The past few months, my heart and mind have been extra heavy with feelings. Some I am familiar with and others are new. For a few years now, I’ve been working on ‘feeling my feelings,’ working through them, taking from them what I need, and then moving on. To some this may sound a smidgen process-like, and at its core, I suppose it is, but this approach has helped me get unstuck from experiences, ideas, and emotions that have held me back in the past.
What’s peculiar about feelings is that they can be both a gift and curse. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is feel because feelings can really hurt. They are the reason I have sobbed uncontrollably over thoughts of divorce, ached with real pain when my dad passed three days before I was to visit, raged when I saw George Floyd’s video and went through a mental, physical and emotional breakdown this weekend when I was blind-sighted by some family news I was not ready to receive nor share at this time.
For those that really know me, I am definitely not the same person I was ten or even two years ago. Sure, on the outside I might act and look the same, but my insides have been going through an unprecedented metamorphosis.
Once I started down the path to de-compartmentalize my feelings, I began to decipher hidden lessons, embrace and openly share my gifts and learn how to acknowledge feelings that serve me and let go of ones that do not. As I write this, it sounds so simplistic, but nothing could be farther from the truth. To be able to understand what serves you now, in this moment, requires you to be truly aware of who you are as a person now, in this moment. Many of us harbor feelings of resentment, bias, and hate because that’s what we grew up with or we were taught. But do these feelings still serve the woman that looks back at you in the mirror? Are they helping you be a better human or holding you back from being the best version of yourself?
On this journey, I’ve learned how to host a Q&A with my feelings to learn why I’m feeling a certain way. I’ve learned where emotions hide in my body and differentiate feelings that are just fleeting sparks from those that require more work so I can reconnect with my inner wisdom or like Glennon Doyle likes to say ‘my Knowing.’
My biggest gift to myself? Giving myself the grace to process my feelings as a human being, imperfectly perfect, but always willing to right a wrong, learn and grow.
I am sharing this with you today because I know we all are going through some serious feelings these past couple of days, weeks, months. A sliver of hope if I may. The opportunity for change and a better tomorrow starts and ends with each one of us and how we decide to feel, show up and do life. So go ahead girlfriend, feel your way through life and keep these ideas in your pocket.
Feelings have hidden messages inside. Stop. Dare to be calm and truly sink into a feeling. Don’t just superficially gloss it over. Listen to how it makes you feel, thoughts it conjures up and actions it beckons you to take. The power to reveal the true message behind your feelings lies in your willingness to silence the noise and lean in.
Learn to own what’s yours and give back what’s not. You are responsible for one person and one person only – YOU. Based on the news I received this weekend, I learned I do not have control over anything but myself. Yes, I can aim to teach my kids how to be good humans, rally for change and be a kind human, but if the person I’m giving myself to is not ready to receive it, then it is not fair to hold myself accountable for their actions. My job? Be the best version of myself possible - to everyone - even those that don't like me very much.
Give yourself permission to feel your feelings. Girlfriend, if you need to bawl your eyes out and dwell in a sh*tty place for a few hours, days or even weeks. That’s ok. Life is messy, complicated, and ugly and feelings are no
different. The key is recognizing when it’s time to jet pack out of these depths and reclaim your life.
Shed feelings and beliefs that no longer serve you. When is the last time you cleaned house – from the inside out? To a degree, we all are a product of our surroundings, upbringing, instilled family values, but there’s a fine line between innate and inherited. How much of what you feel, believe and practice stems from the inner depths of your true core versus, how much is simply learned, passed down or familial/societal ideologies shoved down your throat? The magic lies in the awakening to decipher between the two and shed those feelings and beliefs that no longer serve and represent the woman looking back at you in the mirror.
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