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Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling

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It’s not so much about how we feel, but what we do in response to feeling those feelings.

A few months ago, my therapist said to me, “You have to allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling.” I thought this was a bit odd because, to me, this seemed like a sentence devoid of all meaning. I thought that what a therapist ought to be doing is helping me to understand what I’m feeling so that I won’t feel it anymore. And I thought that the point of therapy was to get rid of feelings. But my therapist disagreed.

It’s not so much about how we feel, but what we do in response to feeling those feelings. We’re all human, and we all have feelings. But we’re not all comfortable with the same feelings. I struggle with this. I know that feeling something means I’m alive, but I also know that life is difficult. So often I don’t know how to react when I’m feeling something difficult.
What I’ve found is that a simple mantra of “allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling” has helped me through the most difficult times of my life.

We’ve all been there. We experience an emotion, and suddenly we’re experiencing it on high volume. Maybe you’re feeling scared because you don’t know how to make a decision. Or maybe you feel sad because you’re not in a place where you’re happy. Or maybe you’re feeling lonely because you’re feeling like you don’t have anyone to talk to. It can feel like you’re stuck in this pit of emotions and can’t get out. But you can.
Sit with a chair and feel it
Take a deep breath and feel it
Notice it coming up and feel it
Notice it going away and feel it

it can be easy to get caught up in the “shoulds” of life, and forget to honor the “is.” we are not perfect. we are not meant to be perfect. life will never be perfect. I, for one, try not to get too caught up in thoughts of what life “should” be. life is what it is. it’s messy and beautiful and real. and we are all real.
Feelings are not wrong. Feeling something is not the same as acting on it.

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