On Feeling Your Feelings
“Feelings are the language of the soul.”
Sadly, many of us have been conditioned to stifle the language of our soul. From the early days of upset over being left to be “It” in a game of tag, to navigating our first heartbreak, most of us, at one point or another, have received messages like “man up, soldier on, suck it up, dry up, grow up, you’re too sensitive, life is hard, it is what it is, it could be worse, there are plenty of fish in the sea…” and the list goes on.
At their core, emotions are neural (brain-based) and somatic (body-based) events whose evolutionary purpose is to prepare us to adaptively respond to any alteration in our physical or social circumstances. In other words, they are necessary, protective, bursts of informative energy, involving the brain and the body, that exist to help us adapt and keep us safe. So, why then, have many of us been taught (throughout generations) to conceal, numb, suppress, and essentially ignore these important messages?
My personal journey with learning the necessity of feeling my feelings began when Depression came knocking at my door. What I perceived to be an unwelcome visitor at the time, I now appreciate as a powerful message and beautiful blessing that my mind and body were seemingly involuntarily receiving. My soul was so clearly communicating to me that it needed something different. It needed to release the cumulative energy of years and years of piled up and pushed down grief, hurt, anger, sadness, and shame. It needed to be free to speak its language without being stifled or censored by inauthentic “I’m fine’s.”
Like many others, I found my way around feeling my feelings by filling my days with “bettering myself” (subtext: busying myself). Through work. Through furthering my education. Through preoccupying myself with the care and concern of others, so I didn’t have to look inside myself. I over-achieved. I people-pleased. I sought tirelessly for approval from others, when what I really needed was approval from and of my self. All of myself. And, I thought that approval could only ever be achieved by being happy or being “fine” all of the time. Is any of this sounding familiar?
The thing is, no one can be happy or “fine” all of the time. Part of our human experience is these informative bursts or energetic messages that guide and protect us. Given that they are meant to be adaptive, we can only suppress these for so long until they inevitably end up manifesting as some physical or mental dis-ease. You may have heard the expression, “Better out than in!” Our core, authentic self will always prevail. And, when we do not make a conscious choice to live in a way that aligns with the needs and desires of our core, authentic self (our soul), our body and mind step up to the plate and ultimately, make us!
Today, despite a seemingly familiar busy schedule, I am much more aware and intentional with how I busy myself and I spend a lot more time turning inwards and feeling my feelings. I feel freely and deeply and try not to ask why. I let the energy pass through me—whether it’s mine or another’s (Life as an empath–to be covered in another blog post!), and I never censor my soul. I can no longer speak the language of “I’m fine,” and I choose to surround myself with others who are also embracing the path of trading approval for authenticity, in both my personal and professional life.
Feeling our feelings is not as scary as we make it out to be. Remember that nothing is permanent. Everything passes, and feeling does not equate to weakness. It equates to having a human experience and embracing the universal language of our soul.