Do you know what it feels like to feel your feelings? I am talking about really feeling them, and allowing yourself the permission to not only feel what is coming through but to respond accordingly and in honor of them. Many of us are brought up with the idea that we need to act according to others expectations. But what if those expectations are in direct conflict with what we feel?
As we gather with family during this holiday season, chances are, there will be some expectations. Do we know how to navigate those trying moments or do we do what we always do and suck it up just to complain to our spouse, sister or friend later?
There are many situations where we bite our tongue, hold our breath, and suppress how we feel. Why do we do that? Are we afraid of offending someone? Afraid of hurting their feelings?
Afraid of our own truth…?
How would life change if you responded to situations as they arose and cleared through any misunderstandings in the present time and with deep compassion? Most times, when we truly honor someone else’s experience and feelings, they will be much more likely to honor us in the same way.
Typically when something is bothering us, we tend to focus on the details of what happened as opposed to what the experience triggered in us. Let’s set the scene – A couple is committed to attending a Christmas party. They plan to meet there as the husband is working on completing a project at work and needs the extra time. The wife shows up and feels uncomfortable being there alone as she does not know anyone. She begins to get nervous as her husband is late (again) and she is triggered into remembering all the other times something similar has happened. By the time he arrives, she is furious and shut down to him. He knows she will not be happy but puts on a smile as he enters. At this point, they are disconnected and unless they can resolve this quickly, chances are, the night will not be as good as it could be. Can you relate to something similar in your life?
How to Resolve these Experiences and Heal
Many times, when we express how we feel, we release the negative feelings that have accompanied the experience. For instance, what if the wife told her husband that she feels insecure about herself and being there alone amplifies those feelings which pull up lifetimes of painful experiences. How would he receive that? Expressing her feelings does not blame him for being late. It alerts him to what her experience is and he is given the chance to understand her perspective. What if he told her that the pressure of this project is overwhelming and he is doing the best he can. That he certainly would not do anything like this on purpose and he will be more mindful to be on time in the future as he now understands how this triggers her. She now can see that he cares deeply but feels overwhelmed. He sees her struggle. Maybe this would even open him up to a discussion about his personal boundaries of taking on too much and missing out on the joys of life.
Conversations like this will not only help to resolve the present time conflict, but will also heal past experiences like it, and generate shifts for future ones. These deeper level conversations allow for the evolution of the Self, evolution of the relationship, and a deeper and stronger bond to develop.
Are we Afraid of our Truth?
Is it hard to admit to yourself that you feel insecure at times? Do you fear abandonment or rejection? Are you a workaholic and stay super busy in the external world, so you do not “have time” to look within? When we neglect these parts of Self, the universe will respond in kind by giving us additional opportunities to work through those challenges. Every single person has challenges to work through in this lifetime. We incarnated here in order to have practice in working through them. The very challenges that you struggle with the most are the ones you are meant to heal from. Instead of thinking they are a limiting aspect of yourself, begin to see them as something that will make you stronger.
But first, you must be willing to see your truth.
Once you see it and decide to stop running from it or blaming others, you can move through it. Permanently. I encourage you to stop focusing on the details and go deeper. Dive into the well of feelings that is asking for attention and begin there. Feel your truth. Speak your truth. Liberate yourself from these blocks that have kept you in stagnation. We are being asked to own all pieces of ourselves and to love each delicious part. When you can find the courage to see those hidden pieces and honor them by giving them a voice, true transformation occurs. It can feel a bit messy at times, and it is meant to. Think about when you purge through your closet and the floor is covered with clothes as you decide what stays and what goes. It is messy! Lose the fear of the mess. Know that it is a temporary state of being as you make room for better things. Know this going in and you can find great joy in the process. This, my friends, is the most important work you can do.
Maybe for this holiday, instead of suppressing feelings, try expressing them. Practice with little things first, then as you gain confidence in the experience of expressing, graduate onto deeper and more meaningful ones. It is alright to tell someone you do not prefer to eat stuffing. It is alright to turn down that second glass of wine, or to ask for another! Practice this with those that love you the most and have vested interest in seeing you successful and happy. Find peace within your feelings. Own them as a relevant part of you. Embrace them as that beautiful inner voice that has so much wisdom to share. It is alright to be you. Simply, YOU!
Wishing each of you Happy Holidays!!