Do You Flatline Your Feelings to Avoid the Roller Coaster of Life?
I had a conversation this week that got me thinking about feelings and their purpose in our lives. Just this year there was a wonderful kids’s movie called “Inside Out” that was all about this topic and if you saw it, you most likely understood the importance of all of our feelings. See, we live in a world of duality, one of opposites, ups and downs, bigs and littles, etc.
I remember a particular terrible time in my life when I didn’t feel my feelings, I was pretty much numb, I’d call it a flatline for feelings, it felt safe. I had been on the rollercoaster, not a little one, but one of the most extreme in my life, and when I think about that time, I probably didn’t handle it the best. I didn’t take care of me, I lost me in the mess. I didn’t want to feel those extreme feelings, so I chose to feel numb. For quite some time I walked around with a fake smile on my face, not feeling anything. Later I discovered this wasn’t healthy either, I was pushing the feelings down, burying them, only to surface later, in a very unhealthy way.
At one point, while I was doing some internal work, I decided that I wanted to feel the good feelings again; love, compassion, joy. I surrounded myself with people, places and things that I thought made me happy, and then figured out that the joy was inside and that it was up to me to share it with others. In this process, some things began to happen, because, well, that’s life. Those things that were hard to deal with, they hurt, and I felt pain. I was afraid, that I’d be on that roller coaster again, but instead of pulling back, I pushed through. I realized that in order to feel, I had to feel everything, and everything was messy, but authentic and real, and those connections were the best, and didn’t I deserve the best?
Because of duality, we can’t really understand joy, without knowing the opposite, fear. Darkness is the absence of light, Roses have thorns. Flatline living was tasteless, gray, and dull. Even though I don’t enjoy drama, today even though I do choose to live on the roller coaster of life, I don’t allow it to be extreme. I choose what to do with my feelings, I have the tools to difuse them, so that I don’t feel sick, when the difficult ones show up, it’s not extreme roller coaster. Today I can cry with a friend, when I need to, and enjoy love and laughter as well. I embrace all of my feelings, and allow them to surface, face them, work through the tough ones, and release them. Life is so much more bountiful and abundant because I have chosen to face it. Flatlining my feelings lost it’s appeal, what about you?