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Mantras For The Rest of Us

Feelings Nothing More Than Feelings🎶 

Feelings are not “just” feelings, they are the nuts and bolts of our pain and sorrow, our laughter and joy - what makes us uniquely us and uniquely human. Feelings are the connective tissue that keeps us aware and interconnected to who we are-body, soul, and spirit- but even more than that, feelings keep us connected to the deep Who of who we really are underneath all the pretense and survival. But, hell, feelings can be brutal and hit us at the worst moments causing us to destroy relationships, speak without thinking and rage at ourselves in the most destructive ways-internal ways that other people may never witness. So what are they good for? One thing feelings are good for is helping us connect to ourselves and others. Feelings help us remember we are not alone, and that we need each other. It reminds us empathy and vulnerability are our friends. Feelings, when we let them, get us quickly to the core of who we are- the frailty or rage we refuse to let out. When feelings are released at appropriate times, places, and targets, the healing outweighs any possible discomfort and we are aware of what is affecting us and why. We are expressing what needs expressing. We are giving ourselves freedom on the inside and letting it outside of us. When the feelings stay inside us, they turn on our bodies and they often reveal themselves in hard to notice ways: headaches, back problems, ulcers, migraines, etc. When we do the opposite and let feelings be felt in the moment (or soon after) we are getting whatever it is out of our physical bodies and putting it where it goes. The feeling doesn’t deserve to be trapped and resisted, it deserves to be noticed and felt. There is a skill to feeling our feelings, a practice of care that we need take on - for ourselves and others. Feelings can masquerade as something different than they really are, but letting yourself feel - whatever it is - is important. Also, just taking the time to acknowledge you’re feeling something is equally important. I have a practice of saying to a feeling (whatever it is) something like “I am sad, I don’t want to feel sad right now, but I am”. I let myself feel that sadness in whatever way it needs to be felt in that moment - tears, numbness, a little anger - WHATEVER IT IS, I TRY TO FEEL IT. My other practice is I try to give the feels a time limit. I don’t let the feelings take over my day, I give it an appropriate time limit to be felt. ”Okay, Anger, you got 30 minutes and then we are moving on to something else. I might be back if I need more time with you, but you have 30 minutes right now.” These are not perfect ways of dealing with feelings. I'm not sure if there are perfect ways. We are all different and bring different triggers and shadows with us. We ALL feel, and those emotions are important and deserve their spot in the limelight, even for a moment. So, no matter what you were told growing up- you are not too much, your feelings are not too much. So feel it all!

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