“I can’t help the way I feel!” Remember saying that to yourself? Remember then apologizing in your mind for feeling the way you were feeling? But did it make you feel any better? Probably not, because you were judging, you were being critical. Being judged and criticized is painful, and even more harmful when it comes from yourself.
Feel your feelings, acknowledge them and accept them without judgement or guilt. They are feelings and feelings are natural. Accepting them allows you to take a look at why you feel that way. No one has a right to make you feel badly about yourself and that most importantly includes you. While feelings are what they are for that moment, they can and do change as you come closer to realizing the real truth behind them. Insecurities about yourself accept when the feelings are negative, but you have the power to change both the feelings and the insecurities. Feelings are real, but they are often not the truth, whether they come from within or from someone else.
While feelings are not necessarily good or bad, actions guided by them can be. Feelings may direct you to do harm, as a reaction of that self criticism mentioned before. Often those feelings leave you feeling “I had no other choice”. To act in a way that is harmful or hurtful to yourself or others, is making a choice- a choice to cause physical or emotional pain. Feelings have a direct impact on your life, so analyzing and redirecting them to make your life better is healthy and helpful.
So, how do you feel at this moment? Just feel a current emotion, but not any actions you may associate with it. Again remember, feeling and acting on the feeling are very different. “I feel like punching something” or “I feel like hurting myself” is not the feeling. Why do you want to do that? Keep asking until you get to the feeling that is causing this want for action. Take a deep breathe and answer the question to yourself. Even though “I feel sad is a feeling, keep asking why to uncover other related feelings. Remember, you may be “talking” to your biggest critic. If you “hear” in your thoughts, that there is something wrong with that feeling, dismiss it. You don’t need to take abuse from yourself. Repeat after me, “It is how I feel and for now I accept the feeling.” Once you hear your feelings without criticism, you can begin to accept them without criticism. Continue reading