I’ve written posts about feelings here previously. in particular I have found the emotional wheel very useful in identifying what I am actually feeling, and also the concept that all we have to do with our feelings is feel them.
I found this article today, entitled ‘Emotions 101’ and it is an excellent reminder of all I have learnt in sobriety about respecting and living with our feelings. here are some of my favourite parts of the article:
‘In the same way that there are primary colors and secondary colors, human beings have four primary emotions and many secondary ones. The four primary emotions are: sadness, anger, fear and happiness (with an array of variations on each, for example, irritation and rage are lesser and greater degrees of anger).
Our natural state is to be present and at peace. Then when a feeling arises, if we are healthy and not lost in depression, obsession or addiction, we experience and express that feeling and then return to peace and presence. Just look at children. They are in the present moment. When a feeling is triggered they may need to cry or have a tantrum. If their feelings are welcomed, acknowledged and validated, and they are done fully expressing their emotions, they move back to being present again.
We basically have three options once we identify that we are having a feeling:
- We can implode (i.e., stuff it down, avoid it or pretend it’s not there).
- We can explode (i.e., blast it out disrespectfully or destructively).
- We can express it safely and appropriately.
Too often, we tell ourselves that we shouldn’t have our feelings or that we shouldn’t bother anyone with them. We judge ourselves as weak. We tell ourselves we can’t talk about it or that we don’t know how. So many of us then end up using substances or obsessing on something or going into a dark place of depression in attempt to distract and numb ourselves from the feeling or in an attempt to get some comfort for it.
The next time you experience a wave of emotion, see if you can tell yourself that it will pass. Try saying something soothing, nurturing and comforting to yourself and/or doing something soothing (and non-harmful) for yourself. This could be talking with someone you feel safe with, journaling, drawing or creating some art to express how you feel. The key here is to find the emotion inside of you and see how it would want to come out (safely).
The more compassionate and kind you are toward yourself when you are having feelings, the sooner and more successfully those feelings will move through you.’
I particularly like the concept that our natural state is to be present and at peace… may all your paths be ones of peace….Prim xx