I spent most of my life trying to numb my feelings, pretending they weren’t there or just stuffing them down hoping they would disappear, they never did. Sure, I was able to quiet them or ignore them for a while, years even, but the cost of doing that was so great I almost paid for it with my life. My feelings, I thought were my number one enemy, and so I set out to obliterate them. But I couldn’t. They never really went away, they were always there, and as the years went on they started bubbling up, wanting to be heard, and wreaking havoc on my plan to never address how I really felt.
Eventually I had to deal with them, it was either that or death, that’s how bad the struggle became between my mind and my feelings, but dealing with them seemed like it may also kill me, as they all rushed at me at once when I took away all of the things I had been using to keep them at bay. I learned that the first step was acknowledging they were there, that was a big first step for someone who had spent her entire life up until that point doing the opposite. I had to learn it was OK to feel, it was OK to be sad, OK to be angry, OK to feel anything I was feeling. But what was I going to do with those feelings now that I’ve acknowledged them? Well, it was time for me to take my power back, time to take stock and deal with them. I had to name them, claim then and then, most importantly dump them, those that were not useful for me or the ones I was hanging on to for unhealthy reasons, because even though I was in recovery my illness still wanted me sick and was doing everything in it’s power to keep me from stepping too far away from the place I was. As I was dealing with my feelings and processing them, my disease was planting and nourishing negative feelings and telling me this new way of life wasn’t going to work. I had to get really honest with myself.
When my mind wanted to divert back to the way it was, the way it knew the best, I had to practice contrary action and do what I was learning to do to live in a healthier way, and the more I practiced this new way of life, the less attractive the old one became. But, those little negative voices never really went away, I still have to keep them at bay today, but by taking responsibility for my feelings, finding the true root of why they’re there, learning what I can from them and discarding the rest, I can live with my feelings and not let them control my life, or become the objects I continually try to hide. The minute I feel the negative feelings come up I have to deal with them, as soon as I try to brush them aside they get stronger, and the stronger they get the more I risk them becoming an obsession.
I’ve been living this new way of life for many years now, and I know if I forget, or get lazy in tackling my feelings, they’ll act up, because really, they don’t like being dumped and discarded, they have no power there. I need to pay attention to them, even during those times I would rather make believe they weren’t there. I work hard everyday to never forget where I came from, to remember why I work so hard every day and to remind myself that my feelings cannot hurt me, unless I try to ignore them and they start to regain their power. Be honest, be kind, and be rigorous in pursuit of your truth and make sure to discard the rest. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Have you tried to stuff down or hide your feelings in the past? Are you still doing it? How does this help you? How does this hurt you? What scares you about your feelings? Or what are you trying to avoid? What do you think your feelings are trying to tell you? How can you find out if you don’t know? It’s important to acknowledge your feelings, to figure out where they are coming from and get rid of the ones that are based on old ideas or concepts that no longer serve you, or do not represent your life today. Take your power back and stop hiding from your feelings, you have the ability to make them work for you, to learn from them, and, to move on from them.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you