I want to talk about emotions. They’re something I have struggled with adequately expressing my entire life, and I know a lot of people do, too.
The word emotion is literally broken down to emote motion. Emotions are energy, and that energy is wanting us to do something so it can be felt and moved out of the body.
Think about that for a moment.
Are you really doing something about your emotions to feel them and move them out of your body correctly? Or, are you noticing a spark of anger or sadness and shoving it down? Are you pretending to be fine when you’re really not?
When we continuously bottle up our emotions or get so good at pretending we don’t even have any (I was and still can be apart of this party), our emotions start to build up. The energy is stored in our body. And you know what happens next? That next surge of anger isn’t only about the thing you’re angry at in that moment. It’s compounded on top of what you were previously angry about. Then, it happens again… and the surge of anger energy is about the two previous anger episodes as well. And again… and again…. And then we’re 50 years old and real fucking angry.
When we don’t deal with our emotions and allow that energy to be felt, processed and released, it’s waiting, just under the surface. I can see this cycle in my life so plainly now. Growing up, I adopted the response “it’s fine” when it wasn’t. I hated vulnerable conversations and avoided talking about or dealing with how I honestly felt. Yet, when we’d watch a sad movie or even commercial, I was a mess. The emotions were just waiting under the surface and took whatever opportunity they could to be expressed.
For me, it was so extreme that I hit a tipping point. I had bottled up my emotions for so long that an ordinary experience put me over the edge. My years of ignoring my emotions lead the energy of those emotions to become too much. Strong emotions were so foreign to me, I didn’t know what to do. So, I hurt myself. Physically, but in the long term, mentally. I also left the entire experience unaddressed, and it wasn’t until 9 years later that I finally dealt with it.
But, what would have happened if I addressed the emotion the first time it came up? Then the next emotion? Then made a regular habit out of actually taking the TIME to feel how I felt?
We walk around like these emotions are the enemy to our wellbeing. But, in this scenario, we are. Convincing ourselves that emotions are unnatural and to be avoided in the first place is where the harm to our wellbeing is done. Because emotions, when they’re not compounded over the years aren’t all that scary. But, a blow up in McDonald’s over being unable to get ketchup out of the ketchup dispenser thing is scary when the anger is fueled by decades of avoidance.
When we started avoiding our feelings, it’s because we didn’t want to be temporarily inconvenienced. Vulnerability isn’t natural for us. In our caveman mind, emotional vulnerability and physically vulnerable are the same. Andddd vulnerability, of any kind, often resulted in death. Death isn’t fun. I think we can all agree.
But, as we continued to avoid, our emotions were left unchecked and created their own stories. They became something. And that unchecked something is what’s scared.
After the flight experience that radically changed my personal life and what I share through my platforms, I had two decades worth of emotion avoidance and stories to work through. It was painful. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t how people often portray self-help. While there were some baths with flower petals involved, there were a lot of sleepless nights and time spent crying in a corner. My fear, anxiety, need for control and a billion other emotions had their own stories and lives within my experiences. And I had to tackle that and work through it.
How did I do that? Well, journaling and a whole lot of diving through those experiences (hence the name and the method DiveThru is based upon). I talked with my psychologist and made an effort to create space for these experiences and emotions to be felt, processed and released. I acknowledged that emotions are apart of the human experience and there is nothing wrong with being emotional.
This process had me confront the darkest parts of myself. I sat with the emotions that lead me to hurt myself and want to end it all. I sat with the emotions that lead me to believe I was never enough or that my presence wasn’t needed.
I sat with it all. And it was the fucking worst.
But, guess what I have started to notice?
When I’m angry, I go to sit with that anger. I go to ask it what it’s about and try to see the bigger picture. But, my anger is just about what I’m angry about at that moment. There’s no deeper story or sum of all of my years of avoiding it.
Anger is just anger now.
And woah, that is fucking life changing.
I want you to create the time to dive through what you’re going through. I want you to create the space to give your emotion what it wants, a way to move through your body. I want you to face the stories that you have created around fear and address them firmly while being soft on yourself. Apart of this journey is acknowledging when the emotions are too much and reaching out for that help when you need it. I wish that’s what my 13-year-old self did. And while I can’t go back in time, I can say this…. Regardless of what experiences you face, emotions you feel, or the stories you create for yourself, you are love. While you are loved, I mean with every part of me that you ARE love. You are love itself. You are what makes the world go around, and diving through your emotions is a way you can come BACK to that love.
What emotions are asking for your awareness now?
(This article was inspired by an emotional experience my family and I are facing right now. I’ll be talking about it further on my weekly newsletter. Which you can sign up for by clicking here.)