I don’t know about you, but I don’t jive well when I’m told to just “feel my feelings. ” I prefer to put my feelings to a positive use. Feeling for the sake of it feels *see what I just did there?* Like stewing in victimization.
But, what do I do when I have a negative emotion that I am not in a position to change? The truth is, I used to just run past the emotions as quickly as possible. I don’t like feeling angry, hopeless, afraid, or inadequate (my most common feelings, it applies to all negative ones)
This morning I was furious because I felt as though a family member was trying to bully me into cutting ties with my 14 year old sister. I know that the adult has mental health issues, and that her moods swing back and forth within minutes, but I almost sent her all my negative thoughts about her, just to spread out the feeling of anger and indignation I felt.
For a reason I have yet to figure out, I was able to stop myself. I put my phone on my bed face down and started stretching. I was still furious and indignant, but I physically forced myself to move forward with my day.
I didn’t move on entirely, obviously, but I didn’t try to. I felt angry until all I had left to feel was annoyance, then I tried to ask questions to get myself to a point where I could understand the way the other person’s mind was working.
Right now, 8 hours later, I’m feeling worried for my sister, proud to have stood my ground respectfully, and motivated to keep working toward becoming a child advocacy lawyer so that my sister gets to witness success, and knows it’s possible to have a pleasant life, and know that I will support her in the best ways I can.
So, a more effective way to phrase “Just feel your feelings,” in my experience is, give feelings time and space to escape. don’t fight feelings; they are like a minority, the harder you push them away the stronger they return to get their acknowledgement. Sometimes it takes years, but they will be “heard.”
One thought on “Don’t fight it”
Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the great work!