I’ve decided that I have to find a reason to be grateful every day and post about it. Today, I am grateful for tears and emotions. I’m a bit emotional these days because I am faced with some situations that are bringing up some of my stuff. In the past, I would try to numb myself. It might be through eating, drinking, partying, or preventing myself from doing things that make me happy. The fact that I’m writing proves that I’m not doing the latter. If I felt the tears coming, I used to push them down. I would stuff the emotions down inside me and pretend that everything was alright. I don’t do that now. When I feel something, I open up to it. I let it go through and out my body. I realized that all those locked up tears were turning into stress which gave me high blood pressure. Tears are an outlet for our emotions and are not a sign of weakness.
“Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions.”– David Borenstein
I used to feel rejected if someone criticized me for showing emotion. I used to shut down and numb myself, because my emotions weren’t safe. What that leads to is cutting off emotions in all other places too. Slowly, you end up being dead inside because you are so used to not feeling your feelings. I’ve learned to sit with my feelings and process them. The interesting thing that happened is that they don’t last as long. When I was trying to avoid my feelings, I would be angry or sad about something for months. When I allow my emotions to flow, I may only be upset for a few minutes. They pass through my body very quickly. My emotions regulate and I feel better. I’m also more clear-headed and less distorted about the situation. I can tap into what is really making me emotional.
I am a highly sensitive person. I can often tune into others’ feelings and find myself feeling emotions for or with them. My sensitivity has earned me many unkind nicknames and admonishment. It doesn’t bother me anymore because I know why people don’t like to me to show my emotions. My emotions remind people of the emotions they are trying to stuff down and not feel. When I allow my emotions to come freely, it scares people because they do not let themselves to feel. When they lash out at me, they are actually lashing out at their own emotions. I am simply the mirror. In our society, the showing of emotion is often seen as a sign of weakness. We are supposed to be emotionless robots. That means that when someone shows you their emotions that they are willing to be vulnerable to you.
There are three words that I dislike when I hear them strung together: you shouldn’t feel. Your emotions and feelings are borne of your experiences so no one can tell you how you should feel or react to a situation. It’s a form of control to devalue someone else’s feelings. We are all allowed our feelings. It seems to me that tears and emotions are a gift. They are a way to process how we feel, to release it from our body and to invite sympathy and empathy. When we deny our emotions, we deny ourselves. But, it comes out in other ways. I used to joke with my boyfriend and say that the reason men run around shooting at each other or enjoy violence in movies and video games is because they need to be allowed to cry. It was a joke, but it’s probably more true than I realized. Everyone feels and experience emotions whether we acknowledge them. It’s not weak. It actually takes great courage to show and tell someone exactly how you feel.
In place of another quote, I want to share a very intuitive song about feeling. I hope you will give it a chance.
Great post! My father used to used to say to me “Show emotion.. and you’ve lost the game!” It took a while to understand that it wasn’t true. Being unemotional gets you nowhere fast. I say bring on the tears, the sadness, the smiles and the laughter. It’s healing and shows we are alive 🙂
Excellent point, Claire. Thank you for your comment!
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