I used to be clueless when it came to my feelings. All I knew was that I had them, they were all over the place, and I wanted them to just go away.
The moment I turned 30, I had a quarter-life crisis and was faced to deal with 30 years of built up feelings — aka my pile of shit.
Holy crap the last three-and-a-half years have been overwhelming, exhausting, and amazing all at the same time. I have finally dealt with my pile of shit that I’ve been carrying around my whole life. It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it. I am now living an authentic life on my own terms. I am capable of giving endless love to not only myself, but to the people I choose to love. MY LIFE IS SO MEEPY, GUYS!
But before I go on, please know that my life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns now that I’ve dealt with my shit pile. I make mistakes. I still have anxiety at times. I let people down. I have sads. I GET BATSHIT CRAZY WHEN I AM BEHIND SOMEONE DRIVING 40 MILES-PER-HOUR IN THE PASSING LANE ON THE HIGHWAY.
But compared to my 30-year-old self, I now have the tools and the practice to be okay when things are not okay.
“Okay, Neen. I have my own pile of shit. What do I do about it?”
Well, there are many ways you can go about it, but based on my experience, the most direct and effective way for me was to feel my feelings.
I really had no clue how to feel my feelings until I picked up one of Brené Brown’s books. She’s like a vulnerability wizard, you guys. She also admittedly hates being vulnerable, just like the rest of us. But she knows from her 10+ years of research that being vulnerable is the only way to live a wholehearted life.
I wanted a wholehearted life so I trusted the wizard. It worked out for me.
Now let me try to break it down for you… being vulnerable is a lot like exercising. You know it’s good for you, you know you’ll feel better once you do, but getting started is hard. And making it a consistent practice seems even harder. It hurts when you’re doing it. You get that stupid side stitch every single frickin’ time. And you just don’t wanna! But you know that exercising makes you a better you… so you do it.
Vulnerability is the same way. You know it’s good for you, you know it makes you a better you, but it sucks. It really sucks. It’s easy in theory and hard in practice. The only way it gets easier is when you do it on a consistent basis. And who the heck would willingly do hard things?
You would willingly do hard things when you know that it will get you to the meepy things.
How to Feel Your Feelings
In her book, “Rising Strong,” Brené breaks down how to feel your feelings into 4 simple steps:
- Give yourself permission to feel emotion.
- Get curious about it.
- Pay attention to it.
- Practice, practice, practice.
That’s it, guys. So simple and so hard at the same time… I know.
But choosing to feel my feelings has helped me learn so much about myself — my dreams, my truths, and the way I want to show up in this world. I’m hopeful it may help you learn more about yourself, too.
At the end of the day, we all just want a wholehearted life.
If you’re still not sure how to go about feeling your feelings, listen to this story from Louis C.K. He knows where it’s at. (Keep listening through the god-awful Springsteen singing… it’s worth it)
“Because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away… You never feel completely sad or completely happy. You just feel kind of satisfied with your products. And then you die.”
—Louis C.K., on feeling your feelings