This F word does not top my list of favourites. Namely because, after all this time, feelings still feel foreign to me (this is a lot of unintentional alliteration and I'm totally digging it, LOL)
Here's the thing. I grew up in trauma. As a result, for survival, I would naturally disassociate. I remember explaining to my Mom that I often felt like Dexter (sans the killing people part of course)- knowing in certain situations that I should feel something or act a certain way but just feeling empty on the inside.
I've worked my ass off in trauma therapy to begin to emotionally regulate myself. Now, here and there I do feel things. Sometimes super strongly. Sometimes not at all. But as time moves forward there are still MANY days where I'm like Damn ya'll, how do people move through life FEELING THEIR FEELINGS? It SUCKS AND ITS REALLY HARD SOMETIMES. Can I get an Amen.
I think that the most brave, honest thing we can do is to stand in what we are feeling, to own it, to nurture it, to not judge it, to sit with it, to not beat it with a stick, to not run away from it. In lieu of the first FEEL TO HEAL post I've compiled a list of things that have helped me with navigating the Feels and may also help you too.
1) Find Yo Safe Space - Life can be hectic. And hard. And can feel like it's moving at 1000 miles an hour. I used to work 14 hour days in restaurant management, 5-6 days a week and often times the thing that saved me was knowing I could come home and sit on my yoga mat in this corner nook that I made in my apartment. I made that nook so freaking cozy, and warm and inviting and then I didn't let anyone else come into my nook because it was my space to let all my shit out. Create a safe space that you can come back to and see what happens. (And maybe your safe space isn't at your house- maybe its at a SoulCycle in the studio. Maybe its in your woodshop. Wherever it is- whatever you want to be- just make it and claim it as YOUR PLACE).
2) Create space, then Sit with it. Release it- I completed my yoga training with this bright, beautiful soul named Amelia from Winnipeg. She gave birth to a baby boy and then lost him shortly after. She has been super honest and open about how this process has changed her and her life- and I remember reading about how (and I'm paraphrasing because this was awhile ago) she decided to set aside 30 minutes every day to just sit with it all. I remember her saying that even on days when she felt ok, she would still take the 30 minutes. I also really like this example because I find the compartmentalization helpful. For ex, When the feels came up and I was running a service on a 14 hour day, I would set it aside in my mind and know that I could come back to it later during that 30 minute time frame when I was home. Things are different now that I'm out of the restaurant industry but there are still days when I come home, lay on my back, stare up at the ceiling and just feel it all (without any vices) even though it hurts like hell. I know this sounds fluffy but its not. I've battled my demons in this space. Its hard. But you got this. You are strong enough to sit through anything.
3) Stop Beating the Shit out of Yourself- I know, I'm swearing a lot in this post. But I'm serious. Stop beating the shit out of yourself. This is the HARDEST thing to change but will have the greatest impact on your life. This is a super slow process and it takes a lot of mental work but it is definitely possible. Let me tell you this. You are entitled to your feelings. All of them. Your journey is different than everyone else around you. What you say matters, what has happened to you matters, how you feel about it matters. Whatever asshole voice in your head is ridiculing you about the way you are moving through something or dealing with something- that voice does not belong to you. And you can trump that voice by re-learning a new one. I promise. I've done it. But it's about re-training your mind. Writing encouragement letters to yourself works. Writing cheesy positive stuff on post it notes works. Keeping a journal and writing hilarious stuff in it works. Anything. Just start small. Find ways to encourage yourself. Even if it feels unnatural, you gotta fake it till you make it.
4) Surround Yourself with Good People- My life HUGELY shifted when I began to look at my close relationships and see what was serving me and what wasn't. I had to get honest with myself. Support systems are EVERYTHING. And I know that I can't move through all this stuff on my own. I need encouragement and guidance from strong, empowering, kind women. I need that. We aren't hard-wired to do this on our own anyways. No one is. I know now that on days I'm struggling with the Feels, I have a crazy awesome support system of people I can call to say Hey. I'm having a hard time. Can you listen for a few minutes? Can you offer me some Love? Everyone deserves to feel supported and loved and accepted and I encourage you to seek this out if it is missing in your life.
That's it, that's all for now. I never know how to end these. Feel your feels and eat some tacos BYE! xo