Feel your feelings, they’re the way markers to a New Chapter that thrills you.
This theme is coming up a lot this week, so I’m trusting that it’s important to share. It’s appeared in the content I’m consuming, with my clients and it started in my own experience.
At choir we rehearsed Christmas songs for up-coming performances. The run up to Christmas is particularly emotive for most of us with expectations and excitement running high. By the time I got home, rather than the feel-good endorphins I usually experience I was aware of feeling nostalgic, regretful and sad for things lost and with some fear about my first Christmas after a break up thrown in for good measure.
I think it was ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ that clinched it! I was 17 the year that record came out and life was full of promise.
In the wake of these feelings I caught myself getting busy. Busy planning all the fabulous social activities I’ll do to make Christmas enjoyable, a.k.a. avoid feeling the uncomfortable feelings.
That’s my go-to method for avoiding feelings, I get busy and work hard.
What do you do?
In our culture allowing negative feelings is discouraged. We’re trained to consume instead, food, drink, shopping, work. That’s how come we can end up living lives we don’t love and living in ways that don’t suit us.
To find your way towards more of what you love and less of what you dislike, allow your feelings, don’t avoid them. They’re there for a reason and if you listen, they’ll tell you what you need to know to point you in a better direction.
When you notice yourself doing something compulsively; shopping, working, eating, drinking, whatever it is, ask yourself this question:
What am I feeling?
See what comes up.
Often, if you allow the feelings an opportunity to express themselves, they’ll come and fade away again. Even sadness, nostalgia, regret and fear won’t harm you. In fact, once you’ve released them you may well experience a burst of clarity, energy or contentment. It takes a lot of brain and body power to suppress feelings. In my view, that’s power better directed to more satisfying ends.
Marianne Williamson says “to avoid suffering is to deny healing” - when you allow your feelings, you get to heal.
In terms of your life this means you get to create a New Chapter that fits you like a glove. Your own version of success, not the version you’ve been trying to make fit for years by denying your feelings.
As a care note, I’ll say be gentle and kind with yourself when you begin to allow uncomfortable feelings. Treat yourself as you would treat a dear friend, with love and empathy.
And please let me know how you get on.