Updated: Sep 6, 2019
We all have feelings. We all experience feelings. We all go through feelings. We all feel things.
This is not a new concept or groundbreaking discovery by any means. Within the course of our daily lives, situations arise that bring about certain types of feelings. We feel something that is a direct reaction to an emotion that surfaced as a response to an external stimuli. To us, the individual, those feelings are real. If another person tells you that you shouldn’t feel this way, that you shouldn’t be feeling your own feelings, then what is that really saying about you? In my opinion, it’s telling you that the feelings that you’re experiencing, the feelings that you are feeling, are not valid. These feelings are not real.
How can somebody else tell you how to feel? Well, the short and simple answer to that question is: They can’t. Feelings are very personal and very unique to the individual, so no one can tell you how to feel or that how you are feeling is right or wrong. I’m not saying that someone else, a person on the outside, can’t offer their opinion or advice on how you’re feeling towards a certain situation. They have the right to do so, especially if they are a close friend, a spouse, a sibling, or any other close family member. But, they don’t have the right to tell you how to feel. They don’t have the right to tell you that the way you’re feeling isn’t the way you should be feeling about something that has happened in your life.
You see, that decision, that realization, is solely on the individual feeling those feelings. It’s a very personal experience, which makes this journey of self-discovery a very intimate process. It’s really about being consciously aware and mindful, not just of your own person journey of your feelings, but if you’re with someone else, their personal journey through their feelings. When it’s you feeling these feelings, try to really turn inward and see all the feelings that you’re having that are connected to the situation or event that just happened. Really try to understand if certain feelings are warranted or not.
Why were you frustrated? Did that situation warrant you to be frustrated or maybe more confused, shocked or in disbelief? Getting to the root of these issues is extremely important, which will result in us having the ability to recognize if what we are feeling is justified or not. We’ve been so conditioned to immediately associate a certain feeling as a response to a specific situation or type of incident. This doesn’t mean we are not allowed to feel those feelings, but rather, we are starting to rewire our brains so that we can correctly identify our feelings and make an informed decision as to whether they are reasonable or not. Eventually, new habits can be formed that will allow us to be so much more present and so much more in tune with our feelings.
Never let someone else tell you that you can’t feel a certain feeling. They may express their thoughts, concerns, or advice about how you responded to a situation, but that is a ‘them thing’ not a ‘you thing’. It’s ultimately up to you to decide and come to this personal conclusion about how you actually feel. And remember, there is no formula or concrete set of rules associated with this journey through your own feelings. Being able to grasp the correct emotional response might not happen in that exact moment, especially if more than one feeling has surfaced. But, have a strong conviction that you won’t act impulsively off feelings if you’re not completely confident as to why they came about.
Identify each feeling and try to comprehend if there’s an acceptable relationship with the situation, event, or person that was the main catalyst. Regardless of how many feelings you think you’re feeling, you’re allowed to feel all the feelings; you always have the right to do so. However, it is up to you, and only you, to figure out which feelings are warranted and the ones that do not serve you. The more you engage in this type of self-reflection, the easier it will be to recognize how you truly feel. You will be able to trust your feelings, no matter what anyone else tries to tell you.