I feel like it’s time to start the week off with a reminder that you hold all the cards in your life. Many times, we get in our own way: the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, what we’re worth and what we can do can really interfere with progress. These are little Monday reminders from me (and hand-drawn by me!) to remind you that you alone can give yourself permission to do the things you need to do for yourself. Let’s start with a quickie: don’t stifle your emotions, shove them to the side or blow them off. Feel them. They’re a key to true power.
You have every right to feel the way you feel right now. Right now. Right here.
If you’re angry, be angry. If you’re sad, you can be sad. Happy? Revel in your joy. Feeling successful? Right on! It’s time to start challenging the conditioning that we can’t display our emotions out in the world. Anyone else told they’re “too much” at times? I personally have been told my laugh is too loud, I’m too bold, too confident, too happy…too much. I’m not alone in this. It feels so constricting to be admonished for just being yourself. Keep heaping that feedback on a person and it starts to turn you inward. All that expression, all those things you mean to say or do, that person you meant to be…. all that energy has to go somewhere. Turned inward and it becomes uncomfortable. Like wearing clothes you’ve outgrown. Constricting. Tight. Suffocating.
Yet, the edicts to stay in our place keep coming. Do as you’re told. Be quiet. Make fewer waves. Know your place. Take up less space. Don’t feel. Don’t talk about it. Be who we think you should be.
You are not meant to be small in this world. You wouldn’t have feelings if you weren’t meant to feel them. Your feelings are a guidance system to a better way and a brighter life. They’re valid. They’re real. You don’t exist on this earth merely to make other people comfortable. You don’t get to take your feelings out on other people, but you have every right to feel the way you feel.
Here’s the deal, my lovely friends: our unexpressed emotions are causing us such harm. So much harm. Every time we try to drown our emotions with “wine o’clock” cocktails, stuff the words we want to say down with too much food, attempt to wring our pain out of our credit cards with shopping binged, drowning our emotions in relationships that lead to nowhere, or engaging in gossip and passing our pain onto someone else’s bodies, lives, and actions – none of these actions are benign. Each time we swallow those emotions, it’s like gulping down a ball bearing. We don’t express those feelings, and we keep chugging down more ball bearings of emotion. Meanwhile, our upset keeps growing, spinning these ball bearings like a centrifuge of unexpressed feelings. Faster and faster the negative balls of unexpressed emotions spin as our emotional state rises higher and higher. Eventually, we’re like a Claymore mine of emotions: we either explode or implode. Emotions have to come out somewhere. Diseases, broken lives, explosive acts of self-sabotage….
So many of us run from powerful emotion. We’re trained to avoid any strong feelings of any kind. We do everything to escape discomfort; emotional anguish, rage, or disappointment feel like sudden death. We diminish joy, deflecting the happiness that comes from success out of fear of retribution or loss. We miss entirely magical moments of our lives, becoming so disconnected from our emotions that we’re afraid to reconnect with them. We don’t want to be in these bodies, feeling these feelings. Pain has lived there. We’ve moved out. We don’t want to go back to that place. We don’t live there anymore.
It’s time to live in your skin. Feel your feelings.
Feel them now. Be in it. Give yourself permission to feel it, all of it. Discomfort. Rage. Sadness. Joy. Success. Failure. Loss. Gain. Feel it. Inhabit all of it. Take up emotional space. Let it out. Breathe it in. Cry it out. Revel in the moment. This is what it means to be alive. This is what it means to be YOU.
Feeling your feelings informs you; it gives you the awareness to do what comes next. If you revel in winning, you get to decide how to win again. If you’re feeling sadness, you can make decisions to lift yourself to happiness. Self-pity can create a step ladder to self-esteem if you allow yourself to name it, claim it, and make a new choice. Fear can be managed so bravery may emerge. Outrage can create change. Failure can lead to success. Loss begets gain.
But you must feel your way to progress.
Your emotions can change your world, and then the larger world in which we live. Feeling your feelings means you come alive. You live in the skin you’re in. You demand more space. You swell out of that constricting space you’ve been shoved into for so long. The malevolent behavior stops. The ball bearings in your body break down. Change occurs. True beauty shines through your skin. You become the person you’ve always wanted to be. You help the next person become greater through your abundance and slowly but surely, the world becomes a brighter, better place.
But it starts with you. Today. Feeling your feelings.