Do You Feel Your Feelings With Your Kids?
Hi all. My posts are once a month at the moment instead of once a week because I am working hard on a new book and need to put my writing time towards that. I am enjoying it hugely but I’m actually missing you all! I will let you know more soon. Now heeeeeere’s this month’s article:
We are so good at avoiding our feelings. Feelings are not the same as emotions, you know? Emotions are the ways that our feelings express through us. Feelings are the deep experience inside us – in our heart and body. Emotions are more externally focused – they are expressing outwards. Feelings are an internal inwards experience. They invite a stillness and focus within. We avoid that.
It’s a pity because this is how we humans heal and connect with our heart and soul. The most amazing transformations and healing occur when you let yourself feel your feelings.
I have observed recently just how much I avoid this and how cleverly too. I try to trick myself. “I already know about that, I don’t need to experience it” I’ll tell myself. Or emotion such as anger or fear will sweep me conveniently away from my feelings and I will focus on whatever I think caused me my discomfort.
The thing is, while I have emotional intelligence and I am in touch with my emotions, I am less practiced at just sitting with my real inner feelings. It is quite a new thing for me to hold a loving non-judgemental space for whatever is there within me to just flower and fade as it needs to. I mean doing this without judging it and trying to change or ‘fix’ it.
I do this quite comfortably in my work spaces and I’m getting better at it when I’m on my own too. But at home with my family, I notice I still rely heavily on using emotional expression to distract me from what is happening inside me. So I get angry with my kids for not listening and for fighting, I get annoyed that I have to keep chasing after them tidying up, I feel victimised by not being appreciated… All of these emotions – anger, annoyance, fear – are things I focus on to avoid just connecting with my heart and seeing what feelings have been stirred. I make it not-about-me.
Sometimes I do this by making it all-about-me. “Oh poor me. Nobody listens to me. No one appreciates me.” These are the lamentations of someone who is trying not to see that they have big feelings inside.
I’ve decided I want to become more practiced in feeling my feelings. Nowhere else do my feelings get more triggered than with my family. This is easily confirmed by how much emotional expression happens for me when I’m with them. So this is where my most beneficial practice lies.
What does it look like to feel my feelings when I’m with my family?
Basically this means that whenever I am triggered and become angry or neurotic or controlling, my task is to:
- notice I am externalising through emotions,
- hold off on the emotional expressing
- and turn inwards lovingly to allow myself to really feel what has been stirred inside me
- accept myself and tell my feelings “You belong”
In other words, stop blaming other people and trying to control the outside world and just feel my feelings instead.
I look forward to the healing and transformation that will come from this practice.
How are you at feeling your feelings? I’d love to hear from you 🙂 As I said, I’m kind of missing you guys!