Your not a mess, you are a feeling person in a messy world – Glennon Doyle
I used to be the master at running from my emotions.
Every little thing I felt whether it was anxiety, sadness, guilt, fear, or any other negative feeling, I panicked and immediately thought something was wrong with me. I took every thought and feeling so seriously and did everything I could to run away from them. I was afraid to feel anything other than happy.
You could imagine how this would get really, really exhausting. All of this running took a huge toll on me and I felt defeated. No matter how hard I tried to rid these negative emotions, I couldn’t. Ironically, it got worse and I felt more sad and more discouraged. The more I ran from them, the more they caught up with me so I knew what I was doing just wasn’t working.
I hit a wall, and knew I had to sort my shit out. Not only was running from my emotions exhausting, it took so much out of my life. I missed out on things because I was scared my negative emotions would resurface and ruin my time with my friends or family….. so I stayed home instead. All my energy was spent on trying to stuff my feelings down so I didn’t have to deal with them.
I can’t say I really blame myself for feeling this way because society teaches us not to cry, to toughen up and that there’s nothing to be sad about. Society makes us feel guilty for having a lot of emotions even though that is what makes us human beings.
Why It’s Important to Feel Your Emotions
Our emotions are meant to be felt. I mean why else would we call them “feelings?” Every feeling has a message and they are happening in your body because they are trying to tell you something. Yes it can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you’ve been avoiding it for so long, but its important that we tune in and listen.
Processing and feeling your feelings creates space and healing within yourself. Take grief for example, it is not uncommon for people who are grieving the death of a loved one to drink their pain away, to pretend its not there and it ends up pulling you into darkness making the situation so much worse. Or people spend years and years not able to let something go because they haven’t properly processed their emotions. It blocks your energy and steals your peace. Even if its hard and uncomfortable as hell, allowing the feelings to come in and go as they please allows you to heal.
When I had bad anxiety I tried every possible way to get rid of it and the harder I tried, the stronger it came back. When I finally allowed anxiety to happen and let it fully in, I was able to get back to my life and the feelings started to get less intense until they just went away.
Allowing yourself to feel your emotions also allows you to be kinder to yourself and others. By saying to yourself “okay, this is just a feeling, it’s okay to feel this way,” you’re showing yourself kindness and compassion. By doing so, you increase your awareness on others feelings and show more kindness to the people around you. Win win situation!
You also learn how to observe and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings you’re having without getting caught up with them and without judgement. You can simply accept that it’s happening and let them go allowing peace to enter your life again. This made me realize that I don’t have to identify or react to the negative emotions I’m experiencing.
This does take time to learn how to lean into your feelings and to learn how to let them go. It doesn’t happen overnight but it will be worth it, and you will be more peaceful and open to life.
You already have all of the answers you need inside of you, and feeling your emotions can be a gateway to those answers if you let it.