Honoring Emotions

Yay! I’m getting back into productive mode again, I’m so happy 🙂 I’m ahead of the game tonight, everything is done in my routine except for this blogging. Maybe we’ll get to watch a movie tonight! The last movie we watched was Master Z: Ip Man Legacy, it was a fun movie.

Tonight I drew Yoda and that was fun too. I got an earlier start on everything today and I aim to continue that pattern. I even prepped my veggies for the week and made my pot of brown rice for the week too. I read and listened to books and ate supper on the balcony. I also had a long hot epsom salt bath with tea and books. May do an extra PT exercise after I finish this.

Here’s the video I did earlier today.

A friend came up with this idea and we’ve been sharing works of art that we find online that capture our current mood. It’s comforting, validating, and therapeutic. So many times it’s difficult to express in words exactly what we’re feeling but art can encapsulate layers of meaning and emotions. It’s also so fascinating and satisfying to search for and find artwork that lines up with what we’re feeling. It helps us process and release our emotions in a healthy way.

In my experience, I’ve been in relationship with people who feel entitled to express their emotions freely but when I’ve attempted to display mine I’ve been reprimanded or ignored and invalidated. People have told me, you shouldn’t feel that way, that’s not how you really feel, or they’ve ignored me and even worse they told me I was wrong to feel that way and labeled it as a negative behavior and punished me.

Any sad, angry, or negative emotions or criticisms or attempts to get accountability from others were shut down and it was taught that it was inappropriate and that showing such emotions was a weakness or was offensive to others. Then when I eventually became emotionless as a result of this shaming and denial of freedom to express myself, I was told something was wrong with me, that I must be like my mother who had schizoaffective disorder. They also labeled having emotions that they disdained as a gender weakness like I was a hysterical female for having emotions other than what they deemed appropriate.

It was about power and control.

It’s more convenient for us to be seen and not heard. We’re only supposed to express positive emotions so as not to disturb those who have power over us, like some parents and those who want to maintain power over us and dominate us like emotionally immature relationship partners or abusive, authoritarian, Machiavellian, sociopathic, manipulative people.

I believe all of us are subjected to this shutting down of and denial of emotions. Being emotional is stigmatized so as a result we become disconnected from what we’re really feeling and attempt to perform as we’ve been trained to. Except, the emotions are still there beneath the surface and they often erupt and we can’t figure out why we’re upset because we have continuously denied how we really feel. We’ve denied our truth in order to appease others. We’ve swallowed our protests and poured ourselves into the mold and roles that have been thrust upon us through the socialization we’ve conformed to. And where does that lead? Well. for me, it led to misery.

It took me years to figure it all out and finally regain my truth and be able to integrate my emotions with my cognition until I found the real me. Only then could I maintain healthy boundaries and stand up for me and do what was right for me.

Why was I miserable? I was denying my emotions and my truth in order to conform to what was expected of me. Except that was sacrificing my well-being and happiness, I was being abused and taken advantage of and being manipulated. I didn’t have good boundaries because I was taught to be codependent all of my life. To put others first and to walk on eggshells and pretzel myself to meet approval and avoid drama and abuse. I thought it was all my problem, my fault, that I just couldn’t get it right when in fact it was not all me, it was being in a dysfunctional, unhealthy environment with immature people that was causing most of the difficulties.

Our emotions are there to guide us, they signal to us when something’s healthy for us or not. When we listen to them, investigate and figure out what they’re telling us, they are supremely helpful to us. Sometimes they can seem scary, but as long as we know how to navigate them, honor them and use them in a beneficial manner as they were meant to be, we’re okay.

This takes self-reflection and an ability to go within and act from an internal locus of control where we are the masters of how we respond. We can pause and reflect on our emotions before reacting. It takes maturity and self-awareness to utilize our emotions wisely. As adults, we have this capacity, but for some, it will take a wake-up call to cause them to reflect on how they are handling themselves and to take inventory of their emotions/behaviors and how that contributes to the quality of their lives.

I needed multiple wake-up calls 🙂 Yay me, lol. And I’m still learning! So it’s more than okay to have all the feels, it’s what keeps us compassionate, humane, and loving. Just be sure to include yourself in that compassion, to do what’s also loving of you. Get to know your boundaries and deal breakers by tuning into your true feelings and investigate, asking is this something I feel like I should do, am I conforming to please, do I feel obligated, or guilty? Is it valid to feel this way or is it because I think I should do this because I don’t want to rock the boat or let someone else down.

Is this what I really want too, or am I just meeting other’s expectations because I don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings? But what about me and my feelings? What do I really want? What would bring me happiness, peace, and relief? Am I being revered, supported, validated, and loved as well? Pay particular attention to feelings of resentment. These will lead you to areas where your boundaries are possibly being violated, or maybe expectations need to be adjusted? Areas of resentment need to be addressed in order to attain a measure of peace.

Take inventory of everyone and everything in your life and Marie Kondo that shit, lol. If it doesn’t spark joy, then why is it still in your life? If that’s too extreme then at least be judicious about how much drag and drama you tolerate in your life. Carefully consider what’s worth holding onto and what would be wise to let go of. Only you and your logical heart know what’s best for you.

Michelle Miyagi
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