Get Your Outsides To Match Your Insides

“I’m supposed to allow myself to feel crappy??  What does that even mean?”

It means that you have a full spectrum of emotions that encompasses both happiness and sadness, joy and grief, peace and anger.  You cannot deny half of the spectrum.

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“I’m supposed to allow myself to feel crappy??  What does that even mean?”

It means that you have a full spectrum of emotions that encompasses both happiness and sadness, joy and grief, peace and anger.  You cannot deny half of the spectrum.  (You know which half we love to deny…) The full human experience is the full emotional spectrum.  When we attempt to deny our sadness, anger or any other uncomfortable emotions, we aren’t actually denying it.  This is impossible. We’re just repressing it.  We try to pretend it doesn’t exist. We try to wish it into non-existence. This is an exercise in futility. The very fact that we’re trying to get rid of an emotion is an admission that it exists. In order to get rid of something it has to exist in the first place. It’s a total mindf$ck. The tension between the original emotion and the desire to get rid of it causes two things to happen; 1.) We begin to criticize and shame ourselves for having the uncomfortable emotion. So now you have emotions layering on top of each other.  All of it in our head with no way out, so it grows. And grows. 

2.) Suppressed emotions ALWAYS come out.  One way or another.  I liken suppressed emotions to flood waters.  It seeps into everything, causing a lot of damage. It gets into places you thought were airtight. It causes damage that isn’t always visible to the naked eye, but is felt nonetheless. Flood waters go where they want and do what they want.  Humans can only deal with the aftermath. Suppressed emotions are pretty much the same way. They show up when we least expect or want them to, they come gushing out when given a crack of an opening, and there’s a lot of aftermath that has to be dealt with. So, it’s better to skip the repression part and just own your sadness, anger, jealousy, boredom, etc. Give the emotions an intentional way to come out. Be sad, angry, jealous, bored, etc. Own it.*  Let your outside match your inside.

Illustrative Example: A girlfriend discovers her boyfriend is watching what she thinks is too much porn.

Expressed emotion:  The girlfriend says, “I didn’t know you watched porn like that.  I’m not sure I’m ok with that.  All of my insecurities are pinging right now.”

Suppressed emotion:  The girlfriend says nothing when she discovers the porn, but two days later she says, “I know you think I’m not good enough for you.”

*By owning it, I mean expressing it in a way that does not harm you or others. It is an acknowledgment of the internal experience, not permission to do whatever you want in the name of “I’m expressing my emotions.”

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