Feelings are Not Food
Contrary to popular belief, it is not actually humanly possible to EAT your feelings.
To support this fact, I’ll just briefly review what eating is:
You eat the ham sandwich…you digest the ham sandwich…you flush the ham sandwich.
This is a beautiful circle of life that is designed exclusively for food and does not apply, in any way, to feelings.
One of the things we don’t learn enough in childhood is how to openly and honestly express what we feel.
In order for us to have healthy relationships, being able to feel, process and express our emotions as they arise is essential.
The problem is, so many of us learn early on that it’s not safe to express our true feelings. Either our caregivers can’t tolerate our emotions or they didn’t know how to tolerate and express their own.
Either way, most of us have somehow learned that saying our true feelings out loud is not a safe thing to do. It can leave us vulnerable to attack, disapproval or downright rejection. And so we learn to FEAR feeling and expressing our feelings.
Have you ever felt that expressing your feelings will cause you to lose a relationship?
Most people fear confrontation. We fear change, responsibility, judgment, abandonment and the list goes on.
We run from our feelings in a myriad of ways, and then stuff them way down deep into an internal storage unit hoping that they will just go away.
Your body doesn’t want to get stuffed with feelings. Feelings need sunlight. They have to get out.
When emotions can’t get out in a healthy way, they will force themselves out in an unhealthy way. They will show up as rage, affairs, chronic bickering, illness, anxiety, addictions or depression. Just to name a few!
Sometimes the stuffing to avoid confrontation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Eventually your emotions come out sideways and destroy the very relationship you’ve been afraid to fully express yourself with.
Repressed emotions are one of the biggest roadblocks to intimate connection. Fear-based communication creates separation, discord, and prevents us from showing up fully in our relationships.
When clients call me saying that their relationship is a bit rocky, or that they are like two ships passing in the night, I know it is time to dive in to repressed feelings. So often, on the other side of those difficult conversations and untold truths, the love opens up again.
I’ll share with you three styles of relating which are huge indicators that emotions are not being expressed in healthy ways.
This is a victim stance where we don’t take responsibility for our reality. We are inactive and unreceptive. Fear paralyzes us. We don’t speak up when others are coercing or controlling us. We don’t speak up about what we need or what doesn’t work for us. Passivity arises in people with very loose boundaries. In the end, if we continue to passively relate, we live with chronic feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness and a whole lot of resentment.
This is an abusive stance. Whereas passivity is anger directed inward, aggression flies at whoever is nearby. It is a huge destructive force in relationships. Aggression is designed to avoid vulnerability and ends up being toxic and destructive to the aggressor and to those around. A strong ‘need to be right’ is a hallmark of aggression.
This one is especially destructive because it can be so hard to recognize. This indirect hostility shows up as chronic negativity, sarcasm, chronic lateness, resentment, and passive resistance. Just to name a few!
None of these fear based expressions work to create close and connected relationships. If we want the good stuff, we have to GIVE the good stuff. And that means communicating our emotions honestly, clearly, and from the heart. When you communicate from your heart, you won’t feel the need to control things, to include others and your own feelings.
If you are confused about how to deal with your feelings more effectively, you can download my free Emotional Intelligence Report here.
If you are aware that you haven’t been communicating clearly with those you love and you feel that a relationship is a bit rocky, or that you need greater clarity as to how to remedy your situation, I invite you to book a call with me. I have Relationship Rescue Remedies that help people raise the state of their relationships. You can text me at 805-455-4660 or email me at Victoria@raiseyourstate.com.
Until next time, remember it is humanly impossible to EAT your feelings. Instead, have a cappuccino and contemplate what is going on inside of you and then have the courage to express that.