Whatever you are feeling, feel it. Cry, yell, scream, run, write, draw, paint, scribble. Move it out of your body.
Being incredibly sensitive my entire life, I learnt early on how to push my emotional expression down. When I was little I cried all the time, and this made the people around me uncomfortable. Those we love try to make us feel better by saying there is nothing to cry about, and we don’t need to cry. What I didn’t realise until recently was that this was the way I moved emotion. Other, higher emotions I expressed through dance, singing and writing. But when things felt out of alignment, boy did I cry.
Feelings are really messages from your body, sparked by emotions which move through or live in your body. Emotion as you may know is energy in motion, and feelings are the messages that alert us to the fact they are there.
Fast forward on to later years and I didn’t know what to do with these feelings that kept coming up. So I sought external reassurances, material possessions and kept searching for love from outside of myself.
This creates the perpetual merry-go-round that most of us are stuck on. We don’t receive the love, assurance or approval we need and we feel even worse. Perhaps we go shopping and buy items (big or small, might I add – it could be a fancy new car or a piece of clothing) and we feel better for a moment, but ultimately we feel worse, because the reason we went out and did it in the first place had nothing to do with an item at all. Perhaps we find comfort in other addictions; food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex. It’s all a symptom of the same thing.
We don’t want to be alone with ourselves, to face ourselves, and feel what we are feeling.
I was quite overweight as a young child, say from the age of 6 to 11. I remember hopping on the scales at around the age of 8 or 9 and weighing in at around 60kg, I have no idea how tall I was, but I can tell you now it was not healthy. As a grown woman I am a healthy weight which is less than that as I write this.
This was a symptom of me not knowing how to process my feelings. I felt like I had to hide myself from the world because it wasn’t safe to be who I was. The real me felt everything incredibly deeply and often that meant the tears would flow. This simply didn’t fit in with family, friends or school.
Re-reading over my notebooks from these years recently I was taken a-back by the harsh, disapproving words I was writing about myself. What it all really stemmed back to was the fact I felt like I was an alien, in a world that didn’t understand me. I even found a suicide letter I once wrote.
I’m not recounting this to make anyone feel sorry for me, that’s the last thing I would want to come from my writing. I’m simply bringing the shadows into the light. I am saying it’s ok to feel whatever you are feeling, even if it’s all the bad stuff. Anger, sadness, guilt, grief, hopelessness.
- Recognise that particular feeling is there.
- Feel what you are feeling.
- Accept you feel that way (please don’t judge yourself).
- Ponder the reasons for those feelings. Feel them out.
- Talk about it, write about it, meditate on it. Whatever you like to do.
Then let it go.
Even if you’re angry because someone has wronged you. Yes, absolutely – pull them up on their behaviour in the most loving and authentic way possible. But then you must let it go fully, or that anger will eat away at you. It will settle into your body and start to wreak havoc on your health. That anger doesn’t hurt anyone else; it only hurts you.
My hope is that some of you reading this, will see yourself in here. Will recognise parts of yourself in my words. My hope for you, is that this sparks a light inside of you.
Be kind to yourself.
Know you are enough.
Honour who you are.
Express your truth.
Love and live authentically.
You already have everything you need.
With love, and a tear or two!