private, it should be behind closed doors at such level, that it is better not to experience them at all. Moving on. Shutting it off. Ignoring it. Dealing with it. And so on. These are the appropriate ways.

No wonder that throughout my life I constantly felt bad about experiencing and expressing my feelings both in private and in public. These embarrassments actually lead me to experience and express my emotions in an even more extreme and more inappropriate manner. It wasn’t constructive. It was not healing.

Throughout the past years I decided and slowly learned (learning) that experiencing my emotions is actually not only okay, but a good thing and is very healing.  I do take time to actually feel my feelings: good or bad. I do take time to truly experience them, appreciate them, feel them, live them. And I am okay with it.

I recently moved to Mexico. As a nomad, I am used to change. I am used to new and uncomfortable experiences. I know that there are ups and downs. But having this awareness does not mean I won’t have difficulties. Last week I had a tough day. Or rather it was part of the day. It was not anything particular and it wasn’t really about Mexico, I would’ve feel the same anywhere else. It was a combination of things: I felt frustrated, angry and sad at the same time.

I cried.

I suddenly felt bad: I am a nomad, I should know how to suck it up by now, deal with shit, pretend to be a tough sh*t at all times. I should put on a happy face even if I am hurting inside. People around me will judge me, question me and will not like me for my ‘negative attitude’.

Then I realized: I can’t control what others think. They don’t even see my crying. It is actually good for me to experience my feelings: good and bad. This practice has proved to be healing for me in the past…

So I cried. Just like a day later I laughed and smiled. I allowed and allow myself to experience my feelings as they are in the moment. I accept them.

And you know what it is very healing…

Don’t believe me?!

Next time when you notice yourself judging your emotions, trying to shut them off, stop for a moment, just try to accept them and experience them for a moment. See how you feel… Do the same every time emotions and judgments of emotions come up. Just see how you feel after feeling your feelings truthfully, purely and without judgment.

(written: Sept. 13, 2014)

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