Feel Everything

To quote Rachel Brathen: “Emotions come and go and the natural thing is to act them out… but we don’t. We’re taught to keep it together, to put on a happy face, to soldier.”

Here’s the thing: You don’t have to!

{Before you keep reading, song of the post: Stubborn Love by The Lumineers}

If you follow Rachel Brathen on Snapchat, you probably caught some of her hour-long talk last week about the emotional weight we carry in our bodies. (And if you don’t follow her and you’d like to: @rachel_brathen) All that she spoke to really resonated with me and opened my eyes to certain things I had also been beginning to realize. I’ve been journaling the past few days, and I spoke to this topic in my class on Saturday, about the topic of emotional baggage and how we carry it in our bodies. From here on out you can enjoy my ramblings, straight from the pages of my latest journal.

Emotions are as much a part of our bodies as the blood that flows through our veins. When we don’t allow ourselves to truly feel every emotion as it comes up in our busy lives, those unprocessed feelings and thoughts, sometimes negative and heavy, stay within us. The anger, frustration, sorrow, grief sits in our hips. Personally, I have tight hips, and I attribute part of that to how closed off I’ve been in the past with my emotions.

I’ve noticed that when people think of self-love and self-care, they tend to think that those who are fully committed to these practices are happy all the time. That’s absurd, really. In order to truly care for myself, I’ve found that allowing myself to feel sadness, anger, confusion, frustration, any emotion at any given time, has set me free. Happiness is no longer my goal. It’s a state of mind, yes, but as any state of mind, it comes and goes. It’s difficult to hold a consistent state of happiness, and in the past when I’ve tried to do this ~happy all the time, I love life 24/7~ thing, I feel inauthentic. With that comes a feeling of guilt, a sick feeling in my stomach, and I’ve held onto these feelings for too long.

Happiness is society’s goal nowadays, and that’s certainly not a terrible thing, but I think it’s important to keep in mind that happiness is no consistent. It comes and goes as any other emotion. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is okay. If you’re grumpy, work through it. I like to make myself a cup of tea and carry on, but I try to ignore the need, stemming from my ego, to put on a happy face. Learning to love yourself when you aren’t feeling 100% you is just as important as learning to love yourself when you are most yourself.

Process your feelings. I’ve been working on avoiding running from sadness and anger, I let it wander around in my mind. I work through it, taking as much time as I need to really understand where it’s coming from, how it’s affecting me, how it’s affecting others. Process as much as you feel is necessary. And when you feel you’re ready and it’s no longer serving you, teaching or guiding you in some way, let it go.

Avoid letting the emotions run wild. Allow them to wash over you like waves. Embrace the impact. Imagine yourself floating out at sea. See where your mind takes you, it might take you exactly where you wanted to go, even if it’s the back roads that you dread so very much.

Be honest with your emotions. Be open if you feel safe speaking to someone, or your dog or your cat, or your journal. Sometimes, finding a release in some form of a living creature or a pen and paper is the best form of therapy.

Work to build a bridge between who you are when you feel 100% you and who are you when you feel “off.” You’re still you, just not the you that you are accustomed to. Extend a hand to yourself on your “bad” days, guide yourself through whatever you’re going to. Be patient in your healing.

A lot of the emotional weight we experience stays in our bodies, and leads to the aches and pains we feel in our muscles, bones, and joints. I’ve found yoga, especially hip-openers (half pigeon) and heart openers (camel) have allowed me to release so much of this tension. Meditation has helped me to process more of this by quieting my mind and digging deeper beneath the surface, beneath my ego.

The point of all this is that I want to feel more. To really embrace every emotion and express it in safe way. Punch a pillow when you’re angry, cry in the shower when you need to. I crumple up my writing and throw it in the trash when I’m frustrated, and I dig them back out later. I tell my journal my thoughts, most mornings and night, to allow the feelings to leave my body while I rest. It’s important to love yourself, even the parts you which you aren’t the biggest fan of. Angry-you is just as wonderfully authentic and beautiful as happy-you, there’s no reason to shut that side of you down!

Some quotes that I jotted down to use as reminders for myself as I work on letting go:

Release your worries.

Conquer from within.

Liberate yourself from your past.

Time heals nothing unless you move along with it.

If it doesn’t matter, get rid of it.

Carve out time for reflection.

Pack lighter, go further.

Be patient with yourself.

And from my own journal: Be lighter, love deeper, embrace the release.

Check out my last post here!


3 thoughts on “Feel Everything

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s