For most of our lives we are told how we should feel. It starts in our families, then in schools, and then in other groups we are a part of, such as church. Because feelings are natural, spontaneous and nearly involuntary, those who would manage us use this to guilt us into conformity.
So when you break away and branch out on your own, there is a period of adjustment trying to figure out not only how you feel but how you’re supposed to feel… “I don’t go to church anymore. I feel guilty about that. My mind says I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I can’t help it. I don’t want to feel guilty. Should I feel guilty about not feeling guilty? Gee, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty about feeling guilty! Now I’m ashamed.” And the cycle spins downward into emotional confusion.
There is no proper emotional response to trauma or change. Can I give you some advice? Just feel what you feel. That’s a whole new adventure in itself… getting in touch with your raw, genuine, native feelings, owning them, embracing them, and processing them in healthy ways.
You are free! You are free to feel! Enjoy it. For a change.
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