There are occasions in life where it truly feels like what we are experiencing or feeling is going to have its way with us – it will not end, there’s no way through and the pain is going to kill us, or maybe even send us over the edge.
Emotional pain is actually painful physically. We all feel it in different places. Maybe it’s our tummies, our chests, our throats. The depth of our grief, our hurt and our woundedness is often overwhelming, it feels bigger than us, like something else ‘has’ us. We find ourselves in the grip of something we are unable to do anything about – and we so want to feel better.
I’m writing this because I want us all to appreciate and know that this is one aspect of what it means to be an emotionally alive human being. It’s normal to feel. The feelings are natural, it’s our relationship to them that creates a bigger issue.
Some of us, in avoidance of feeling, or because we fear feeling / dislike it, leave marriages, quit jobs, make huge changes. It’s powerful. Our emotions have huge potency.
They’re one significant way we make meaning of life. They have the capacity to guide and shape the course of our lives. In healthy and unhealthy ways.
And so much of our culture, our education, the society we live in, tells us to press on, push it down and continue, pull ourselves together. And so we do.
Feelings that rise up to be felt get pushed back down and added into a pile for ‘later’ or ‘when I have time’. And we get in the habit of not feeling. We sometimes experience that we don’t feel at all – or that we don’t know what feelings are, how to express ourselves and how to move through and welcome emotion.
To educate ourselves on emotions, to welcome this intelligent, beautiful, meaningful and important part of being human is how we all need to grow (there’s no end to becoming skilful at feeling) and with open hearts and the ability / capacity to feel, we can embrace life more fully, find more faith in ourselves and others and truly be with others when they need us too.