The Unspoken Forbidden Feelings
Are some feelings really too hard and scary to feel?
Do they really matter? Do they make any sense?
Feeling good is the best!
We live in pursuit of happiness.
We cling on to happiness when we feel it, so much so that in our happiness, we tighten up with fears of it leaving us, of “the other shoe falling off,” which interferes with our ability to fully enjoy special moments of happiness.
Feelings are complicated. They mix up one with another. They confuse us. It’s sometimes hard to tell where they come from and why.
Feelings are placed in two major categories: the feelings we like to have and seek, and the feelings we’d rather not have and run away from.
As human beings, we are all very different. Different cultures, ethnicity, different senses of humor, and different talents.
But there is something much deeper and more common that we all experience: feelings.
Different things might affect us differently, but we all share the knowledge of the effect of certain feelings.
It’s easy to admit this when we talk about positive feelings, such as happiness, love, excitement, pride, or even the inevitable sad feelings of loss of a loved one. Anger is another feeling we have no problem sharing with others.
We all have feelings in common. Although we each have a different story, different experiences and events that shaped us, all of us are familiar with the difficult feelings of fear, unworthiness, shame, and longing to belong.
We wish we could be happy all the time, but we know that it’s impossible. Sad things happen. Losing a job, people annoying us or “pushing our buttons,” the passing of our parents, trying something new that scares us. There are way too many natural obstacles that simply make it impossible to be happy all the time.
We try to avoid those obstacles as much as possible but no one is immune, and unless we hide away from life, we will have to face some unpleasant feelings throughout our lives.
I’ve been practicing connecting to my feelings no matter how “good” or ”bad” they are for quite a few years now, and my life has changed in ways beyond what I ever thought possible.
It’s a constant learning, stretching, and what I call “stepping to the edges of my comfort zone of feelings.” It’s a continuous challenge of staying and feeling while wanting to run and hide, or of exchanging one feeling with another, or ignoring them. It changed me. Knowing my feelings and staying with them changed me. My feelings slowly became different to me. They changed from being unbearable to something I could handle and learn from. They slowly became a gentle guide and I became a different person in the process—a better person. I was showing up in the world with my feelings as they were and without trying to hide them.
As I changed and allowed myself to feel without judgment, without running away, without trying to fight and change my feelings I became more self-loving, and more courageous in setting boundaries in my life. I started taking better care of myself, making better choices that lead toward a feeling of “well-being.”
I was able to observe myself and my relationships in new ways.
I could see friendships that were limited in their emotional dimensions and not benefiting me. It was hard to realize and come to terms with the fact that some friendships were costing me by not allowing me to change into who I wanted to become. It was very hard to let go of those friendships as I had to face some very painful feelings of sadness, emptiness, grief, self-pity, and just letting go. It was a choice that I knew I had to do for myself. It also created a vacuum of “loneliness” by having to do it all on my own without support. It was hard, but I don’t regret any of it.
Some people are able to love and stay with us, embracing us as we change, others stomp their feet and fight our change—each has their own reasons, and their own fears and challenges to face.
I learned to respect that fact and not to fight them or try to change them, but rather to let them go with love in the separation.
We ebb and flow into people’s lives and leave our foot marks in their world. I always try to leave a positive foot mark and an open door.
It took hard work facing, and dealing with tough feelings. I dealt with feelings that felt more like monsters: shame, fear, judgment, grief, despair, guilt, humiliation, and many other dark feelings. There were times when I felt like I was at the bottom of a pitch black dungeon with no way out. It was rough and tough, and it sucked liked hell!
But from the place I am standing at now, I can tell you that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
At the end of the pain, the sorrow and all the hiding from unknown monsters, there are wonderful friends of courage and openness, as well as the gift of self-esteem. One can bask in precious happy moments without fear and in complete relaxation. There is a wonderful place that embraces each and every feeling, respectfully, allowing them to pass through, and to make room for the next feeling to enter clean of any residual effects from previous feelings.
At the end of every feeling there is another feeling, maybe worse, maybe better. It’s like the tides of the sea or the wind that blows in tumultuous fashion and then becomes a breeze. Feelings are like the clouds—they are forever changing.
At the end of every feeling, when we allow it to pass through us, there is another feeling. If we don’t allow ourselves to completely know what we are feeling, we will deny the next feeling from fully entering us.
Those who are willing to face the darkest of paths are those that come out shining brighter than ever.
Allow yourself to really feel. Curl up on the floor and cry your eyes out.
The interesting thing is that at a certain point you will need to get up and go to the bathroom, or the phone will ring and you’ll pick it up. Something will distract you.
And then, perhaps you will want to go back to lying on the floor in the fetal position and cry some more, but it’s more likely that you will look at the floor and decide it was way too hard and uncomfortable and move to the couch.
The point is, you will not stay there forever (although it will feel like it). Eventually, something will change. It’s the same with our thoughts, our emotions, our feelings, our reactions, our triggers, our relationships, our lives. They will move on to other things—they may split moments at the beginning, but even that will change.
What I’m saying is that when you allow yourself to sit with your feeling, allow yourself to fully feel it all the way through you—name it, say it, experience it to your core—it then moves away and leaves you. You are completely clean to move on to your next feeling. Feelings just don’t stay there forever unless we cling to them.
By allowing ourselves to feel our feelings, even the toughest, yucky, ugly dark ones, we are giving ourselves many gifts: the gift of courage, of being there for ourselves, of freedom, of making the monster feeling shrink into a hard feeling that we can move away from to see how strong and resilient we really are. Knowing and understanding all of that will help you not only enjoy your life more and love others in new ways, but will also enable you to love yourself even more than you ever thought possible.
Allowing the negative feelings to be felt wholeheartedly, and pass through us, we are making more space for the better feelings to enter and the freedom to enjoy those precious, joyful moments to the fullest, completely and wholeheartedly.
Feelings are there for us to guide ourselves through life.
Feeling is living, and feelings make us human and who we are.
Feelings are our compass in the maze of our lives; if we don’t listen to them, we can get lost.
ARE YOU WILLING TO EMBRACE THE RAINBOW OF YOUR FEELINGS?