Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let me be scared...

Last Thursday the sky bolted in an amazing display of thunder and lightning. It was beautiful. This is my second favorite type of weather for anything. Meanwhile, dogs, cats and children were jumping out of their skins and hiding under beds. My son, who generally is not afraid of anything, was afraid. I was in my office downstairs when a clap of thunder roared so loudly that I could feel the vibrations in my chest. I went to my son's room to check on him. I asked him if he was ok. Yeah, he said. You know, it´s ok to be scared, but you don´t have to be, I said. Mom, he replied, let me be scared...let me be happy, let me be sad, let me be mad. Let me feel what I feel so that I can understand.


It´s amazing what wisdom there is in my son´s words. Let us feel to understand. Being angry, sad, frustrated, jealous, glum and afraid is not fun. Yet there is an important effect to feeling these emotions: empathy for self and others. Feeling our feelings through allows us to understand ourselves better and to have compassion for others. It allows us to be forgiving of ourselves, to know the areas of our personality we can improve on, to have a clue to what changes we should make, to know what triggers our worst character traits and what hinders our best self. Feeling our feelings through moves us from judgment to compassion, from the status-quo to change, from stagnation to right action. 

Whatever the emotion is that you are feeling this moment, let it swell up. This does not mean that you act out of that emotion. Just recognize it, feel it and ask yourself what it is trying to tell you. Jealousy of a colleague's accomplishments could mean that it is time for you to work on your discipline and habits to reach your own goals. If you are feeling angry, then maybe you need to meditate or find another outlet to pent up energy. If you are feeling frustrated, could it be that you are pleasing everyone or your idea of what everyone wants you to do? What is your emotion trying to tell you?

Feeling our feelings helps us relate to others and be less judgmental. It helps us understand why people react in certain ways. It helps us expand and develop ourselves. It helps us be better friends, coworkers, spouses, family members, neighbors, lovers and Selves.

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