If you could feel any emotion you wanted to in your marriage TODAY what would it be?
There are so many incredible feelings available to us that we can choose to feel.
And yet, so often we choose bitterness, resentment, annoyed, or angry.
We have good reason.
He is acting stupid.
He never helps me.
He is always telling me what to do.
This is no fun.
Yet, the thing is when we choose a thought that creates an unwanted feeling, we ONLY HURT OURSELVES.
Resentment and bitterness strangle the person having the feeling. They choke you. You quit thriving.
Anger and hurt drain. They steal. They don't produce great results.
The person these feelings hurt is the person feeling them. Not the person being hated.
You can choose to feed any thought or feeling you want in your relationship, but why not choose love?
Love never fails. Its always a win. Love feels good.
You may think you are withholding love from another person, but really you are holding out on yourself.
We can love someone no matter what.
Even if they do not love us back.
When we love someone, we get to experience LOVE. The other person gets to experience their own feeling.
When you hate someone, that is a experience you are creating for yourself. You experience it alone.
What if you just loved on purpose? Regardless if someone deserves it or wants your love?
Love will never fail you.
Its hard to talk about a marriage and not get into emotions.
Your emotion creates your interactions with another person.
Your emotions are created by your thoughts.
At times we become emotionally flooded and lose access to our smart brains, reacting to our man in a fight, flight or freeze fashion.
Other times we feel vulnerable when we turn toward and he rejects our bid to connect.
We might feel sad when we look at what we really think about our marriage.
The opposite of feeling is buffering.
Buffering is actions we take to avoid our feelings. We think buffering helps, but because it relies on external and false pleasure to make us happy, it really only seduces us.
After buffering we are left to still deal with our feelings. These emotions are more compounded since we stuffed them down.
Yesterday we talked about the benefits of giving up buffering. There are so many!
And yet a big reason most of us want to hold onto the habit of buffering is because we are not only afraid of FEELING, we are terrified of FAILING.
I bet some of you are asking, "What if I try to quit buffering and fail?" " What if I don't know how to feel my feelings and I am overcome by them?"
Failure might look like this:
I decide to turn off the TV but my husband does not interact with me, so I buffer with facebook.
I feel restricted by saying I will feel my feelings and not eat, and so I eat the whole pan of brownies.
I get off my phone but the loneliness is so uncomfortable, I go on a netflix binge.
I limit my working hours to 40 but the overwhelm at home is so much I polish off a bottle of wine.
We justify buffering so as not to experience failing.
Failure is only painful because of what we make it mean.
Think about it. Is failure that big of a deal?
Failure is missing the mark. It is falling short of the expectations we had in our head.
That is it.
So why does that have to mean something awful?
What if it just meant we were growing? We were expanding into uncharted territory? We were trying to be better?
What if failure was normal? Expected. Part of it.
When we are afraid of failing, we fail in advance. We don't try. We stay in apathy. That is a whole different type of failure that does not come from a place of growth. I am not recommending that type of failure.
Failing because you are trying is not a big deal.
I remember when my daughter was learning to ride her bike (and tie her shoes). Both cases of learning were dramatic.
She thought she would never get it. (Insert The Count from Seasame Street head banging because of his failure.)
I knew she would.
She didn't want to get back up.
I knew it wasn't a big deal. The falling was part of it.
The big deal was if she would keep trying. The big deal was if she would be willing to fail again.
It took a while for her to learn. She expected to know how to ride quickly.
She didn't think learning took practice.
I knew it did.
I didn't expect her to ride like her 9 year old brother.
She expected that.
It seems easy to me, yet, I do the same thing when I set out to learn something new. I make it hard.
Learning takes practice. Failing and falling is normal. Its required.
Are you willing to learn to live life, feeling all the feels, eliminating the buffering and creating an authentic way of living that does not depend on false pleasure?
I hope you are! It is life well worth it. I hope you are willing to fail to get there.
If you want to learn how to experience your feelings, quit buffering and really love your life, I can help you. I work with people who are ready to create change and want support getting there. Schedule your free mini session today.
When you experience unwanted feelings, you essentially: indulge, resist or allow.
Indulging in the emotion, you give it what it wants like you have no choice. If it were a person, you give it the keys to your car while you hover in the backseat.
Because it calls, you answer.
You experience all the drama.
You create the drama.
Maybe you curl up into a ball and sleep all day long. You yell at your kids. You eat the whole box of Oreos.
Or, perhaps you resist emotion. Resisting is such an interesting one to me. It looks smart and logical. And yet, it gives away so much power.
Resistance sees the emotion as so threatening and so it wards it off.
Resisting an emotion accomplishes the opposite of what you are trying to do. Like ignoring a child, it gets louder and louder until you answer.
The resisted emotion may come out in head or body aches, chronic pain, passive-aggressive comments, delayed road rage, overeating, over-drinking, face-booking, or unwarranted shopping sprees.
Resisting emotion is like trying to push a beach ball under the water. You push it away, but it pops back up. The more you resist it, the more your energy is taken by it.
You may hide your feelings like junk shoved in a closet, but eventually, the junk topples out. Eventually resisted emotions get the final say.
Resisting sadness turns into depression. Resisting frustration turns into anger. Resisting anxiety turns into debilitating fear.
What you are resisting is the equivalent of a monster in the corner of a child's room. It is when you avoid it that it has so much power. Turn on the lights, quit hiding and face it head-on. You will discover what you fear is a chair piled with clothes under dark shadows.
An alternative option, Allowing Emotions welcomes all feelings.
It is not threatened by them. It is not indulgent. It is not resisting.
It is warm and welcoming. It is gentle. Kind. Patient.
It does not give the proverbial car keys to the emotion. It allows feeling but does not surrender to it.
If you are rushing to get through emotion, to get it done and over, then you aren't allowing.
If you are forcing a new thought to create a new feeling but find the thought not sticking, it is because you are forcing the new emotion without first allowing the less preferred one.
As long as it takes, let an emotion linger until you know you have welcomed it without resisting. If you have spent a lifetime canning your feelings, it may be days or weeks you experience that emotion. It is harmless. It is when you resist or indulge it that you crown it with power.
How do you allow the feeling without indulging?
You Breathe it in. And as you do, you let everything around you relax. Kind of like getting a shot. You know it will hurt, but you just let it happen and you know it will pass.
As you experience the feeling you can describe it. Where do you feel it in your body? Is it hot, cold? Flat, sharp? Light, dark? Now name it. Is it frustration or anger? Annoyed or really sad?
When you become an observer of your feelings you are no longer fighting, judging, or being controlled by them. You see feelings are not WHO you are.
Once you allow yourself to experience emotion, it dissipates.
You will discover what is on the other side that you have been resisting. And when you quit adding all the extra drama and consequences that come from your reaction, then you really do shorten its life.
Hearing about these concepts they are easy to understand. You may easily see some of your own tendencies. And yet it is a practice. It is building a new skill. A new habit. It's committing to a new way of life.
When you really open yourself up to experience all emotion, you will start to change your experiences and your marriage.
Where we are in life proves what we are thinking. When we change our perspective, we can change our lives and our relationships.
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