Feel Your Feelings

This post is a glorified love letter to Paige Pritchard and her blog “The Purposeful Penny”, and includes continued thoughts on one of her recent Money Monday videos. This also could be considered a love letter to my own life coach. Or Brené Brown. 😂

When a strong emotion comes, it hits us each differently. It may blindside you and feel like it came out of nowhere. It may bubble up slowly and pour out in a flood of tears. Or it may rise up like flames in your chest, heavy and heated. Have you ever thought about how you feel strong emotions?

It took me quite some time to even want to learn about my own emotions. I’m an Enneagram 3, and while I don’t feel personality tests are an encapsulation of who someone is, identifying this was part of my emotional understanding journey. I learned that I often avoid emotions like the plague in order to reach some specific “successful” outcome. Who wants pesky emotion getting in the way? And I’m deceptively good at putting forward the parts of myself that might seem the most interesting or attractive to distract from the things about me that I don’t always like.

As you can probably assume, this isn’t a very healthy way to manage emotion. In college, with the help of friends, family and a life coach, I started to unpack these ways of stifling emotion. When I began diving into my emotional recognition journey, I realized that when I got to the bottom the “whys” of my feelings, my fears were often rooted in appearing “weak” or “not worthy enough”. Which was incredibly hard to even say out loud.

Through opening myself up, I began on the path of understanding my emotions. I was able to start becoming truly empathetic towards others as well; I learned you cannot feel with others if you cannot feel for yourself. For me, I have to practice and be intentional about all of this each and every day. Without a doubt, it’s a lifelong journey.

Now that you have a background as to my own experience with emotional health, you’ll be able to see why Paige Pritchard’s recent Money Monday video struck a chord with me. Because even though I started becoming more tuned in with my emotional health years ago now, her video was still a timely wakeup call.

The main message? Feel your feelings.

I love how she prefaced it in her email newsletter, describing the idea as “the ONE skill that will expand your life”. She referenced that, for her, it’s helped improve her health, her relationships, and even her finances! I know it might not seem like emotions are really connected with those things (even though they are!) but let’s be real, who doesn’t want all that?

Maybe you are one of those people that just GETS emotional health. If you’re more like me though, these ideas might be a timely wakeup call for you, too.


My takeaways from Paige’s lesson:

  • We often think the goal of life is to be happy, when really God designed us to be human.
    • We’re meant to experience the contrast between good and bad in our lives. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about this… “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heavens”.
  • Give yourself permission to feel negative emotion, sit in it, and process it.
    • “It’s okay that I feel _________ right now.”
    • There is no negative emotion you cannot process.
      • This one is hard for me to remember in the moment, but it’s true. We can do hard things.
  • Call your emotion out!
    • Tap into your body and ask yourself, how does this emotion feel? Where do you feel it? Is it hot or cold?
      • Not sure about you guys, but for me, my emotions almost always run HOT! 😂
    • Sit with it, breathe in and breathe out.
    • End with saying “this is my time to feel ________”.

So often we just want to quick fix our emotions. Eat a brownie, buy something new, make ourselves a drink. And each of these actions are good and enjoyable in their own ways. But you can’t simply remove your emotion from the scene if you numb it. It will always come back.

I believe this is why truly feeling your feelings can lead to improving wellness in all areas of your life! Because it gives you the opportunity to identify the real reason why you’re doing something. And allows for the things you actually do to be done more proactively instead of reactively.

My husband Jarod will tell you that if I’m feeling a strong emotion, I often turn to him and exclaim “I just need to be sad right now!”, or fill in the blank of whatever the feeling may be. Feeling the lowest of the lows makes the highest of the highs even richer. Even if it’s not always easy or fun, I really do believe God created our hearts to operate like this.

For me, feeling my feelings can sometimes seem like setting sea on choppy waters. It’s scary to actually name and claim what’s bouncing around in my heart. It’s almost never pretty. But when we do this and even go so far as to share this emotional vulnerability with others we trust, we allow ourselves to be truly known and loved, as God created us to be.

Love always,

KW

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