Why do we struggle so with our feelings? Why do we work so hard to deny our emotions, especially concerning other people? They are only feelings!
In the course of a day, we may deny we feel frustrated in reaction to someone who is selling us a service.
We may deny that we feel frustrated, angry, or hurt in reaction to a friend.
We may deny feelings of fear, or anger, toward our children.
We may deny a whole range of feelings toward our spouse or the person with whom we’re in a love relationship.
We may deny feelings provoked by people we work for, or by people who work for us.
Sometimes the feelings are a direct reaction to others. Sometimes people trigger something deeper – an old sadness or frustration.
Regardless of the source of our feelings, they are still our feelings. We own them. And acceptance is often all that is necessary to make them go away.
We don’t have to let our feelings control our behavior. We don’t have to act on each feeling that passes through us. We do not need to indulge in inappropriate behavior.
It does help to talk about our feelings with someone we trust. Sometimes we need to bring our feelings to the person who is triggering them. That can breed intimacy and closeness. But the most important person we need to tell is ourselves. If we allow our feelings to pass through us, accept them, and release them, we shall know what to do next.
Today, I will remember that feelings are an important part of my life. I will be open to my feelings in family life, in friendships, in love, and at work. I will feel my feelings without judging myself.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990,
The Language of Letting Go