Did you know that your feelings have a voice? It is only when we listen that we can hear the sound. They tell us when we’re scared, anxious, happy or sad. When we’re lonely and when our heart aches. But it is when we don’t listen that we’re left to fill in the blanks. We assume that our body is telling us we’re hungry or thirsty. We’re tired or overwhelmed.
But when we really listen. When we silence the mind and intuitively listen to the voice inside we find something deeper. We can hear our hearts ping of sadness and further understand the tears we cry. We can feel sorrow or regret for our mistakes that have passed. And instead of reaching for a crutch, that bottle of wine or big old bag of chips, we sit with it and with more time, we heal.
Our feelings have a voice but it is our choice to listen.
And truth be told, it’s easier not too. So we choose silence. We condemn our feelings. We shame them. Make them wrong. We punish them for existing in our bodies. But it is their very existence that keeps us alive. To live is to feel. To silence is to die. But we mix them up. Instead of listening to our hearts we’ve become accustomed to listening to our minds.
But our minds don’t stop. I know, I know. You can tell me that you’re a master of being in the present moment and never stopping for a moment to look forward or look back. But I won’t believe you unless you’re a Buddhist monk who meditates for 24 hours straight, a master meditator. Don’t worry. You’re not. I just made that up. There’s no such thing as master meditator. Therefore, you must have a wandering mind as so many of us do.
Don’t be frightened. You’re not alone. We’re now a society of runners and maskers who run from feeling our feelings. We mask our pain. We hide ourselves from the incredible gifts of the world because we’re scared. Terrified. We fast forward to the future and rewind so we can replay our past. But when prompted with the emotion the past or present brings we blanket ourselves safely, and then hide away.
One by one, layer by layer, we close ourselves off. And before you know it, years have gone by and we’ve forgotten what we were originally running from. Or even more, our story continues to follow us. The faster we run, the faster our truth comes sprinting towards us. But is it our truth, or a story that we’ve created that continues to follow us?
We all have stories. They repeat over and over in our ear. Incessantly whispering negative thoughts until they drive us mad. The saddest realization can be had when we stop running from what we believe to be true. It is only in this moment that we see that the story we’ve told ourselves over the years is no longer ours. It’s expanded and created a life of it’s own. But it’s not real. It’s some bull shit excuse that we continue to hold close to our hearts to keep us from having to face our fears.
Fears bring feelings, heightened emotions and reminders of how frightening life can be. We fear we won’t be successful. Or we’ll never be loved. Or someone will leave us so why try? We fear being a failure so we never begin.
A runner not only runs from fears but a runner runs from her heart as well.
So how does a runner stop running from what she fears most? The same way she’s forced to stop running in life. She exhausts herself. Her knee goes out. She gets violently ill from an overdose of electrolytes. Her competitor surpasses her. A runner doesn’t just stop running. A force stronger then the runner comes in and stops her in her tracks.
Or if all goes according to plan she sprints through the finish line in record time. But it is the moments where the runner never crosses the finish line that brings an awareness that is like none other.
It’s an awakening of the body and mind.
An awakening is the unexpected moment that wreaks havoc on our lives. It comes in like a hurricane, howling and wailing. An unsettled dust storm that comes in and shakes up our lives. But once the dust has settled and the last tear has been cried it leaves behind a precious gift, that when unwrapped brings us back to life. The reminder that life is larger then that one story we continue to repeat to ourselves when we’re alone.
The awakening is that one moment that comes in and reminds us that we have one life and we’d be dumb found to continue to waste it on the fear that we couldn’t be more. Feelings can be suffocating and all encompassing but when given the choice of not feeling I’d prefer to feel it all. Wouldn’t you?
Feelings are the one gift that keeps giving and instead of fearing them we should be grateful for them. When we love, we receive love in return. When we smile, we radiate joy and others shine their light as well. When we cry, we share our fears, we speak our truth and we open the door for others to do the same.
We shouldn’t be afraid to feel. We should feel our feelings in each and every moment that we’re lucky to have them, Wholeheartedly knowing that this could be the last time we feel again. Because it very well might be. It could be the last time we feel love. Hope. Gratitude. Joy. Love.
We never know what tomorrow will bring, so why waste it away, fearfully, not feeling our feelings?
There's no shame in feeling. No shame in feeling anything at all.
With all my heart,