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Haters Gonna Hate…

…and lovers gonna love.

You and me? We’re made to feel ALL the emotions…we’re capable of feeling all the emotions…we’re meant to feel them all. And our bodies do an amazingly efficient job of it if we don’t try and stop them.

Got some anger? Go for it and stamp your foot. Feel the physicality of that.

A little weepy? Allow your eyes to wash themselves and notice the sweet release and relaxation in your body afterwards.

Giddy? Grin and feel your heart expand…and the warmth spread throughout your chest.

Emotions are nothing more and nothing less than a vibration in your body…and yet, because we make them mean so much more than that, we tend to spend a lot of time avoiding/stuffing/distracting/intellectualizing so we don’t have to feel the vibrations that we consider ugly or uncomfortable.

We also spend a lot of time and effort avoiding what we consider to be negative emotions, but rarely do we specifically take action to increase positive emotions. We choose to focus on avoiding the negative rather than growing the positive.

(We don’t like having our buttons pushed so instead of deactivating our buttons, we protect them instead).

In general, people talk about their emotions (as a concept, usually with long, vague descriptions) but don’t actually FEEL them.

Consider the difference between resisting a negative feeling and just letting it vibrate.

Imagine a swallowing a capsule full of an emotion you find uncomfortable. Imagine, once digested, that you and your body will experience the purest form of that emotion for two minutes. What would it be like to just experience it? Without avoidance, resistance, numbing?

Be curious and fascinated when you notice what you’re feeling.

Whatever you choose to feel, notice that it’s not just something you feel for yourself, notice also the actions you take as a result of what you feel and the impact those actions have in the world.

This isn’t about putting on a happy face if you’re pissed off or grieving a loss. It’s about choosing to acknowledge and feel the pissed off-ness or grief and letting flow on through. All feelings are valid and worthy of being felt. They’re all useful. They all have messages/lessons for us.

Sometimes, we’re afraid to feel a feeling and so fear intensifies that already uncomfortable emotion. What you resist, persists. When we resist, say, anger, we create more anger. We get angry at our anger. We worry about our anxiety. We hate our hate. We create more pain by telling ourselves we shouldn’t be in pain.

Resistance is the fuel of anxiety (and when Resistant Karen learned this and started practicing acceptance, she was surprised to see a lot of her anxiety being released).

Consider that it can be super useful to CHOOSE, on purpose, to deliberately feel a negative feeling. It will flow through you in a wave. And then you will be done with it.

And in regards to “controlling” feelings:

Positive control = taking responsibility for your emotions without feeling “out of control”…the act of practicing/deliberately creating feelings.

Negative control = trying to control the uncontrollable. For example – people pleasing, and saying “yes” when you want to say “no” – both are an attempt to control how others think about you.

Practice.

Imagine the possibilities when you choose to literally (and I am using “literally” correctly…old-school) feel your emotions rather than stuffing your face with Goldfish crackers (or whatever).

Tell me about a time that you allowed yourself to literally feel an uncomfortable emotion…

15 Comments

  • Posted January 21, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    This struck a chord. I’ve always felt crying was a weakness, big surprise huh? I’ve had many a good cry, but can’t stand anyone seeing me, let alone trying to comfort me. The thing is…the more you try to stifle it the harder it is when you let fly. And even though I physically feel exhausted, but relieved, and I know it’s my own fault for holding back, I will do it again.
    Go figure.
    b

    • Karen
      Posted January 21, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Fascinating, stuff, eh?

  • Posted January 21, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    in doing some reflecting yesterday, I remembered what you’d said one time (blog? fitbloggin. don’t remember where) about “sitting with uncomfortable feelings”. I was exploring some things about myself that I truly would have rather left in the past, but it felt important to dig deeper. and so for this to be your post today? it’s like you were in my head! thank you :) I still have a lot of growing and learning, and the idea of accepting that an emotion is just a vibration is a challenge, but i feel closer than I did a few months ago, a few weeks ago, and even yesterday, and that’s something.

    • Karen
      Posted January 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      What a coincidence…I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, too :-)

      And yep…it’s all about the practice.

  • Posted January 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Male perspective: You’re dead on. Further male perspective: Easier said than done.

    FYI: This showed up on a timely day…

    • Karen
      Posted January 21, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      That’s why we practice, right? It’s just like strengthening a muscle :-)

  • Posted January 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    “Resistance is the fuel of anxiety.” So true. I avoid anger because I dislike conflict, I don’t cry in public because I find it embarrassing. But here is the thing. Getting angry is good for me! It means that I care about my own position in a situation that upsets me, it means that I am standing up for myself. So I am practicing that. And crying in public? Did that twice in 2012. I was so exhausted from organising our relocation at the time and when I encounter some obstacles in the form of terrible beaurocracy and lack of compassion I just melted down right there and then, once at the DOT office in Boston and the other time on a train in Germany. And even though I was very upset at the time I knew that it was important for me to release all the built-up tension and I felt a lot better afterwards. There are still feelings I am avoiding though and I continue to work on those. Thanks for the reminder! xo

    • Karen
      Posted January 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Your bring up something that I want to address again soon: when we choose to feel our emotions, we do it for ourselves, not for anyone else. So, for example, choosing to feel anger is something that is best done in private and not “at” the person with whom we’re angry. Now, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t express ourselves, or have appropriate boundaries…once we’ve allowed the vibration of anger to move on through.

  • Posted January 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    YES
    here it is visualizing the negative emotion being EMBRACED AND SQUASHED like a grape in the roof of my mouth.

    • Karen
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      I love that visual…

  • Posted January 24, 2014 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I feel it alright but I just have to learn to handle it better. :)

    I am sort of tired of the everything is good via social media though cause no life can be like that – can it?? ;)

    • Karen
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      I think the very first step to handling strong emotion is to allow yourself to feel it fully…

  • Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    I so needed to read this. I have a hard time with crying. I HATE to cry. It makes me feel weak. I’m really trying to allow myself to feel the way I feel without judging myself.

    This changing business is really hard. :)

    • Karen
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Hard…sure. Worth it…definitely. And we can do hard things without suffering.

  • Posted February 8, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    “In general, people talk about their emotions (as a concept, usually with long, vague descriptions) but don’t actually FEEL them.” Um yeah you NAILED ME. Love this os much! I put a link to this on my blog post and I hope everyone will come read your advice! Thank you!!

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