At a conference in Charlotte, NC, I once heard a chiropractor share this idea: If you had the car of your dreams, one you really, truly loved... and the check engine light went off... would you get out a can of spray paint and paint over the light?
Hopefully you answered, "No!" You would proceed to get the car checked.
Likewise your emotions are a 'Check Engine' light. Distressing emotions, especially, are the warning system telling you something needs checked. Just like the 'Check Engine' light is your car's friend and a form of radar, so are your emotions the 'Check Engine' light for your life. They are your radar, your own personal warning system and guidance. You emotions are opportunities (and often old wounds) waiting to be healed.
From the time you were in the womb, you experience the world. Hopefully it's a good experience, but in all liklihood there were some bumps. You experience hurts, trauma, difficulties, and you also internalize that... meaning you create stories about what you experience. Even if you are not consciously aware of stories you create, you are making them up by the way you interpret your experiences.
"I am not loved," "My opinion doesn't matter," "No one cares about me" ~ the list of thoughts is endless. And these thoughts, based on your perceived experiences, bring certain feelings and emotional states. They are also the key to your healing process. Because whatever you are feeling, and whatever emotions are coming up, are the entry point to change.
For much of my life, I viewed depression, melancholy and anxiety as my enemies. I ran away from them and wanted to avoid these emotional states. I still can feel uncomfortable when I feel them coming in like a storm front. Instead of running from negative feelings or hanging on to them, you can observe and use them as a barometer for change.
Being a fully emotional person is being a real person fully experiencing life. My own experiences with "negative" feelings and emotional patterns have been profound opportunities to practice self-compassion, self-awareness and self-determination!!
Tuning into your feelings and observing them... then, putting focus and effort into transforming your thoughts and therefore your feelings into better feeling ones... is the stuff of magic and it's super empowering. It's being your own superhero!!
I have also learned that to be fully me is to be fully emotional and that's okay. If I try to cut off my negative emotions, then I risk cutting off my positive ones as well. Instead, I can observe them all - and I can observe the thoughts and actions that lead to hanging out in happier feeling places in my mind.
There's a place for sadness, jealousy, anger, resentment. We are not meant to be zombies! But, it is a lot more enjoyable to not linger in bummer-feeling places indefinitely. You can learn what you need to and then move on ~ always practicing meeting yourself where you are, self-compassion and radical self-care.
"I am fully emotional" is such a powerful, self-loving stance. It's a gift we give ourselves. It's our own unique transformational journey.
May your feelings and emotions become your friend. May you see your feelings and emotions as your personal and unique "Check Engine" light. May you continue to learn coping skills, and reframing, and self-care so you can fully embrace the amazing, loving being you are!!
Photo: Check out Wanda's coloring book and the "I am..." affirmations! They are fun to color and meditate on :)
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