What to Do With All Those Feelings
We’ve already covered that feelings are nothing to be afraid of. That might seem strange to hear if feelings have ever led you into a rage or depression. Boy, do I know first hand that those dark places can make our emotions feel like a villain. It can be much more tempting to not go there and numb out. Frick, in this day and age, there is NO LIMIT to numbing tools. Like, why would I sit here and feel sad when I can order pasta online and have it at my door in 15 minutes, right?? Why would I write in my journal when I can just scroll through facebook for two hours? The ability to make another cocktail, or pop a couple more pills, or watch more YouTube is directly in front of us 24/7. It is no wonder that we’ve become detached from our feelings, and even scared to face them.
The problem is, numbing our feelings doesn’t make them go away. It’s the old dirt-under-the-rug analogy. Yeah, sweeping it under there puts it out of sight and mind temporarily, but over time it’s not a good strategy. That rug is gonna get lumpy, the room will get dusty, and sooner or later all that dirt will leak out for all to see. In my experience, one of two things can happen when we sweep our feelings under the metaphorical rug:
- We turn off EVERYTHING. We go through life like zombies, not experiencing pain or joy. Deep relationships are off the table. The TV is our best friend. We push people away because it’s just easier.
- We get “leaky.” This means we have inappropriate emotional responses to normal occurrences. A well-intended comment from our spouse can land wrong and make us insecure. We lash out with rage over something minor that doesn’t warrant it. We assume everyone is out to get us. We can’t handle other peoples’ emotions and are therefore unable to hold space for them. We prioritize the wrong things (power over others, reputation, control, etc.). This is our baggage leaking out onto the rest of the world.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think my soul signed up to live this life in either of those ways. 👆 Thank you Universe, for giving us another option -- the option to deal with our feelings. Doing so is not nearly as hard as trying to stuff or numb them. It takes bravery and a little time, but the results are life-giving.
Here's how to deal:
1) Get yourself a Feeling Wheel. Google it. Download it for free or order a poster. These are great because they narrow down our big feelings into more specific ones. I can usually tell whether or not I’m angry, but a Feeling Wheel will help me hone in on whether it’s exasperation, disgust, jealousy, hostility, hate, or aggravation. Why is this useful? See step 2.
2) After you’ve honed in on a specific feeling, complete this sentence until it clicks for you: I feel ___________ because ____________. This can sometimes be suuuuuuuper challenging because the reason we think we’re angry or sad or scared or confused might not be the actual reason. You might have to write the sentence several times to get to the truth of the matter. When you’ve hit the truth, you’ll know. I usually either start laughing or crying when I land on it.
3) Once you’ve clarified the feeling and the reason, that may be enough. I usually feel at least a little relieved at this point. However, there is sometimes more to do. Perhaps you need to have a courageous conversation with someone? Perhaps you need to journal about this every day until you come up with a next step? Perhaps you need to make some personnel changes in your life? Perhaps you need to forgive someone? It all really depends on what you’ve come up with in Step 2. Trust yourself to make the right decision. You have a deep inner knowing that is very wise.
Facing your shit doesn’t have to hurt. In fact, if done right, it can stop the hurt. We know that hurt people hurt people, so think of the service you’re giving to the world when you deal with your emotions. Imagine if all of our government officials and world leaders did this kind of work on themselves! … Well, we can’t make them, but we can focus on ourselves. Then... you know how the ripple effect works.
It all starts with us, trusting our souls and being brave. Those who are willing to face themselves are the biggest heroes in my book. If there ever was an inspirational necklace for a hero, it’s our Be Brave, Keep Going necklace. It could be a great reminder to yourself or to a friend you know who is ready to face some big feelings. Also check out our Brave Ring and Courage Necklace How cool is it that we can adorn ourselves with inspiration? We think it’s pretty magical. And we think you are too.
Thank you for being here.
See ya in February.