It's no secret that I'm a highly sensitive person. My emotions are strong and, at times, overwhelming. I go through a lot of tissues and need to replace salts lost through my tears regularly.
I've often wished that my emotions would pack up and leave. It's felt as though they're getting in my way or slowing me down. But my emotions are here to stay. Of that much I'm sure. And with that being the case, I had to find a way of being with them that would feel kinder, lighter and just a little bit less "mean girl."
If you're a highly sensitive person too and often find yourself living on an emotional roller coaster that sometimes feels as though it's getting in the way of your progress and your life, then I wrote these words for you:
If there is anger inside you, let the anger come.
Fighting it is pointless. It's already here. It's already the truth of this moment.
Your anger needs space. It needs time and attention. That's why it's come to the surface now.
So let it come. Let it expand. Let it have its time.
And then, sooner or later, it doesn't matter when, your anger will collapse. It will recede. It will die down.
And in its place you will see what is beneath the anger.
Beneath the anger you will see there is fear.
Fear is always behind and beneath your anger.
It is behind every "negative" emotion you've ever felt and will ever feel.
But that's ok.
So now let the fear come.
Acknowledge it. Greet it. Face it. Let the realisation that you are afraid melt into you.
You'll want to push that feeling away.
Be with the feeling. Be with the fear. Be ok with being a person who is afraid in this moment.
And sooner or later, it doesn't matter when, the fear will begin to ebb away.
And in its place something new will bubble to the surface. A trembling lip, perhaps. A shaking hand. Or a tear forming in the corner of your eye.
This is ok, too. The release is coming.
As the fear is acknowledged and accepted, the tears will come.
They may be gently trickling.
Or they might come in violent waves.
Your body may collapse inwards. You may clutch yourself for comfort and protection. Or even curl up in a tight little ball.
Let the tears come. Let them move through you. Let this emotion, raw and painful as it is, do what it is here to do. To have space and attention for a while.
And sooner or later, it doesn't matter when, you will find that the tears come to an end. No forcing. No fighting. Just a natural end.
And in their place you will feel something new yet again.
A quiet silence.
A gentle peace.
A knowing that everything is ok.
And now it's simply time to rest.
The emotion myth
Most of us hold a belief that some emotions are better than others. Happiness is good, anger is bad. Happiness is good, sadness is something to move away from as soon as possible.
For the longest time I lived with this belief. And when all my "negative" emotions would come, I would try my hardest to push them away.
Must not feel angry. Should not feel sad. Have to get back to happy.
This was the way I operated.
But the thing is, it wasn't working. The more I fought my negative emotions, the stronger they seemed to cling to me. And the more they clung, the more I fought. It became a cycle of me fighting and them clinging.
The problem is, what we resist persists. So the more you fight, the more you get an experience of the thing you want to disappear.
Instead, begin to let your emotions in. Begin to give them time and space. You won't always want to. It won't always be convenient for your life. But when you do, this is what you'll find:
Your emotions are a gift.
They are an intelligence.
They come knocking to let you know they need to be acknowledged and held for a while.
And when you hold each one of them in turn, in the order that they come to you, you will find that there is such a natural beginning and ending to each one. They don't want to stay forever. They just want to be experienced. And when they've been experienced they will happily give way to what's next.
When you allow your emotions to come to you in this way, you'll always find freedom.
Because a suppressed emotion will always block the natural flow of energy. And that blockage won't go away until you allow the emotion to come into existence and to be experienced.
Just know this:
- Your emotions are a beautiful part of your humanity.
- Being "emotional" doesn't make you weak.
- This too shall pass.
And at the end of the day, riding a roller coaster can actually be pretty fun. But only when we give ourselves up and over to the experience.
Love and courage,