January 08, 2019
It’s okay to have and feel our feelings—all of them.
Years into recovery, we may still be battling with ourselves about this issue. Of all the prohibitions we’ve lived with, this one is potentially the most damaging and the most long-lived.
Many of us needed to shut down the emotional part of ourselves to survive certain situations. We shut down the part of us that feels anger, sadness, fear, joy, and love. We may have turned off our sexual or sensual feelings too. Many of us lived in systems with people who refused to tolerate our emotions. We were shamed or reprimanded for expressing feelings, usually by people who were taught to repress their own.
But times have changed. It is okay now for us to acknowledge and accept our emotions. We don’t need to allow our emotions to control us; neither do we need to rigidly repress our feelings. Our emotional center is a valuable part of us. It’s connected to our physical well-being, our thinking, and our spirituality.
Our feelings are also connected to that great gift, instinct. They enable us to give and receive love.
We are neither weak nor deficient for indulging in our feelings. It means we’re becoming healthy and whole.
Today, I will allow myself to recognize and accept whatever feelings pass through me. Without shame, I will tune in to the emotional part of myself.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
About the author
In addiction and recovery circles, Melody Beattie is a household name. She is the best-selling author of numerous books.
One of Melody's more recent titles is The Grief Club, which was published in 2006. This inspirational book gives the reader an inside look at the miraculous phenomenon that occurs after loss--the being welcomed into a new "club" of sorts, a circle of people who have lived through similar grief and pain, whether it be the loss of a child, a spouse, a career, or even one's youth.