July 25, 2018 • Sarah Jean Gosney
Being emotionally connected is a key aspect of femininity.
It’s a key aspect of being a healthy adult, really, but I think it is especially important for women. It is our job to be emotional leaders in our relationships and our families, but in order to intuit what others are feeling, we first must be in touch with what we are feeling.
How are you feeling?
This seems like a simple question, but for many of us, the answer is “I don’t know.” If you are not used to paying attention to your emotional state, it can be hard to discern what you are feeling.
Even more importantly, if you have a lot of suppressed or unprocessed emotions, it can be nearly impossible to tell what you are feeling. Makes sense, doesn’t it? When you shove your emotions down, you shove down everything. You can’t pick and choose, shoving down the hurt while still experience the joy. You either feel all of it or you feel none of it.
I highly suggest you feel all of it. But how do you achieve this?
Well, that depends on how blocked up you are.
When was the last time you remember feeling a strong emotion? This morning? Last week? Five years ago? Never?
If you’re in the last category, you have a lot of work to do. Work that is beyond my capabilities. But this article still may help. If you’re in any of the other categories, that’s good. That means you have an emotional point of reference, which will help you immensely.
When you have a few minutes of alone time, I want you to remember the last time you felt something really strongly. Sit with that memory. Who were you with? What were you doing? Do you remember the sights, sounds, smells around you? Try to create a scene in your mind.
Did you realize at the time what you were feeling? Or did you only notice after the fact that you were enraged/giddy/full of sorrow?
If you have trouble connecting with your emotions, chances are you didn’t realize what you were feeling at the time. However, going back and understanding your emotions will help you considerably to connect in the present day.
It might be scary to go back to this memory. In fact, you may even need some counseling, or at least a trusted friend to confide in, as you process the memory. Whatever it takes, I want you to recall as much as you possibly can about that moment, feeling as much of that feeling as you can summon.
Are you at peace with these feelings? Or does something about them feel unresolved, or incomplete?
I find that a lot of unresolved emotions just need our attention in order to sort themselves out. It may be a lot of attention, but simply thinking, writing, or talking about these feelings goes a long way. The simple acknowledgement of the situation gives it permission to stop nagging you and allows it to rest.
Perhaps that isn’t enough though. Maybe you need to create or destroy something to process this emotion. Maybe you need to paint a mural, go to the shooting range, burn an old picture, create a scrapbook, redecorate your apartment, or delete some numbers from your phone. Maybe you even need to talk to the person involved, or visit their grave.
The point is, there are many ways you can begin to move through an emotion. Some people meditate or do EFT, some people go on a road trip, some people journal. I can’t tell you what is going to work for you. What I can tell you is that it doesn’t really matter; as long as you are feeling these feelings and doing something about it, you are moving in the right direction. (Unless you are drinking heavily, doing drugs, or engaging in any other addictive, emotion-numbing activity. That would beat the point of all of this).
Now, I know I went over that in just a few little paragraphs, but that process may take you months. Hopefully, once your attention is turned to it, it won’t take you years, but it can if you go back to trying to ignore it.
Don’t be daunted though. This process will ultimately free you from the heavy burden of unfeeling, which is where you were before, wasn’t it?
In the meantime, you can work on the small stuff too. Pay attention to your emotions throughout the day. Simply ask yourself from time to time, “How am I feeling?” It’s okay if you are unsure. Sometimes we are feeling five things all at once, and it can take a trained heart to recognize the details. But the simple act of noticing will go a long way to getting you feeling.
For example: you wake up in the morning. How are you feeling? Probably tired, maybe dreading the traffic jam that always seems to clog up the interstate on your way to work.
Good. Count that as a win. You had a feeling, and you noticed it. Now, if someone were to ask you “How did you feel when you woke up this morning?” you could answer them. But more importantly (since probably no one is going to ask about that one), you know what you are feeling.
At the end of the day, take stock of how you felt at different points throughout the day. If you don’t do this every day, that’s okay, but the more you do it, the more in tune you will be with your own emotions. It may help to write this down, so you can reference it later.
The more you do this, the more you will be able to associate your feelings with the surrounding activities. Do you feel a sense of dread every time you walk past a mirror? That’s telling you something. Do you get excited when your coworker comes to talk to you? That’s telling you something. Once you start noticing these feelings, you can start doing something about them.
If you hate looking in the mirror, that is something you need to address. Maybe you let your sense of style drop off a cliff a few years back, or maybe you need to buck up and shed those last fifteen pounds. Or maybe you need to apologize to your sister for what you did on her birthday last year. Many things could cause this feeling, but whatever it is, you should take action.
If you get all giddy when your coworker comes up to you, maybe you have a budding friendship, or maybe a crush. Either way, recognizing what you feel gives you the opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself and others. Many people are afraid to act on their emotions or are just as unaware of them as you used to be, so use this opportunity to make things more meaningful for everyone.
Emotionally connecting is the key to feeling great and getting in sync with life. Your emotions are an important guidance system that can often clue you in to things your conscious mind didn’t know. At first, connecting may be painful, but know that you have to move through the pain before you can experience the joy.
This will be a big journey for you, but I promise it will be worth it.
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