For so long I can remember feeling like my emotions weren’t “acceptable”.
That in order to be strong and powerful and successful in this world, my emotions were an inside job. Meant to stay indoors and be processed by me and me alone.
I managed that pretty successfully I’d say. I looked cool, calm and collected most of the time. To the extent that if I got even a tinsy bit snappy people would notice instantly.
Rather though, what would happen is I’d completely and utterly catch my friends off guard. I’d be a bubbling tension on the inside and without any warning just erupt. Often that meant I was completely misunderstood and just felt even more worried about showing or telling people how I actually felt.
It just worked out better when I went along with things and focused on making them feel good instead.
I distinctly remember a conversation with a friend in primary school where she basically looked at me dumbfounded and told me I was being silly and she had no idea what I was talking about.
When I got older and those bottled up emotion essentially translated into stress I got an inkling there was another way to be processing them.
Still, it’d be years before I fully punctured the pattern.
Why am I sharing all this with you? Because I’m guessing that in some way, shape or form you too have done exactly what I used to do. Maybe you’re even still doing it now.
My biggest realisation when I finally started to release that valve, is that by holding back on the seemingly painful emotions I’d also held myself back on the beautiful states too.
As a kid we have this full emotional spectrum available to us. And, we don’t hold back. We can move from laughter, to tears, to angry tantrums and gleeful silliness all in the space of seconds.
All of the emotions are available to us all the time. Yet as we “grow up” we start to select which ones we feel are “appropriate”.
I think of it is a shortening of the spectrum. Each time we bottle up a little bit of frustration, we also bottle up a bit of joy.
I believe part of our role of being adults is to reclaim our full selves. Which means our full range of emotions too. It means falling in love with every single emotion and allowing it to be.
And no, I’m not suggesting you start crying in front of your boss, or yelling at the bus driver. This is a relationship with yourself. And internal homecoming to all that you are.
Everyone will have their own way of falling back in love with their emotions. My suggestion would be to start with acknowledging what they give you. To see them for what they are – a filter to truly experience the fullness of life through.
And, when you can acknowledge them, you will also be closer to welcoming them in next time they come knocking. Having an “emotional day”, that’s okay. It’s part of the beauty of life. Rejoice. Emotions give you your wings.