We Are Not Taught How To Feel Our Feelings

Last week I talked about being happy, and how we aren’t really taught this growing up – for better or for worse.  This week I want to touch on something else most of us weren’t taught – how to feel our feelings.

Again, this isn’t a judgment thing – our ancestors were too busy struggling to find food and raise children the best they could with what they had, but if we stop and think about it – it’s a huge skill that needs to be taught.  I’ve been working with my nutritionist on this the past few weeks and it’s kinda extraordinary how important it is to our well being.

Bam! Information Overload

On Monday, I watched a video from my Editor/Writing Coach about my latest first draft – it was her general notes, overall impressions, and thoughts about my novel – and, although it wasn’t too negative, it became apparent that I needed to write a whole different story from a different character’s Point of View.  And I was feeling things – big things!

I was feeling stupid – I mean I just spent months writing 78,000 words and now it’s all crap?  I was feeling like an amateur – how dare I call myself a writer?!!? I was feeling conflicted and confused and usually, this sends me to the bottom of a cookie package or an entire box of Mac and Cheese.  Or I turn on Netflix, grab my phone, and completely numb out.  This time though, I just stood there and asked myself a few questions.

Stop! Hammer Time…Uh, I mean – Listen

What was I feeling? And where in my body? My shoulders were tight, my stomach was doing flips, and my heart felt heavy.  Great! Now what?  I stopped and felt my body and what it was trying to tell me, but I didn’t really know what to do with that.  I can tell you that just stopping and asking myself those questions did stop me from binging  (both food and Netflix) and let me see the problems I was facing with a clearer mind.

When I went into my nutritionist’s office on Tuesday I was still trying to sit with my feelings and we talked about what to do next. She suggested a few things – journal or talk things out, ask if there’s anything I can do to alleviate the feelings within my body – movement, singing, talking – and we googled pain symptoms and their meanings.  Shoulders and heart had to do with Authentic Self and being true to yourself, making sure you are heard.  Stomach had to do with feelings of confusion, fear, and worry.  Whelp — that’s pretty much described exactly what I was dealing with.  Being authentic with myself and owning up to my intuition and the fact that I’m still learning, I’m allowed to make mistakes, I’m allowed to start over.

How Dare You!

See, the thing was – part of me wanted to give up, the part that was ashamed I had made the mistake in the first place.  But my authentic self knew I would be destroyed.  I am a writer, and I’m a new writer – yes, I have one book published, but that does not make me some sort of expert.  Far from it, and that’s okay.  My body was telling me to listen to the rest of my soul, to the rest of the voices- the positive voices, the ones cheering me on and telling me it will be okay.

And so…I have come out on the other side without binging, without losing a day to Netflix and old Friends reruns, and I have a plan to move forward on my writing goals.  I have also come to understand myself a little bit better and I have a little bit more knowledge about how to stop and listen, feel my feelings, and move through them – not around them, not ignore them – listen to them, listen to what they are really trying to tell me.

Our Bodies Aren’t the Enemy

Have you ever learned how to sit with your feelings or do you ignore them?  If you have sat with your feelings, what happened?  I would love it if you’d share below in the comments.  I think the more we talk about these things, the more we learn and grow and realize that our bodies are not the enemy.


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