“Sometimes it feels as if nothing is capable of killing the past.”
Psychologists will tell you there are no wrong feelings. We feel what we feel – and that is that! And if anyone tells you anything else, don’t fall into the trap of believing them.
So, what do we do about those pesky feelings that can feel so intense and overwhelming at times?
What are the things we might need to bear in mind?
1. First, ignore the lie which says that our feelings should be rational. Feelings have their source in our subconscious mind. And our subconscious mind knows exactly what it’s doing. It’s first, and main, goal is protecting us from harm. So, begin by showing some respect for your feelings. Don’t criticize them. Don’t demand that they make sense.
2. All your feelings are valid, and are worthy of acceptance. Also, it can help if we stop and examine them. They might be highlighting a wound that is weeping, or they could be a warning to protect you from being harmed.
3. If you’ve been badly hurt (for example, through betrayal), you are allowed to feel exactly what you feel. Don’t minimize the pain, or its intensity. Don’t invalidate emotions, or make light of how you feel.
4. It’s harmful to repress painful, negative emotions. They don’t die a death when you try to bury them. They will come back to haunt you at another later time. They need to be acknowledged and, eventually, worked through.
5. Examining our feelings can be the starting point of discrediting the lies we have started to believe. The negative emotions help you stand up for yourself. They help to develop self-compassion and self-care.
6. You have the right to tell your story, and to talk about the damage. To make sure you are heard, and are taken seriously. And that starts when you choose to take your feelings seriously. You don’t have to hurry up, and move on with your life.