Truth: (Really) Feeling It All
I've always abided by the vague idea that one must honor her feelings. Now, as far as people go, I consider myself extraordinarily tuned into my feelings -- it's sort of my schtick. Once I acknowledge their presence (Sup, Murderous Rage?! I haven't seen you since last time a dude on the street instructed me to smile! O.MY.G. is that really you, Cool Indifference? Did you hear me say fuck this shit and come running?!?), I like to make them known. I tell everyone about them -- my therapist, your therapist. I write about them on The Internet. I makes lists and journal about them. I doodle them. I feed them raw, plant-based brownie batter if they're low-energy: I lace up my Nikes, pump up the angsty girl music, and run them around town if they're squirrelly. I treat them like the queens they are.
But I don't always feel them.
All this time, I thought I was processing my emotions by taking action: the moment they flicker in my heart's marrow, I handle them -- I do something. But rarely do I sit with them and observe how they affect my body. Do they gather in the base of my brainstem and plot to unground my psyche until I am but a detached head? Do they reside in my gut and paint my insides pukish green? I wouldn't know. I'm too busy generically pampering them; which I do, it turns out, because truly feeling them can be extremely unpleasant.
"Feeling it all" was recently explained to me this way: there exist plenty of feelings we want to feel. We want to feel accepted and cared for and proud and elated and at peace -- those feelings can hang with us. But if being with shitty feelings makes us squeamish and thereby dismissive, we teach ourselves not to feel at all. So if we don't embody the bad stuff, we'll never be capable of embodying the good.