Joy Works Playlist Pick-Cranes in the Sky by Solange
Last week, I talked about dealing with disappointment and not living and parking in negative feelings. However, we do most definitely sit there for a moment. I wanted to talk about that a little more. How do you feel your emotions? I mean, how do you go through it? I think this is very important to know. When we are all up in our feelings we can display some really strong behaviors that can impact us in many ways but also people around us that have nothing to do what we are going through (innocent bystanders :).
What types of situations trigger strong emotions in you that lead to disappointment? I'll start. I would describe myself as a wholehearted person. I think that sounds better than, you wear your heart on your sleeve. I can become incredibly sad in a space where I feel like I've been rejected. That sadness can manifest through behaviors such as irritability toward folks that don't have anything to do with it or even physical symptoms like feeling foggy in the head or an upset stomach. In the past, I let these feelings linger and also reacted very much in a dysregulated manner. I've learned coping strategies that work for me such as taking walks and listening to an audiobook or music. I love music! Other strategies such as quiet meditation to hear and reason with my thoughts help me as well. In the past, my primary strategy was to work harder, earn more accolades, and basically let everyone know that this black girl is good. That didn't help and the downward spirals were continuous. How do you get all up in your feelings? How do you cope with your feelings?
Sharing my feelings sometimes helps, but it depends. You know we share with different types of people. We all have that one friend or family member who tells us exactly what we want to hear to soothe our feelings. With this person we are always right and they will cosign on the craziest excuses for our behavior. Then there is that person in your life that calls themselves "giving it to you straight up." They swear it's for your own benefit and that they know you'll be happy in the long run. Like me, you might have a therapist who overtime has learned some of your patterns of behavior and provides you tools and structures to work through your feelings along with some accountability. One thing my work in therapy has helped me to do is communicate my feelings to the person with whom I am having the emotional conflict- when I feel it is necessary. That is with an understanding that there is no expectation of how that person will respond. That part is haaaaaaaaaaaaaard! People will trigger feelings in us, but we can't rely on them to make us feel better. Nope that's on us.
At the end of the day you have the right and freedom to be all up in your feelings about something. Maybe people tell you that you need to toughen up, or maybe people have told you that you need to soften up. What do they really know? No one can tell you how to feel. We already carry our own shame for some of our feelings such as jealousy, inadequacy, anger and so on and so forth. As we grow in self-love, a lot of that shame begins to fade and we can focus on new and healthy ways of coping and be empowered through the process. There is not a roadmap because no one can read our minds and hearts to truly understand our feelings. They are ours to own without shame. The fact that you feel and feel deeply is healthy and the fact that you own it is even healthier.
Love, Dr. Joy