By Nadine Saad
I’ve been working through a lot of anger lately. And it hasn’t been pretty. In fact, it’s felt incredibly unpleasant at times.
But as I started to work through this emotion, what I found beneath the anger was a little girl inside, still carrying a lot of deep hurt. A part of myself that needed to be acknowledged, and needed to heal.
Before any of this could happen, the anger that was seeking to protect this hurt needed to be fully acknowledged first - without judgement, and with compassion.
If I hadn’t let myself look at the anger with honesty, I wouldn’t have seen this part of myself. I would have continued to carry this unnoticed pain around unconsciously.
I share this because I know so many others feel a similar hurt and anger, deep down.
Honest acknowledgement of an emotion is the first step towards understanding what we’re feeling more clearly and seeing the parts of ourselves that need to be supported.
There’s a common misconception that feeling your emotions and wallowing in them are one and the same.
They aren’t. Being honest with ourselves about how we feel does not mean milking the drama and narratives of blame and/or victimhood that we tend to associate with our emotions. The latter keeps an emotion stuck. Stagnant.
So to avoid wallowing, we assume the more comfortable alternative is to shut our feelings off. We gloss over them with distractions and busyness. Or we deny our feelings by trying to force ourselves into a positive state.
But the emotion remains stuck. Stagnant.
There also seems to be an emerging trend attempting to glamourise emotional healing as all fireworks, happy dances and gushing about the leaps and bounds you’re making.
Yes, effectively working through pain does leads to major breakthroughs, but doing so is no walk in the park. Inner healing can take time and it can feel pretty uncomfortable. We need to be honest about this.
We also really need to grasp the fact that there is nothing wrong about this discomfort. There’s nothing wrong about needing to give yourself some breathing space and time to heal.
Dressing up this process to make it seem more palatable is quite simply a cleverly-veiled way to judge and bypass our emotions. And, yet again, this can leave a lot of unrecognised emotions and parts of ourselves unhealed.
Working through the anger I was feeling got me thinking about each of these approaches. And how important it is to seek a more grounded path for working through our emotions with conscious awareness. One that balances honesty with non-judgement.
Allowing ourselves to truly feel our emotions and being honest with ourselves about what we are feeling.
Giving ourselves the space to see and honour the parts of ourselves that need to be supported.
Holding them in compassion and presence in the moment.
And being ok with the fact that this does not have to be accompanied by either a wallow or a happy dance.
From here we can see the genuine needs beneath an emotion more clearly, and take steps towards meeting them.
If this resonates, find out how I can support you with working through your own emotions here.
Disclaimer: The information in this post, and all of my other blog posts, is provided for general information purposes only.