Feelings Are Feelings: On Feeling Things

I’ve never been a touchy-feely person.

I have never been one to give hugs, to cry in front of friends, or to even cry in a room by myself, for that matter. I have never been the one to say “I love you,” whether that is to friends, family, or significant others.

But when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder several years ago, everything changed.

All of a sudden, I was faced by an onslaught of emotions. Emotions toward my disorder. Emotions toward my Heavenly Father. Emotions toward myself and to others.

It seems like all I do these days is feel.

When I started going to therapy nearly four years ago, my sweet therapist Chelsey challenged me to “sit in your feelings.” When I first heard this, I am pretty sure I laughed–audibly and loud. “What does that even mean?!”

Soon after I learned what “sitting in feelings” meant.

It means allowing myself to feel and to dig deep into whatever I am feeling at that moment. It means accepting the seemingly “bad” feelings like sadness and anger and dwelling in them, even when I don’t want to. I only realized that these “bad” feelings are not bad at all, but only feelings themselves.

It’s not a bad thing to feel.

I used to perceive that showing feelings made me look weak. I thought I could not cry in movies or with my friends because others would think less of me, they would think I was too sensitive or feminine.

But these days, I realize that feelings are feelings are feelings. And we all face our feelings each and every day, whether we acknowledge them or not. Sometimes we sit in them. Sometimes we ignore them. Sometimes we face them head on. But we all have them, that is just how we are built, and that is okay!!

Here is my challenge to you:

I dare you to sit in your feelings at least one time this week. Whether you feel sadness or anger or absolute joy, I dare you to dwell in what you are feeling and allow yourself to feel that emotion. I dare you to be thankful for whatever feeling it is.

Because you are built to feel things. You are made to feel elated and down and worried and excited and sad and every emotion in between. Feelings are just feelings, and we are wired to feel things, and that is a beautiful thing.

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