Emotions: feel them, own them, share them.
Our emotions aren’t neatly compartmentalized like in this picture. They infiltrate every aspect of our “true” SELF. But, for discussion purposes I’m describing them as a part of our whole SELF. Feeling our emotions, owning them (vs. blaming someone for causing you to feel a certain way) and putting them into words is important for our physical and mental health. That doesn’t mean we walk around telling everyone how we feel all the time. Being around a Debbie Downer is a real drag. Not everyone wants to know how you feel. And, not every situation is an appropriate time to share how you feel. Yet, we have a range of emotions for a reason. Feeling them is natural. It’s how we choose to express them that sometimes causes us problems.
Anger, for example, is an unpopular emotion for many of us. How many times have you heard someone say they don’t like confrontation? Or, have you experienced an angry person who denies being angry? It’s not the emotion we fear. It’s the behavior of the person acting out the anger that’s scary.
So how do we allow ourselves to feel angry, own the emotion and express it? It’s a slippery slope we can learn to navigate. I’m not saying it’s easy especially after years of stuffing our emotions. It takes practice and a desire to be true to yourself.
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