Emotions…you have them.

Has anyone ever come up to you and said any of the following statements:

“I’m sorry, can you please stop being so happy.”

“Excuse me, you being happy over (insert situation) is really bothersome”

“Seriously, stop being so damn happy”

“You should feel guilty for being so happy right now”

Sounds stupid but I’m serious when I ask if you’ve ever been told to stop being happy, to feel guilty over being happy or that your happiness is upsetting to other people. I hope that for most of us (if not all of us) we’ve never had anyone come up to us and tell us that being happy is never a good idea…

When we feel the emotions that make us feel good, we feel good (duh). We don’t feel guilty or shameful. We feel like everyone around us wants to be around us. That we aren’t a bother to others. That we have a purpose and a right to feel happy, excited, joyful, alive and down right pleased with all that is around us.

And yet, when we feel the opposite of these “positive” emotions we feel guilty. Guilty for being sad. Guilty for having a bad day. Guilty for feeling down or blue or quiet or unresponsive to the world around us. Guilty for feeling something that isn’t “positive”. We’re afraid to let our “negative” emotions show. Afraid that people will get angry with us. Afraid that people won’t understand or care. Afraid that those around us will become frustrated or impatient. Afraid that people will resent us for having negative feelings…

You know where my guilt got me?

It got me up to 270 pounds.

Morbidly obese

Depressed.

Dead.

I was afraid of my “negative” emotions. I felt like they were a burden on the people around me. I didn’t like to cry in front of other people because I felt my feelings weren’t important enough to share. I didn’t know how to tell someone that I was hurting. I felt guilty for not keeping my “negative” emotions in check. Even alone I didn’t want to experience an emotion that caused me pain. I didn’t want to cry alone, be sad alone, be remorseful alone…So food became my companion. Playing World of Warcraft became my companion. I used both of these things to block out emotions that I was too afraid to feel…

You know what happens when you don’t feel?

You become numb.

Emotions are neither positive or negative.

They are just emotions.

If you are not experiencing sadness: You are not experiencing joy. If you are not experiencing fear: you are not experiencing triumph. If you are not experiencing one emotion: You are not experiencing it’s opposite. Oh sure I used to think I was happy. I smiled when it was appropriate. I laughed when it felt right. I enjoyed certain events in my life but if I stepped back and look at the entirety of my life, I was not happy. You don’t find yourself a drug addict, morbidly obese, lacking determination, having no real purpose in life when you’re happy.

When I first started saying to myself “If I don’t experience one emotion I can’t truly experience any emotions” I was like a baby. I would go from one emotion to the next in a blink of an eye. It was new territory for me. Crying and not turning to food for comfort, being frustrated and not beating myself up for not being successful my first attempt at something, being mad and not feeling guilty were all new steps I had to learn on this Life Changing Journey. I stumbled. I felt like the world was going to come crashing down on me. I was experiencing an emotional overload at times but I learned something that changed my way of thinking and eventually changed my journey:

Happiness > Sadness

Happiness = Sadness

An emotion is an emotion is an emotion.

You get to feel them all. Experience them all. You don’t have the right anymore to let one emotion be more important than the other. You don’t have the right to feel guilty over the way you feel. FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL. When you truly allow yourself to feel sad; You will truly begin to understand what it feels like to be happy. Want to know what it feels like to truly feel triumphant? Allow yourself to be immersed in the fear that comes with what your doing. Want to really feel alive on this Life Changing Journey that your on? FEEL (everything).

Just like starting anything new, it’s awkward. It can feel frustrating. Old behaviors may surface. But just like starting something new, with practice it becomes a skill. Feeling emotions (all of them) is a skill that is so imperative on this journey that I would venture to say we will never be true weight loss success stories until we master the skill of feeling all of our emotions.

Somedays:

I am sad.

I am happy.

I am scared.

I am confident.

I am fearful.

I am triumphant.

I am confused.

I am irritated.

I am calm.

Somedays:

I cry.

I laugh.

I am quiet.

I am shy.

I am in your face.

I am remorseful.

I step carefully.

I run amok.

EVERYDAY:

I AM.

(you?)

3 comments to Emotions…you have them.

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