Updated: Mar 24, 2020
We have been taught our whole lives not to feel. Both by society or family. The second we show an emotion, especially one of anger or sadness, a parent runs over to "fix" us. "Oh honey, its okay. Don't cry." or "Don't behave like that. Good little boys and girls don't get angry in public." We have been taught not to express. As we get older, images from media on how to numb our pain, despair, boredom, etc. are thrown in our faces. "Need a break today, drink this tequila." "Feel ugly today, join this diet plan or buy this makeup." "Sad today, take this prescription drug."
When I was listening to Gabrielle Bernstein and Glennon Doyle this morning, two women I highly recommend following and I view as mentors, Glennon said something that really resonated with me. She said, "We don't express our feelings to be fixed. We express our feelings to be heard." Abso-f#@%kin-lutely. Especially at this time, our knee-jerk reaction is to help people feel better, to start talking about ourselves or to judge someone's experience as not "as bad" as someone else's experience. Everyone is here to learn different lessons and the COVID-19 container, is the mirror of our biggest fears and concerns. It's an opportunity to go inward, to feel what is coming up, release, and grow as our individual soul is meant to do.
When we go to fix someone who is trying to express themselves, we belittle what they are feeling and we invalidate their emotions. When in actuality we need to hold space for someone's humanity. Obviously there is always a time and place for advice and hope, but when you do not allow someone to express and go through the process of grief and anger, we are not allowing that feeling to pass through the person. When we do not allow that feeling to pass through the person, we are not allowing the emotion to be expressed, in which case it becomes stored in the person's body as trauma. We have to move through our emotions and our feelings so they do not get trapped inside our bodies, showing up as disease and illness later.
What we are also doing by not allowing others to express, is diminishing any opportunity for real intimacy. Intimacy is about compassion, it's about a shared humanity. It's not about the fixer and the wounded. It's about a sharing in our human-ness. When I allow you the space to be seen, in-turn I am allowing the space for myself to be seen. From this space of seen-ness is safety and intimacy. Here we can create real community, real love, real healthy human connection. That is what life is about - our shared humanity. Our shared human-ness.
We are souls put on this earth to have a human experience (I am pretty sure that quote is from my brother, Mark). When we belittle someone's human experience, which is what they are feeling right now, we are not allowing them to experience life in its entirety. We are not allowing people to experience life in it's fullness. Life is not all butterflies and happiness. To know one's happiness, I first must know one's sadness. To know light, I must know dark. To know love, I must know fear. Duality is life itself. It is the human experience. Fear and pain are the containers to create the things we desire to be. To create the courage, the kindness and the wisdom. To create the happiness, the love, and the caring. Once we know our darkness we can know our light-ness. When we can experience life in all its forms, we are living life in its fullest expression. From this space, we can create connection to ourselves, which in turn creates connection to others. We then have the energy to lead the lives we are destined to live. To start the companies that speak to our truest selves. To allow the universe to speak through us and give back to others. Allow people to feel in all expressions, so we can all get to our light.