I’ve had a lot of them this weekend. And at times I can get quite exhausted from the seemingly yoyo effect.
I used to resist. And let me tell you, that was even more exhausting. I’m actually feeling pretty grateful right now. That I can have a weekend like that. That I did express all of me, listen, and release.
Yes. There were tears. And yes, there were moments of almost agonising heartache. And there was giddy chest releasing laughter. Intense warmth. Silence. Comfort. Gratitude. Joy.
You see, for most of us we spend most of our lives believing that it’s not okay to FEEL. So we mask, push away, or down, only bringing out or showcasing ‘the best’ of us.
I have clients that come to me who say “I don’t know how to feel” or respond to the question “How does that feel?” with “I think…”. And I totally get it. That’s been me. Many times over. No language. Of course, it makes sense now. I hadn’t learnt the language to express ‘it’ all I knew is “this is not okay – switch to strong, brave, fierce”.
You may be freaking out right now that I am telling you to cry more, or to tell your boss that you’re utterly p*ssed with them. That’s not exactly where I’m headed. Where I am headed though is to a place where it’s okay to express all the parts of you, instead of shamefully ‘hiding’ those bits you feel don’t deserve to go out. What’s missing from feeling connected, unstuck and free in life can often be about not having expressed those parts of you. Because they’re all relevant. They’re all okay.
So for now, for today, the first step I’m offering you is simply to acknowledge that you have feelings. And that it’s okay to have them. In fact if you’re ready for it, I’ll even offer you a second step – to express them. Not with anyone. Not wildly throwing your anger at your colleagues or crying at the lovely bus driver. But do get them out. They’ve been holed up for way too long and they’re starting to seep through you in other ways. One of my mentors uses the expression of finding a ‘Feelings Buddy’. Someone you can trust to handle your stuff, and who won’t become completely unpinned by what you’re saying. Someone who is emotionally aware enough, at your level, to take your feelings and put their own aside, just for the moment. To take your feelings and say things like “mmm” and “aha” and “it’s totally okay for you to feel this way”. Trusting our feelings, those most prized parts of us, that have been so treasured they’ve been locked away for decades, with just anyone is setting yourself up for heartache. It’s probably actually what you once tried back before you shut the door on your feelings, because when you shared it wasn’t received or held in the way you were most seeking at the time. So be gentle with yourself. Be kind. And find that person and give them the criteria to be your ‘Feelings Buddy’. Tell them this is all I need from you right now, I need you to say: “mmm” and “aha” and “it’s totally okay for you to feel this way”. And I need you to put you aside, just for a moment.
I called my Feelings Buddy up this weekend. And she gave me just that. Exactly what I needed. Instant relief from my pain. Instant acceptance that my pain is okay. And acceptance that all of the parts of me are okay. “That sucks. I’m sorry that that happened. You did everything right. And it’s totally okay to feel like this.”
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