Thursday, 30 June 2016

Why is it so difficult to feel the feels?




No matter how many times I remember that all I have to do is stop trying to figure something out and instead just feel my feelings, time and again I find my way back to analysing feelings instead of just feeling them.

After I feel whatever I've been pushing away, there is always great relief and clarity. Every problem gets sorted out, and life seems so simple. Tensions and pains melt out of my body, worries and fears evaporate, and I experience beauty again.

I ask myself each time this happens: If it is so simple, and I know this so well, then why is it so difficult to just feel the feelings?

The answer is always the same: Moments and moments, days and weeks, years and years and generation upon generation of human beings conditioning each other to not feel feelings; to not be angry, not be sad, not be fearful, not be jealous and, above all else, to not cry. To instead be good, which means to make sure everyone else feels unthreatened or unstabilised by annoying, irrelevant or irrational feelings. Sound familiar?

For many years I drew a picture each night before going to bed. It was a visual diary to help me connect with feelings better.

Looking back at these drawings, I saw themes. Trees, dogs and meditation being the most prominent. Yet, one picture stood out. It was a picture of a face with tears rolling down cheeks like a waterfall, and the few lines above stating: Just feel your feels.

It always struck me that I had sleepily written feels instead of feelings. I found the word feels so endearing.

Then the other day, I saw someone else on facebook had written the same thing and I googled it to find out that 'feeling your feels' is a thing.

To me, saying feels instead of feelings bypasses that structuring, analytical left brain to get to the squashy, quivery and ephemeral world of what the feels actually feels like.

Feels, as a verb, has movement. Feelings, as a noun, is more solid - a collection of separate individual things. Swapping them around creates a delightful release from the constraints of language.

Everywhere you look these days people are expressing how they really feel, improving relationships, releasing tension through yoga, mindfulness and counselling. We human beings are realising that controlling feelings leads to suffering and, on a grand scale, leads to the kind of violence we see happening around the world. To dam up feelings with a wall of thinking is to create pressure that will eventually burst in a destructive way.

We need to let our feelings flow - e-motion = energy in motion.

Feelings are just waves of energy, and yes, waves are scary at first because they have a force of their own, but just as quickly as they come, they also go. There is a rhythm to them. They arise and pass, get strong and then disintegrate. These rhythms come from nature, and in nature there is no wrong - there is only the flow.

The more we empty out the store of frozen feelings from the past, the more the watery world of emotion settles down and becomes consistently peaceful.

We don't have to share our feelings with anyone else in order to feel them. Sometimes it is helpful to talk, and sometimes we need feel our feelings alone. 

Meditation is a wonderful way to let feelings flow through with privacy. If we sit still, let everything be as it is and sort itself out, naturally old feelings will surface to be released, without a word being spoken.

In order to heal, we need to feel. So, feel those feels right through til they pass.

Step into the flow of your beautiful life and let dam after dam be dismantled. At some point dams too will become a thing of the past.


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