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Expressing Emotions

June 27, 2013 Leave a comment

(Written not long after To Feel Again)

As I mentioned before, I am having to learn how to feel again.

For me, the first step is really learning to know when I am feeling something. When something is actually a problem for me. I have absolutely no problem (generally) saying when I am having positive emotions. It’s the negative ones that are confusing. Maybe it’s just easier to explain the positives than the negatives.The second step is to learn *what* the emotion I am feeling is. Figuring out how to label it, what word actually is what I am feeling. The third step is to learn to express what I am feeling. That’s something I want to learn to do to myself. There are some emotions that you don’t need to express to others, but that you need to take to God. Others might need to be explained to someone else. So, it’s time to learn how to do that. This one is also not easy for me, because I would rather shoulder my own feelings than shove them off on someone else.

The problem with identifying that something is causing me an issue is that most of the time, something will just feel a bit “off” and I won’t know what exactly it is. Other times, it is very obvious what is affecting me.

Generally, I won’t know what exactly it is that I am feeling. Figuring out how to label it, if it’s not something huge, is an issue for me. The problem is, unless you can label what the issue is, you can’t fix it.

Learning to express what I am feeling is the hardest thing ever. In words anyway. I think I generally express my emotions in non-verbal ways. That’s my best way of communication. When I have to explain something or talk through something, I hit a wall. I think there are several reasons for this. One is, I don’t want to give my feelings to someone else to deal with. I would rather help them work through theirs. I’m afraid of how my feelings will affect someone else. Another reason is that I don’t always know how to explain my feelings to myself, so how in the world do you explain them to someone else. Emotional perfectionism… I don’t feel like I SHOULD have some of the feelings that I feel. I think is SHOULD be in control of them. I’m afraid of being vulnerable. Of being hurt again. I generally don’t share my thoughts with people either. Perhaps in both cases I’m afraid of rejection or belittlement. Maybe I’m not confident in what I think and feel. I generally don’t mention my feelings unless someone will ask… and keep pushing when I try to give them a “normal” answer. Some of it could be I don’t want to let someone know that they have hurt me.

I find that it is easier for me if I write what I am feeling instead of talk it out with someone. It also is an opportunity for me to take it to God and give it to Him rather than worry anyone else with it. The thing is, there are some people that you really do need to talk to. People that you need to be comfortable talking to. People that need to know what is going on no matter how hard it is to explain.

It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to show emotion. It’s ok to be vulnerable… to the right people.

“Resolve to express your emotions as you have them. Emotions must be expressed. You can either express them as you have them, or you can put a lot of energy into repressing them and just wind up having to deal with a more powerful version of your emotions later.”