Book: Feel your feelings
Guidance: Immerse yourself in your feelings until you can feel them
Actually feeling your feelings is something that I learned when I was in Al-Anon as until that time I had ignored my feelings because it was too painful and scary to actually acknowledge what I was feeling. I also know that during my marriage everything was rage as I was so angry all the time. I didn't realize that I was actually feeling sadness, grief, fear, and a host of other emotions until I was out of the situation. It was when I started going to Al-Anon and hearing people talk about feeling their feelings that I realized that ignoring my feelings only meant that I was constantly feeling rage and anger because I was afraid of the "weaker" emotions like grief, sadness, and fear. In some ways, it was just easier to puff myself up with anger than to acknowledge that I was afraid my marriage would not last, that I was feeling shame over who I was, and that I was grieving the perfect life I thought I was going to have. Anger also allowed me to avoid responsibility for my life as I could say that everyone else made me angry without looking at what I was responsible for.
I remember sitting on the steps of the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee crying as I started to feel sadness, grief, and other emotions for what might have been the first time. They were still painful and uncomfortable, but actually feeling the real emotions instead of just anger let me process them and by acknowledging them, I was able to work through why I was feeling what I was feeling. That day was a big step in my healing and it helped me to understand what people meant when they said I needed to feel my feelings. This card reminds me that I need to feel what I'm feeling without being judgmental and beating myself up for whatever I'm feeling. It's okay to feel shame, it's okay to feel fear, and it is okay to feel grief. What I've found is that sitting with my feelings and really identifying them does help me to work through them. Writing them out or sharing them with honest statements that say "I feel..." are also very liberating.
Sitting with your feelings is incredibly hard, but when you learn to do it, it really does make your life better.
I'm grateful for the time spent working on school work
I'm grateful for the good meeting on Continuum
I'm grateful for the yummy leftovers
I'm grateful for the fresh watermelon
I'm grateful for the warm weather
I'm grateful for the good PMO meeting