I recently read an article about how people are allowing feelings to stop them from reaching their full potential. It said, to ignore your feelings and push on.
.sigh. This left me feeling, A LOT.
I read the sentence 3 times, to make sure I was reading it correctly and to actually recognize how the sentence was making me feel. My heart sort of sank because I knew this article was being digested, downloaded, and processed by thousands of people. Envisioning thousands of emotionless robots walking around forgetting that they have these things inside to help guide you. You see, feeling life is a difference between being present and mindful and being numb and disconnected.
"Oh suck it up." "Oh stop being so dramatic." "Stop being angry." "Stop being emotional" "Don't let it hurt your feelings." "You're not tired, keep going." "You're being too sensitive" "You're so irrational" "Crybaby." "She's so bipolar." "Why are you so moody?"
I could keep going with the thousands of things we say to each other, and ourselves; but you get the point.
The thing about feelings, is that unless you actually feel them, you can't work through them. I know some of these phrases developed when people have spent too much time in one feeling, or couldn't fully handle all that they were feeling, and yes there is an art to processing your feelings; but ignoring them isn't that magical technique. The key is to always recognize what you're feeling, not ignore it.
Truly recognize it, understand where it's coming from, sit with it for a little, and then work through it.
Until sitting in front of my computer to write my story, I had been ignoring my feelings for years. So much anger, resentment, hurt, betrayal, confusion, sadness, envy, and fear hidden inside, that it was spilling out into other areas of my life. Suddenly feeling triggered by something innocent, I would release these feelings onto the wrong people. It was only when I stopped to untie the knotted up feelings inside, through each knot I would work through, the hold on me became less and less. Ignoring the feelings, only gives them more strength to intertwine into your being, but recognizing them gives you the power over them.
Next time you feel something, I want you to practice something. Find yourself some alone time to sit in silence, and speak the feeling out loud. "I'm pissed." Feel it for a minute, then take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself, "Why am I pissed?" Follow the thought, it will take you where you need to go. As you reach the point of why, ask yourself, "What am I going to do about it?" Make a plan of action, because in case we haven't realized this yet, feelings are always there to show you something. After you make a plan, sit for 5 minutes in total stillness and focus on your breath. Breathe the feeling in, but more importantly breath it out. As you begin to get into your breath pattern, start to breathe in peace and release the negative feeling. The feeling that was once pissed can now transform to determined. Some of those most influential people I know have been able to sit with these negative emotions and learn to sit in the kitchen, so to speak, until they can cook up some inspiration from them. Some of the best writings have come from people processing their sadness and grief.
You see, feeling life is the whole point. We aren't meant to be some heartless machines wandering around knocking others down on our way to the top. We are supposed to feel the guilt for the thing we did wrong, feel the sorrow for someone's loss, feel the frustration for unfair treatment, feel the joy for someone else's accomplishments, feel the extreme gratitude for another breath.
Unless you are allowing yourself to feel the negative, you aren't really feeling the positive either.
If I could edit this person's article, I would say, "People aren't feeling enough of life to reach their true potential." Because, truth is, feeling life is our biggest guide, our biggest teacher, and our biggest connection to one another. Without it, well, without it, we have what is happening all around us; a disconnected, ego driven, violent, race to the top.