It’s natural to want to feel happy, calm, loving, and inspired all the time. Those emotions make you feel good because they uplift your spirit, give you energy, and allow you to be your best self. You feel light. You feel clear.
We tend to view more difficult emotions, like anger, jealousy, and humiliation as bad because they bring your energy down, make it difficult to focus and be social. There’s a heaviness to them that makes you want to hide from the world.
The truth is though, in order to really access the lightness and joy of the desired emotions, you have to allow yourself to feel the less desirable ones as well. It’s not for the sake of contrast. It’s for the sake of not allowing those difficult feelings to get stuck inside, stagnating, with nowhere to go.
When an intense emotion like anger is left to linger, unacknowledged, it can lead to feelings of frustration, restlessness, depression, self-doubt, and hopelessness. It can also take hold in the body and find expression through physical pain and dis-ease. No fun.
Amazingly, when you are naturally inclined towards happiness, gratitude, and compassion, truly feeling anger and hurt can be even more challenging! But the effects are the same. If the emotion is not acknowledged, over time, it will make itself be heard through other means.
This is something I have had to work through my entire adult life. I am naturally a very compassionate person. I consider my ability to empathize with other people and truly understand the root of their pain a great gift.
However, my ability to do so often leads me to skip right to the love and compassion and hush the hurt that might not yet be resolved inside of me. Thankfully, I’ve developed practices that allow me to acknowledge and access these emotions, and most importantly my truth, much faster.
I am in the midst of a very challenging situation with someone I love, someone for whom I have deep compassion and understanding. Yet, I’ve been hurt in a very real way, and the reality of our relationship has changed significantly, or rather, a deeper truth has been revealed.
I allowed the anger to arise and be expressed when it was fresh, but quickly the compassion took hold and I didn’t fully honor what I was needing as a result. I leaned, instead, toward what he was asking for and what he felt was best. This was also seemed a comfortable place for me, because it didn’t require any serious change or decision.
But something wasn’t sitting right. Something was eating at me over the past couple weeks. Angry conversations in my head, self-doubt, restlessness. I was journaling, I was confiding in friends, but something else needed to come through.
Then, I started moving my body. Going on hikes and being in nature was fantastic for energy and clarity. But what really allowed me to access the true emotion was an intense yoga class. When we access our full range of physical motion, the emotions stored in our cells come right up to the surface to be felt, heard, and seen.
I experienced the depth of the hurt and confusion that still lingered. I acknowledged my very serious need for solo-time and space. And best of all, I asked for it. And received.
Honoring your feelings and emotions is a brave act of self-love, and an essential component of radical wellness and self-care.
By allowing your anger and hurt to be felt and expressed, you are showing yourself deep compassion. By asking for what you need, you are loving and honoring yourself. With self-love, self-compassion, and self-honoring present, you can truly show up in the world in the way you desire.
Here are some suggestions for staying in touch with your emotions, your truth, your needs and desires:
- Movement, especially movement that accesses your full range of motion.
- Journaling daily on what you’re feeling, thinking, and experiencing.
- Meditation, in many forms. Quiet, mindful, time with yourself.
- Creative expression, such as painting, music, poetry, and dance.
Emotions are energy. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but transformed from one form to another. What would you prefer? Anger that gets pushed inside to change form into physical pain or anger that gets expressed in a healthy way and transforms into self-love, self-care, and creativity?
Share in the comments below your thoughts, any place you feel stuck, or any secrets to feeling difficult emotions in a loving way.
In truth and wellness,
P.S. Are you wanting to feel more connected to yourself? Are you feeling stuck and desiring a clear path toward greater self-care and self-love? I invite you to schedule a free breakthrough session with me to layout a plan to get from stuck to fluidity and freedom.
This is for you if you are an action-taker who takes responsibility for your life and is ready to make a serious shift toward greater well-being. You must also feel willing and able to invest in this important life change.