Okay, so I’m a guy, and feeling my emotions is not what society trains us to do. “Be strong! Don’t cry! Act professional! You can do anything! Be tough! Be a champion!” Sound familiar?
One of the big parts of my experience the past few years has been feeling my own emotions. Even if I’ve been taught negative emotions about being a guy and feeling my own emotions, and the judgments have been mainly about losing my own sense of masculinity and strength, and feeling like I’m becoming gay, what feels right, really, is to feel my own emotions.
It can be overwhelming sometimes, obviously, and it’s not something that’s always pleasurable. Running away is easy. Distracting yourself, playing games, drinking with friends, diving into your work, you name it. All different forms of running away from what you’re feeling. We all have our “strategies.” I’m sure you know yours.
That never works, does it? Not really. Turn your back to it and it continues to beat on you.
The only thing I’ve found that relieves the pain of emotional overwhelment, is to turn and face it willingly. Call it surrender if you like. It’s not so much an assertive thing, like I’m going to overcome an obstacle with my own power. That’s meeting force with force and creates more struggle.
What I’m talking about is seeing how running never works. It will never work. It can’t work. The fact is, you don’t have a choice. You can’t run away. You can try and hide, but there is no hiding. The only choice left is to face it.
and again, not in a defeated sense, but more in this realization that facing it is your only choice left. So you face it. You not only face it, but you also become willing to face it. Ups and downs, twists and turns, spins and pressure, happy and sad, all the waves of emotion, here we go. As crazy as it will get or as still as it get. Facing your raw humanness. Not superior, not beyond, not past anything. Just right here. REAL.
It’s pretty remarkable how this willingness to face it starts to dissipate it. It’s not that you’re using any spiritual tricks you’ve learned to make it go away or change it in any way. You stop all the tricks and just face your shit.
It dissipates again and again and again.
More comes up, it’s faced, and it releases you from its grip.
More comes up, you say hi, you say yes, and it loses its power.
It’s not something you do once and then you’re successful for the rest of your life. It’s almost like it becomes a new habit, a new way of relating to your own emotions. It’s a conscious and deliberate choice that you make again and again.
Here comes more emotion. Look right at it. Here comes more. Hi. Here’s more. Hi.
You live your life, looking life right in the eyes.
You sit, willing to face whatever comes up, even if it kills you, and you watch whatever comes up… which is ironically absolutely nothing, when you face it that openly.
Turn away and it’ll continue to beat on you and wear you down.
Face everything and you find nothing to fear.