Feel Your Feelings

| Updated: January 13, 2022 4:00 pm

She’s a spoiled little rich girl. 

Just walked out on her wedding, and turned up at the apartment of an old school friend still wearing her exquisite ivory dress.

Her friend’s friends convince her that she has to grow up and get real, so in a moment of liberation she triumphantly cuts up the credit cards her Daddy pays for her.

To which her friend Monica, adds supportingly,

“Welcome to the real world. It sucks. 

You’ll love it!”

Sound familiar? 

Yes this is a scene from the NBC® show Friends.

This column is about making friends.

But not with people.

And not with yourself. 

Let’s say we feel frustrated with someone.

Because we are nice people, we tell ourselves we can’t feel that way, so we suppress and deny our frustration.

What happens then? 

We grow upset and resentful.

What do we have now?

A seed of frustration wrapped in a layer of upset and resentment. 

We have doubled – or tripled – our initial feelings. 

We began with a small seed of frustration that has grown into frustration + upset + resentment. 

Now instead of one problem, we’ve got three!

What is the solution?

Sit with it. 

Make friends with your upset and resentment and after a while it will talk to you. 

What will it say?

Maybe something like, “I am upset and resentful.” 

“Why is that?” you ask. 

“Because there’s some frustration here that I don’t know what to do about it.”

“Why can’t you do anything about it?” 

“Because it won’t let me.”

“Who won’t let me?”

“You.”

“Me?”

“Yes, you. There’s no one else here – you’re talking to yourself remember!”

“Oh right!” you laugh, “So what do I have to do?”

“Just sit.”

“Sit?”

“Yes, just sit with me like a friend and I will transform into something else …”

“What?”

“You will have to wait and see …”

This scene happens in our minds all the time.

Uncomfortable feelings arise when someone cuts us off on the way to work, the boss is grumpy, the coffee is cold, etc, etc.

If we don’t find a way to release our frustrations, we end up with a big pile of them at the end of every day, and then we’re grumpy which causes frustration in others … 

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Let’s say our friend is frustrated.

They call us up and we meet them for coffee.

We listen to them.

They feel better. 

And it’s just like that with our feelings.

We just need to make friends with our feelings.

And listen. 

After listening, our feelings will feel better.

And they won’t go around sulking.

Because when we feel heard, half the problem goes away.

And when uncomfortable feelings feel heard, they turn into something more positive.

Feel the Feeling Tool: 

Feelings are like clouds. They look solid, but if you flew up to feel one you would find they are just droplets of mist.

Also, like clouds, feelings come and go. When you open up to them, they pass over – sometimes after raining, sometimes after thunder and lightning, but they always pass.

And even on a dark, cloudy day, the sky beyond is still blue and the sun is always shining, it’s just that sometimes we can’t see it.

• Sit down somewhere comfortable and quiet. Still yourself by breathing deeply a few times.

• Hold the thought that feelings are like clouds.

• Invite the uncomfortable feeling to come to

you.

• Sit with it and continue to breathe slowly and deeply.

• Try entering into a dialogue and talking to your feelings – what is it saying to you? Is this message true? Is it positive? Is it useful? What does feeling safe mean to you?

• The nature of feelings is that they’re dynamic, when you sit with them, they change. If it is too difficult to sit with it, just be with it for as long as you are comfortable and then let it go.

• Consider the message the feeling was giving you. Surprisingly sometimes negative feelings have a very protective undertone. Conversely, sometimes a feeling will be a reflection of a limiting belief that when subject to conscious reflection and the light of day, is rejected as being groundless.

• You can repeat this exercise as often as you like or when you have time and space.

• Over time the feeling and more importantly your fear of the feeling will dissipate.

• In time you may be able to see how the feeling served you or kept you safe.

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