I remember as a little girl being taught by pretty well every person I came into contact with, as well as the greater collective, that there was one positive emotion to strive for and that was to be happy. Of course, I wanted to feel happy and was happy a lot of the time, but I also felt a lot of every other emotion, you know, all the ones that the world was telling me were negative... Did that mean I was negative and bad? Was there really something wrong with me? Why couldn't I just feel happy? I didn't want to be bad and I didn't want to be different so I learned to push what I was feeling down and hide away everything other than happy - not very well I might add, but as best I could.
I didn't understand what I was feeling and I certainly had absolutely no clue what being an empath was. Not only was I feeling all of my own emotions, but also those of everyone I came into contact with! This lead to so much frustration, pain and loneliness for me. I used to get so angry with myself that I wasn't normal and I hated feeling so much of everything all of the time. It was downright exhausting.
I struggled with this confusion into my late 20's by which time all of the squashings of my "other" emotions, making myself wrong, anger and frustration resulted in a major depression. Quite literally, my emotions were so depressed and suppressed inside of me that I couldn't hold them anymore. As is often the case, reaching this crisis point meant I had to do something different and this is when a whole new world opened up for me. I started on a path of finally understanding and being able to acknowledge all of my emotions and I finally started to understand why I felt everything around me so very deeply.
I began to explore and understand the energies behind each of our emotions. Reading and listening to everything I could get my hands on. Ultimately realising that there are no negative or positive emotions, but rather negative and positive RESPONSES, REACTIONS and BEHAVIOURS to them.
Ten years on, and I have a far different relationship with myself and my emotions. Sure, I still experience a lot of discomfort at times with the intensity of them, however, I don't have that judgment anymore about them being good or bad. I have a deep understanding that each and everything I feel, no matter how uncomfortable at times, is valid and not only valid, it's actually what makes me human. I allow myself to feel angry, I understand that it's the energy behind it that enables me to find out what things mean to me, whether it works and to make changes. I allow myself to feel sad. I understand that sadness is a grieving process of some perceived loss I am experiencing and that it's actually okay. Anyway....you get the idea..
You know, understanding yourself, understanding how you feel and why makes all the difference in the relationship you have with not only yourself but those around you. Allowing yourself to feel how you actually do without the judgment of it being either a good or bad thing is something so very special. It not only allows you to just be as you are in your truth at that time but also opens your heart to make it okay for others to be and feel exactly as they do too. (Parents... this is the ultimate gift for your children!)
I think back to all of the confusion and pain I experienced in not understanding my emotions and on reflection, I wouldn't actually change any of it. That feeling part of me that I despised and hated so very much is actually the part that has allowed me to be able to hold a space for others and be able to do the sacred and grounded work I do. When I receive words like this from my a very dear client, "For the first time in my life, I was able to work with someone who could sit with me in my deep emotions without fear or judgment", quite simply, it just makes it all worth it...
And isn't it funny, sometimes our greatest gifts to this world are disguised and hidden in our own confusion and pain... we just have to have the courage to unravel it all to find them!
Until next time xxx