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Did you grow up being taught that feeling and expressing your feelings is wrong or bad – especially your painful feelings?
I often have the experience with my clients of hearing them apologize when they start to cry. “I’m so sorry that I’m getting emotional,” they often say to me.
“It’s okay to cry,” I tell them. “Crying is a natural way of expressing feelings and releasing pain.” When they are trying to be very quiet about it, I often say, “It’s okay to cry out loud and allow yourself to make noise.”
It is not just crying that many people judge…
Do you judge your anger, jealousy, emptiness, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, fear, loneliness, sadness, heartbreak, grief, or even your passion or excitement? Do you believe that you are supposed to stay on an even keel, and that having or expressing feelings indicates that you are not okay or that you are being too vulnerable?
Our wounded self came into being to protect us from feelings that we could not manage – the big core painful feelings of loneliness, heartbreak, helplessness concerning others and events, and grief. One of the ways our wounded self may have learned to protect us is to judge our feelings as bad or wrong. Your wounded self might be telling you that feeling your feelings makes you too vulnerable to being hurt or controlled by others. You might have heard, “Don’t wear your heart on you sleeve.”
I learned early to put a lid on my feelings…
As a young child, I was ignored when I cried, and told to “calm down” when I was excited. My narcissistic mother didn’t want me getting any attention from my father for my feelings because she wanted all the attention. It was okay for her to cry or be angry, but not for me. My father, at a very young age, had shut down being emotionally expressive. Other than sudden anger, he was rarely demonstrative with his feelings, so he was not a role model for expressing feelings.
Through years of therapy, I finally learned to express some of my feelings, but it wasn’t until Spirit brought us Inner Bonding that I finally understood that my feelings were not only my inner guidance, but were the natural way to release pain and stress. Not only were they not bad, or wrong – all of them were offering me vital information. They were:
You cannot receive the incredible guidance and release your feelings are giving you, when you allow your wounded self to judge your feelings.
All feelings are informational, and their natural expression through tears, laughter and excitement releases unwanted stress from your body. Rather than “acting out” your feelings, or repressing them, take the judgment off of them, opening to the invaluable information they have for you, and to nature’s way of releasing stress and pain.
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