Accept How You Feel

Accept How You Feel

We are highly developed emotional beings for good reason. While we have sense-perceptions such as sight, sound, smell and touch, it is through our emotional feelings that we more consciously and uniquely experience the world. Our individuality is expressed through our feelings. Moment–by–moment awareness and appreciation of life depends on awareness of our specific emotional feelings. A chronic state of not being connected to our feelings can make life seem empty, or worthless.

Emotional feelings also give us important feedback. How we feel can involve conscious choice, but triggered feelings reflect an aspect of our mind reacting to something even if we aren’t aware of it. So we can learn from our emotional reactions. Many thoughts can slip by unnoticed, just out of conscious awareness,perhaps because they are so familiar. A quick mental evaluation and interpretation about something may not be obvious, but it can trigger a feeling that makes us stop and think about it. And yet, appreciating why we feel the way we do may not be completely clear because the ‘why’ can be a complicated issue. There may bemany reasons contributing to a feeling-obviousones and subtle deeper reasons. However, cultivating good emotional awareness means we are less likely to be ‘in the dark’ about ourselves, with more opportunity for understanding.

Knowing how we really feel, can influence our decision-making. Feelings can help guide us about the choices we have available, rather than simply trusting the way we think which can involve flawed beliefs, judgements and fears. This includes being able to access our deeper, intuitive ‘gut’ feelings. Emotional feelings are always telling us something personally relevant in the moment they are experienced. Accepting them provides us with information we can then use to make changes, and empower ourselves.

Feelings are meant to come and go. Being aware of how we feel and accepting the experience, means to fully feel it without any resistance, so then it can be released. This involves remaining consciously connected toour physical body, and using our mind to observe rather than interfere, with the process. When feelings are properly felt and released, rather than resisted and blocked, the information contained within them is integrated in our mind-body.

However, nobody likes having to experience negative, uncomfortable feelings such as loneliness, rejection or anger. It can seem much easier to play a ‘cat and mouse’ game with difficult to manage feelings-chasing them away or running away from them. This means that we are reacting to feelings, rather than simply feeling them, and consequently stressful internal blockage occurs. The result can be that we don’t know how we feel, which can be frustrating, upsetting, and even scary. Putting a lid on emotional feelings can result inanxiety or reduce self-esteem. Old stored emotional feelings can keep being triggered. Even dangerous internal splitting can occur, resulting in feelings arising that don’t make any sense.

All of our feelings matter, even if we don’t like them, or the reasons for having them are not completely clear. And without acceptance there is no resolution. Instead, when there is emotional awareness with acceptance, even if it takes a little while, there is a genuine, tangible sense of relief that feels good. It can also invite greater understanding; open our mind to new possibilities and choices.

These days being ‘sensitive’ almost sounds like a dirty word. It can attract criticism, and perhaps a self-expectation that it’s a problem we need to fix. It could seem as if the solution is to just ‘toughen up’. But being emotionally sensitive is good! In its proper context,this doesn’t mean being quick to react. It means having good awareness of how we specifically feel. But often, the problem is then how to manage this awareness.

Learning to accept how we feel, without reacting to it which involves resistance, is validating, healing, andhelpful. It is essential for our personal development. We need to feel more. This will give us healthy emotional self-control.

Accept How You Feel by Dr Karen Gaye Graham is published by Light Ideas Press and available now, priced at £15.50