“Let your feelings flow freely, accept each one of them, know that they are your feelings and no one is to blame for them. Live from your essence and watch your feelings flow; only when you accept them can you understand the story of your life.”~ Patricia Selbert, The House of Six Doors.
Don’t you just love those Emoticons? You can put smiley faces all over emails, text messages and your Facebook updates. Even when you are not feeling so “smiley” you can hide behind those cute little faces.
Why do we want to push some away?
For various reasons, the biggest one is out of shame for having an emotion that we feel is inappropriate at the time.
Imagine this, your best friend calls and tells you about a super exciting thing that just happened to her or him. You of course are excited too but lurking in the background is a little jealousy or even envy.
Now you feel terrible because “shame” has walked into the picture and the conversation in your head sounds like this: “How dare you feel that way when your friend has such good news. Don’t you know you are not supposed to?”
This type of conversation now begins the patrol of the “emotion police.”
The emotion police get their rules from lots of different places; what society dictated as acceptable, what your parents told you growing up, other authority figures in your past or even a close friend. Their job is to make you think that having some “unsavory” (their word not mine) emotional reaction will doom you to the far corners of shame and remorse hell, leaving you feeling terrible and overanalyzing the whole emotional thing way too much.
Let’s look at how to change this pattern and decide that this game with the emotion police has got to stop!
First remember that we are all human beings, who make mistakes and have emotions that sometimes feel out of our control. The thing we can control is the ability to recognize our emotions and call them by their names.
When you try to run away from envy or jealousy or anger, that emotion only becomes bigger and harder to deal with. Once you call anger, anger instead of being a little upset, you are no longer fighting that emotion. Instead of rationalizing or beating yourself up, sit with it and watch it flow by.
Saying hello to that unwanted emotion just means that you know it is present but you are choosing not to dance with it. It takes two to tango and without a dance partner the unwanted emotion will move along.
On the flip side, there will be times when that emotion needs you to take its hand and move around the dance floor, knowing that you are leading the dance and can quit whenever YOU feel ready.
You are always the lead dance partner in the emotional tango and you can watch from the sidelines or take a spin around the dance floor. The emotion police can no longer break into YOUR dance because you are calling the shots.
The more you practice, the better dance partner you will become and when those unwanted emotions come charging at you, you will be able to watch the show acknowledging each emotion by name and letting them slip out the door.
I would love to hear your comments below on how you handle letting emotions flow in your life. (you may have some juicy tips to share and we would love to hear them!) And as always share the love of this post with someone in your life that might need a little help getting rid of the “emotion police.”