I wish there was some kind of handbook with a list of every single shade and subtlety of emotions and feelings and what specific need every single one of them is connected to. But there isn’t one. There are general categories – anger, fear, sadness and joy – but beyond that it’s different for everyone.
The only way we can know is by listening to what our body tells us. It’s no use crying if you’re angry and it’s no use beating a pillow if you’re sad or scared, but nobody can tell us what’s the right way to react and what our feelings mean, because we are the only authority on that.
Some people like to try, but they can’t really know. In any case, they should be busy trying to figure out their own! Even therapists, if they’re any good, don’t dictate to their patients and tell them what to do; they help their patients discover it for themselves.
Entitlement and Self Esteem
The thing is, learning how to listen to emotions and feelings and express them safely opens the door to being able to identify whatever else we need. And that’s all about entitlement and self esteem and being real. We’ve all learned in childhood to numb our needs out in some way or another, repress emotions and be silent.
We all have to unlearn it. It can be challenging but it’s worth it. Expressing, speaking out, meeting needs are primal functions. They’re very satisfying in many ways, some of them profound, some of them purely physical, all of them important.
In any case, haven’t we all had enough of depression, and denying ourselves? Expressing our emotions safely and meeting our needs effectively, speaking out, contributes to peace, harmony, balance and quality connection. Plus it opens the door to experiencing real, unconditional love of the best kind as well as joy, pleasure, and the satisfaction of giving wings to our creativity. It lets us begin to open hearts and live life to the fullest.
We can’t have any of that while we deny and repress our feelings, refuse to take our own needs seriously and remain mute. What on earth are we doing it for? It doesn’t achieve anything. It’s completely counter-intuitive, destructive and painful. And the easy solution is right under our noses.
Isn’t it strange how we’ve all grown up with rules about what makes us a good person, but most of them require us to be as unnatural as humanly possible. How can that be good, to not be real? Weirdly, we revere children for how natural and organic they are in their responses to life – until we force them to be repressed. This double standard, but it makes no sense at all.
As adults we all look up to people who have reconnected with their inner child, unrepressed themselves and found their voice. We can’t get enough of people who know how to be real. Somehow we don’t seem to realize we can be like that too. But we can.
The part of us that’s natural, that feels, that instinctively wants to express and get its needs met, the part that craves to be real, is alive in all of us. We haven’t got any control over that, fortunately. So we might as well at least give it a try. Start listening to our emotions and feelings, acknowledging the truth of them.
Love and Respect
One of the ways we give other people love and respect is by letting them be real about their emotions and their thoughts. So lets start doing it for ourselves. Even if it’s in a small way at first. Small is good, one step at a time. We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. When you’re not afraid to be real in relationships, your life is your own.
To buy my ebook And What About Me? Am I Into Him? on how to get real love and respect and be real in relationships, click the title.