I’ve spent a good portion of my life ignoring and stuffing my emotions. Now, if you had asked me if this was true even a year ago, I would have said, “No.” I thought I was aware of my emotions and dealt with them. So, when a person I knew said I was angry, I thought she was nuts. I wasn’t angry. I was happy and looking for the positive in my life. She kept insisting I was angry and I finally let her go from my life because, as far as I could tell, I was only angry about her insisting I was angry.
Years later, last year in fact, I finally realized she was correct. Why was I angry? It was years of stuffing my feelings and not having any boundaries. I would guess there are many people who do those two things. It becomes a habit and we get to the point where we don’t even realize we are doing it. I’ve gotten so good at it that I find myself smiling as I’m doing it.
Even though I’ve realized I have stuffed emotions and I’m learning to set boundaries in my life, my initial habit is to stuff my feelings any time they are ruffled. Thankfully, I’m realizing this and I am building a new habit of acknowledging how I feel and letting it out to the best of my ability. I’m not good with yelling/screaming to release my anger. I’m not talking about yelling at people who have triggered me but yelling in a safe space to release the feeling. I find my throat hurts when I yell or scream. So, I tend to use other measures like growling or stomping my feet. I can’t throw things because it ticks me off worse to have to pick up whatever I’ve thrown.
New habits take time. I’m learning and I’m growing. My recognition of what is happening within me is becoming quicker. I know the deeper message is to uncover what need I have which needs to be met; something I need to give to myself. I’m getting pretty good at being kind to myself and doing things I love to do. I still have guilt around taking care of me but I’m pushing forward and I’m feeling less guilty about treating myself well.
I’ve also become aware of the need to let go of my interpretation of what is happening around me. I, and so many people I know, spend a lot of time having conversations with people who aren’t present. We’re trying to figure out why they do what they do, what they meant by something they said/did, what all the possible scenarios are for everything that takes place around us. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to live with a peaceful mind. I want to let other people do whatever they need to do for themselves and I don’t want to give it a thought. I want to observe/hear what is happening and attach no meaning to it. I’m just beginning to build the habit of attaching no meaning to what I observe. I find it’s challenging because, once I made the decision, my mind quickly became active with bringing up all sorts of past experiences where it had been important for me to attach meaning to the situation. Yes, it was important to me at that time. It is no longer important to me. My mind is having a hard time wrapping itself around the concept of observing without attaching. I wonder, is there anyone out there who has been able to observe without attaching to the observation? How long did it take you to learn to do that?