Before stepping on this path I never wanted to feel. Good, bad, anything. It hurt too much to feel the bad, and I didn’t think I deserved the good. So I looked for ways to stuff down my feelings, to quiet them, or if I could, numb them all together. I lived like that for the first 35 years of my life. When I think about all the things I was supposed to be feeling in those 35 years it makes me sad, because for the most part, I didn’t allow myself to feel any of it. I also didn’t share those feelings with anyone, so they just got stuffed down, feelings on top of feelings in a big heap I tried to bury as deep as I could. If anyone asked me how I was, I would always respond with, I’m fine, I wasn’t, and even that lie generated feelings I had to stuff down. The more I did it, the easier it got, but it always weighed me down as I dragged those unfelt feelings around with me and tried to pretend like they weren’t there.
When I made a commitment to get better I was also making a commitment to feel. That was scary. I had spent my whole life running away from my feelings, and now, having taken away everything I used to use to cover up my feelings I felt like I was standing alone completely vulnerable to a lifetime of pain that was coming at me like a giant tsunami and I wasn’t prepared. But what that taught me was how to get prepared. Making sure I had as many life rafts as possible, so when that wave hit, I had places to go for safety. I found that in counseling, support groups, new friends who were walking the same path, and old friends who knew me and my history, and, I found a spirituality that worked for me, that I began to find comfort in, and eventually guidance. It was hard to feel, at first, and because I had stuffed down so much for so long, it all came at me at once. Loss, grief, betrayal, disappointment, hurt, shame, abandonment, truth. All of that and more came at me, so much so there were days I didn’t want to get out of bed, and held on to my mattress to make sure I wouldn’t get blown away by the force of those waves.
I made it through that storm. It took time. And sometimes I did get knocked down by the waves, but I learned to get back up. And each time I did I got stronger, and I was better able to work through my feelings. I used to have trouble feelings things in the moment , a dear of mine would often tell me I had emotional jet lag, I wouldn’t’ feel things as they were happening, from all the years of not letting myself feel, there was a delay, from the event or moment itself, to when I actually felt it. That delay has lessened a lot, and today I do feel things when they happen, most of the time, there are still times when I don’t, and now I just observe those times and look into why I may be trying to protect myself from my feelings, and why I’ve held my feelings back.
I am proud today that I feel things in the moment. And if that brings up emotion, even in public, that’s OK. I am allowed to have feelings, no matter what they are, and I honor myself, and who I am, when I do. It’s OK to have feelings. And it’s OK to share those feelings. Because when we do they connect us to other people who also feel, and may just be feeling what you’re feeling, and when that happens, there is no better feeling in the world. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you allow yourself to feel? In not, why not? What scares you about your feelings? Have you been told not to feel? Have you stuffed down your feelings so deep that you can’t access them anymore? Do you do things to keep them stuffed own? What do you do to not feel? What if you stopped doing those things that stop you from feeling? What do you think would happen? What if you let yourself feel SLAYER, what if you made sure it was safe, found the support and guidance you need, and let yourself feel. You deserve to let go of your past and feel true feelings, and let those feelings connect you to others who feel just like you, allowing you to not feel so alone and able to be your true self in any given moment. Feel it SLAYER, let yourself feel it.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you