Emotions are just emotions: it is not bad to feel them. Like a feather resting in your hand, they eventually fly away into the wind.
I once heard someone say “In order for your sadness to go away, you need to let your sadness move/flow through you. That means allowing yourself to feel it, and recognizing it’s presence.” We all like to think we’re doing the right thing, that we know fully what or who we’re dealing with, or what to do about it.
I’m considering where I was a year ago, when I thought I had people, myself, and most of life figured out, and now I know that I really did not. (“I have [dominant] Ne, I’ve already thought of everything!!!” Ha, yeah right.) To be painfully honest, it makes me fearful, because as much as I think I’m self aware right NOW, I thought I was THEN, and I definitely was not. This makes me wonder: could I not be self aware right now? Is there more that I do not know? What problems could be heading my way because of those things, that I don’t know about?
Fear is usually an emotion of a negative connotation, but as long it is not blown out of proportion, and I don’t let it cripple me or keep me from moving forward, I think a little dose of fear can be helpful. It’s important to not let oneself get carried away with it. Many may disagree with me. I think it is okay to feel every emotion in the book, as long as you can “turn it around”, and use it for the good. As was noted, I think it is important to not let oneself get carried away with fear, or as I said, blow it out of proportion. “Oh my word, that was a really dumb mistake I made. I have no clue why I did that. I suppose I wasn’t as self aware as I thought I was… did I not know anything? Could I not know anything right now??” In other words “Am I an idiot?” That is not good!
To wake up in the morning and say “I have a lot of things figured out, but I don’t have everything figured out: let’s see what today brings.” is fair. “I don’t know anything.” Is not. Whether you know it or not, we learn every single day, and we probably are a LOT better, or more self aware, than we were last year, or two years ago, right?
It’s think it could also be important to not let feelings of fear promote a fear of failure. “I think it’s wise to not take any big steps forward right now, i.e. join a group, start dating again, start another career venture, to ensure I won’t make any mistakes. I’m just coming out of trying one of these things, I’m hesitant on ever really trying again.” This may seem like an obvious one, but if one of those things was a dream for you, it was there in your heart for a reason, and you should not give up on that dream.
To explain further, I’ll use an example. Let’s use dating. Say you went through a break up. I’m not saying to immediately begin dating again, just after you’ve experienced that break up. Like: “Okay, accept it, you failed, but go try, try, try again tomorrow!!” As if this were a game of poker or something. Nope. I totally believe it’s OK, after a breakup, to let yourself feel feelings of depression, or, total failure even. It’s okay to feel total regret, if you so feel them. See, the key is to not let them keep you from attempting that dream again, if (IF) you know that deep down, finding a partner is something you’ve always desired, and a dream of your heart. The co-writer of this blog, Matt, once told me: “It’s okay to feel dark things, but just make sure you can think of good things at the same time.” What a small sentence, for such a big piece of advice.
As an NF, sometimes I feel things, and people have told me that they are incorrect things to feel. I do not believe that any emotion is bad or incorrect to feel. To suggest that there is an emotion that is incorrect to feel, implies that there can be some sort of logic to emotions. But emotions are emotions, logic is logic, sensory is sensory. They all exist as completely separate things. And we need to let ALL of them exist, separately. An emotion cannot be illogical because emotions were never meant to be of logic in the first place, and we shouldn’t expect them to be.
Ethics, and logic do work hand in hand, but they exist on totally different plains.
Thus, it cannot be bad, initially, to feel negative emotions. What is “bad” is to let negative emotions come into the sensory world by ACTING on said emotions, what is “bad” is to let negative emotions cloud your logic, and, what it is bad, to let them hold you back from fulfilling your dreams. All in all, emotions are just emotions: it is not bad to feel them. Like a feather resting in your hand, they eventually they fly away into the wind.
A TIP: The person that I heard say to “let your sadness flow through you” advised, that with any given thing we are sad about, when alone, put a timer on for 20 minutes. In that time frame, we can allow our to ourselves cry (if possible), feel hopeless, or feel frustrated (whatever the negative emotion is), and just let it all out as much as wanted for that period of time, and then we can’t think about or dwell on the thing of sadness anymore for the rest of the day, or let it affect any of our actions. (The rest of the day is used to try to do positive things that will impact our life or future, or even better, others lives.) The idea is to repeat every day, once a day, for as long as needed. I haven’t tried it, but I feel as though it could be quite helpful.
What does “allowing yourself to feel your emotions” actually mean, though? It means admitting to yourself that you feel a certain way. Instead of saying “This breakup doesn’t really affect me, it’s better for me in the long run, because I lost someone who didn’t really care about me” when, you really actually ARE sad about it, will not heal you or make you feel better. For the most part, logic doesn’t really heal emotions. Emotions need to heal themselves.
It’s OKAY to feel sad about something, or admit something sucks. That’s not being pessimistic. Also, it’s OKAY to miss someone who wasn’t good for you. It would be illogical of you, maybe, to go back to that person that doesn’t care about you, because, a relationship like that would never work. But it’s not illogical of you to miss them. It never was.
I also feel compelled to add: you are not weak, just because your heart may feel heavy right now. However, you will become stronger, if you feel the weight.
If you do let yourself feel your emotions and do not dismiss them by calling them “wrong”, or, “illogical” if anything, you will be able to see them clearly enough to work through them, and decide which ones you actually want to entertain, and which you want to let affect your life or those around you.
The rest of this year, let’s not let fear hold us back from fulfilling our dreams.