Lean into your feelings
Updated: Aug 29
In my recent posts, I delved into a personal experience of finding everything too much and feeling overwhelmed. There were good reasons for the way I was feeling and being able to notice and accept my feelings allowed me to reflect on the situation and take steps to overcome the anxiety of having to deal with everything all at once.
Maintaining a conscious awareness in such circumstances is paramount, as we can sometimes be steered off course even by people who mean well. Around this time, I met up with a friend, and as I started sharing the way I’d been feeling, he tried to encourage me towards a more positive ‘acceptable’ emotion and deny the feelings that I was actually feeling.
There is nothing wrong with being positive, but we have to be careful not to ‘force’ positivity onto ourselves or others, as with this strategy we might be denying something that is actually vital, necessary and real for us in that moment.
Jumping too quickly into changing what we’re feeling for a more positive emotion (commonly called denial) could be perpetuating distressing experiences from childhood when perhaps our feelings weren’t acknowledged or heard but rather denied, causing intense conflict and confusion within ourselves. Besides, it doesn’t give us the chance to assess and work with our current situation and learn from the information that our emotions are highlighting. In all of our experiences, however painful, there is an opportunity to free ourselves from the past, to learn and to grow.
We are often afraid of these so-called negative feelings because they don’t feel comfortable and we don’t always understand or know how to respond to them. But emotions are a significant aspect of our human experience, letting us know that there is something undone or unhealed that we need to pay attention to.
So rather than denying or repressing your feelings like they are toxic waste, I’d encourage you to stay with the discomfort and examine them with awareness. Whether it’s anger, fear or sadness be willing to listen deeply enough to hear what they are saying and what they are needing. Lean into your feelings and acknowledge they are here to help, so that as you accept and embrace them, you will uncover the gifts underlying each one of them.
In my next post, I will delve further into the subject, exploring methods to navigate overwhelming emotions and cultivate a more harmonious relationship with our inner landscape.
If you’re struggling with challenging emotions and need some help understanding them, I’m here to listen. Face-to-face and remote appointments are available, with an introductory free trial 30 minute consultation.