Embracing All Your Emotions

In addiction recovery and in life one of the real sabotages of success is unrealized/unexpressed emotion. Emotions ignored or denied can lead to relapse, can cause the buildup of resentment, can cause eruptions of anger, can suppress the immune system, can cause a slow numbing of the whole life experience. Unexpressed emotions cause tension in the body and depression. So how come you and I tend to hold things in rather than acknowledge and express them.

One reason is that we feel others will reject us for the feeling the way we do. Needing approval too often equals suppression of feelings.

A second reason is that we aren’t aware of what we are feeling. Often our emotions are under our radar because we pay so little attention to what we feel.

A third reason is we live in our heads and are so in survival mode that we fear everything including what is going on inside. The rationalizing mind often leads us away from the heart.

A fourth reason is that no one every told us how to deal with how we feel. Parents, schools, churches instead teach us to deny what we are feeling. This denial is all about keeping us under control.

A fifth reason is the ego often wants us to be in denial of our emotions because the ego likes us being unaware and it in the drivers seat. Acknowledging how we feel makes us more real and less in need of feeding our ego.

The sixth reason is that our unexpressed emotions have become an enemy in our minds. The unknown is too often feared. Feelings are not to be feared but explored.

The seventh reason is that most of us constantly judge ourselves and how we feel. There is no objective observer just a harsh self-critic.

The eight reason is that we prefer to ignore what is uncomfortable, thinking that avoidance works. What we ignore often sneaks up on us in unhealthy ways.

There are more than eight reasons we avoid how we feel but these should get us thinking about why emotions tend to be something that most stay away from for most of their lives.

Let me suggest some healthier options than avoidance and denial:

• Each day take time acknowledge what you are feeling throughout your day
• Stop denying and instead admit to what you are feelings as a way to personal freedom
• Embrace your emotions as if they are a gift and appreciate yourself being alive
• Appreciate emotions as indicators as to how your life is going, if you feel lousy you are off track, and if you feel good you are on track
• Breathe with what you are feeling and observe the cycle of feelings rising and falling in you
• Feelings come and go on their own if you just let them, sometime all you need to do is take some long slow breaths
• Every acknowledged feeling is freed up to not inhabit your body in the form of tension
• Make a commitment to be ok with whatever you feel, emotions are neither good nor bad
• Each day be sure and share all the feelings of love, compassion, caring and kindness you feel
• Enjoy your life by feeling all you feel especially the joy of being alive to you as a feeling human being

Our emotions are what make us human so please just feel what you feel and be grateful to your open heart.