I’ve had a flat day. A long, exhausting day. On the heels of an evening yesterday, that was thick with feelings. Feelings I was judging myself for feeling. Which did me absolutely no good. So, here’s a card and a message that’s more a reminder for me than anyone else.
Intense feelings, difficult feelings, invariably invoke a judgement within us. A label, a measure, an evaluation of whether the feeling is good or bad, right or wrong, worthy or not. Our distress is compounded by judgement, and the erosion of stability, worth and identity that comes with difficult feelings.
Getting drawn into the judgement is a sure-shot way of missing out on the essence of the feeling — a valuable piece of information our bodies are giving us. At the heart of it, feeling feelings is an experience in receiving feedback.
Anger, shame, guilt, sadness, fear, rejection, abandonment, neglect, irritation — all these feelings are valid. Not good or bad, just valid. Because they tell us something about the experience we have had. Judging them makes us jump quickly to doing things to “feel better” (further implying what said feeling is not okay and requires improvement), and takes us further away from the underlying message, that is usually the only way forward.
Resist the urge to think about what you’re feeling, or what your feelings mean. Focus instead on feeling your feelings. And try to let the judgements around them go.