Expression of your feelings is not welcome so it's no wonder that being emotional becomes such a private and uncommon affair. Bottom line is, people don't like feelings that don't feel good. Funny that.
We're very adept at keeping our feelings hidden, so much so that when we do feel something unpleasant, we don't know what do – we run to the hills! We keep ourselves busy to 'keep our minds off things' because we fear what facing our feelings may do to us. We are expert at distracting ourselves from feeling shit.
But what if allowing ourselves to feel our shit, like really allowing it, is key to it being able to move on? The word emotion, derives from Latin 'emotere', meaning energy in motion. So when viewed from this perspective it makes sense for our feelings to be honoured and allowed so they can move, rather than pushed to the side of 'I'm in control here' and swept under the carpet of 'I can't deal with this'.
I remember when my son was little, he could be full of delight one minute, then in tears the next, so moved by his experience from moment to moment. The tears would pass as quickly as they came – after being allowed to have a good cry – he'd simply move on to the next experience. So open and pure and fully alive.
In suppressing and ignoring our unpleasant feelings are we denying our true natures? What if our sensitivity, our feelings, our 'being emotional' are key to living authentic soulful lives?
Not being emotional is part of being grown up but I think it actually doesn't help us grow at all. I'm not suggesting we return to our childlike ways and have tantrums in public when we don't get what we want. But I do think there's a lot to be said for being open to allowing your feelings, for not beating yourself up for having them – for treating them as an essential part of you.
I'm starting to notice and honour my non-feel-good feelings more and more (rather than ignore them and hope they'll go away) and I'm finding a greater sense of ease by doing so.
If you'd like to try it, next time you find yourself 'triggered' and snapping at the dog or significant other for something insignificant, take a moment to check in with yourself and see what's really going on – to enquire and acknowledge how you feel beneath your surface irritations. In giving yourself space to be honest with yourself and feel your feelings – to meet your own emotional needs – you'll feel more true. You may also not feel the need to bite anyone's head off and that's a bonus.
Give it try – I promise you'll be fine.