As a man, feeling your feelings can transform your relationships and make you more powerful in them.
by Avnish Sabharwal for 21st Century Man http://www.facebook.com/pages/21st-Century-Man/123049324441970
Feel your feelings.
This was a great practice that a Success Coach gave me and it can make a huge difference in being with all of yourself, which in turn lets you be more of you in relationship with folks. I used to (and admittedly sometimes still do) try to avoid feeling fear – I’ll numb it out by distracting myself, rationalizing it, having someone convince me otherwise, etc. But what has really made the difference is realizing that my fear has a beginning, middle and end. When I actually experience my fear I do get to an end state where I realize that I don’t die and it doesn’t go on forever. It’s simple, obvious, but pretty amazing.
I was actually used to treating my fears like they were a pitiful person in the room that you avoid eye contact with. I was ignoring my need to be afraid and have it not mean anything. I was disallowing myself compassion and it was resulting in constant worry and belief that my fears were totally real.
I found myself cutting off most of my feelings that I judged as negative – sadness, anger, jealousy, insecurity. This didn’t have them go away, I was just a pro at avoided them and acting like I didn’t have them. What’s also sad about this is that by limiting my experience on the “downside” feelings I limited my experience on the upside. I wasn’t able to fully feel joy, gratitude, wonder, and peace to name a few.
This is impactful in regards to relationships. By feeling my feelings through I was able to release trying to control all my experiences which has allowed me to be free in my interactions with others at a new level. By my feelings not dictating my life, I’m able to get back to focusing on what I want in my relationships and creating that.
With my partner, this has allowed me to release interpreting what she says from my feelings of the moment, and when I am I can see it and say so. I’m also able to be with her feelings and not create a “feelings war” where my feelings are battling hers and we’re both fighting for our feelings instead of getting what we need and moving forward.
This has amazingly limited the old pattern of feelings building up and then months later resulting in a fight to get enough of the feelings out so that we could go back to doing the same thing until the next time feelings build up too high to control. What I’ve noticed is that we’re expressing our feelings authentically more often without an attachment to them being real. This leaves us more connected and with much lower peaks and valleys because we practice being with our feelings and not having feelings be so serious.
This isn’t an invitation to be super-sensitive “feelings” guy. It’s an invitation to be more healthy, powerful, and intentional in your relationships vs. reactionary based on pushing down of feelings and acting like that will have no impact on who you are and how you’re interacting with people. It’s not about spewing your feelings all over everyone all the time, it’s a practice in being with your own feelings. It’s a practice in authenticity and a healthy relationship with all of yourself. The more you can be with your feelings, the less serious they will be and the more you’ll be able to act instead of react.
So consider practicing being responsible for your feelings, being with them, and not having them be the source of how your life is going.
Do you feel me?
Share this article with the men in your life that need to hear this.