Feelings and emotions are not facts. They’re not logical. They can’t be judged as right or wrong. They just are. And we have very little control over why they arise and when. The only thing we have to do is acknowledge they’re there, if only to ourselves, so that they may pass.
There’s no such thing as a wrong emotion but it can be frustrating when you are feeling things that don’t make sense even to you. “Why are you crying?” “I don’t know.” “You can’t be mad at that.” “I know, but I am.” In a situation where a person or event has initiated a sudden uncomfortable gush of emotions, the best thing to do is just wait for them to pass in whatever way best facilitates that. If you don’t know why certain feelings are coming up then don’t worry about figuring them out. My rule is “Don’t do anything until tomorrow.” You can’t know most things when you’re emotionally overloaded and anything you do know is tainted by your mood. If you are overwhelmed, try to get back to center before making any moves. Who knows, they might be from a bad burrito or too little sleep. Sometimes it’s easiest to think of everyone as a baby: their emotions are not too hard to figure out.
Never pretend your feelings are not there even when you wish you didn’t have them. Stuffing emotions leads to a lot of bad mental muscle memory: you start an internal void that will grow greater and greater as time passes until one day you will be living within a disjointed reality created by yourself. Blocking emotions disconnects you from your gut and your awareness, which disables your ability to be self-protective. If you’re already betraying yourself by telling you that your emotions are wrong, you continue to betray yourself in other ways. When you become increasingly detached from your body, you are more prone to hurt it because you cannot feel it.
Sometimes emotions make complete sense: they have a trigger that is overt and you know exactly why you’re feeling them. Then there are the ones that come from seemingly nowhere, like a ghost haunting our quiet moments. I often get confusing emotions out of the blue, things like an anxiety or anticipation of something terrible, but I know now that it’s just an echo of an old scar. Almost like a phantom itch. It is not based on anything real, and I know to just wait it out. What I used to do was try and assign a source to this feeling, desperately trying to make sense of it to relieve its discomfort. What that did was validate the feelings and therefor make them “real”. When you feel uncomfortable feelings that are out of nowhere, know that they probably don’t have a true cause. Sometimes they’re just wafting through your body, a blip in your chemicals. Don’t give them more weight or meaning than they deserve. What I do is remind myself, “Sometimes I get these feelings, and that’s okay.” Then I usually do some yoga or throw a one-girl dance party.
Sometimes “old feelings” can tell you things that are not true about a current situation. Your emotional scars will raise alarm when you’re in a situation that echoes one past. These are harder to see through from but with time and trust, they too will be undone, replaced with the new truth of your experiences.
You are more than just a brain piloting a body. Your spirit lives in everything you are and everything you do: your touch, your tastes, your voice, your handwriting, the way you cook, the way you dance, your body, and your emotions. All of them are valid and need not be explained. No one else can or should tell you your feelings are wrong. They are not. No matter what they are, they are yours and only yours to feel. Don’t be afraid of them. The sooner you acknowledge them, the sooner you can let them go. Some are crappy but the more you feel them, the more alive you are and the bigger and brighter you are. Best of all, eventually you get the hang of all of them. You’re human and feelings are just part of that. And to feel is to become richer, more beautiful and more whole.
Happy Sunday, love to you all xox Sarah
Featured image All rights reserved by Ashley Llanes on Flickr