We Can’t Heal If We Won’t Feel
“What would it look like… if you let yourself feel?” asked my therapist.
What now? I feel all the time! Come at me!
If you’ve met me in real life, you’ve seen me cry. It’s as simple as that. I can’t think of anyone I’ve been face-to-face with on a friendship level, who has not seen my tears. I feel. What is my therapist talking about?
My emotional leaks happen a few times a day, and I don’t see them coming. One minute I’m discussing a book with a group of gals, the next I’m in the car, losing my shit. I feel! What is my therapist talking about?!
It starts with a twitch at the corner of my eye. Then a lump in my throat. My nose runs. Jaw clenches. Ears plug up. Tears flow. I feel. I feel. Honestly, what’s my therapist talking about?
As soon as I’m able, I’m shoving tissues up my nostrils. Sometimes I have to change my shirt because it’s wet from sadness. I feel.
I chastise myself.
Suck it up.
Why do you cry all the damn time?
You scare people off when you get messy.
I feel. I feel.
I cut it off. Shove it down. Get it together.
That-a-girl. Carry on.
And so, traumas are left half-done, unresolved, hanging in the space behind me, always there, ever so close.
Yes, I feel. But I don’t allow my emotions to flow through. I shame them, blame them, and contain them. I try to stay a step ahead.
I understand now what my therapist is saying. I want to heal, so I need to feel. To accomplish that, a few things need to change. Can you look above and see what they are?
“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.”
― Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind