Feelings Are Essential. Here's Why.

Feelings are Essential
 

We have been told from a very young age that some feelings are "wrong" or that "we should not feel this way". We often suppress feelings, because of the discomfort they create within ourselves and others. However, they are essential. Let me show you why.

What Are Feelings Anyway?

Feelings are mental experiences of body states, which arise as the brain interprets emotions, themselves physical states arising from the body’s responses to external stimuli. (The order of such events is: I am threatened, experience fear, and feel horror.)
— Antonio D'Amasio, Professor of Neuroscience at The University of California and Author

Emotions are felt in our body, when feelings are the interpretation of those emotions in our mind.

We interpret our emotions through our personal experience, beliefs and memories. This is why the same stimuli can create in two different people different feelings.

Feelings are needed. They allowed us to survive all those years on our blue planet. Our ancestors were capable to feel threats and therefore to survive. Nowadays, we do not have any animal coming after us. Only ourselves.

I worked a few years in different companies. I was told a few times that employees were not supposed to "feel" in the corporate world to be "professional", or that "we should leave our feelings at the door". I pictured myself trying to explain to my frustration that this environment is not "feeling-friendly", so it had to wait for me until I came back to pick it up. 

I Realized That The Problem Is Not the Feeling Itself, But How We React To It

We feel. We cannot stop feeling. But on top of that, we feel that we feel. We realize that we are confused, sad or happy. We are conscious of the self. And this is where the problem usually lies, more than any feeling itself. Every feeling arises to tell us something, teach us about ourselves.

Feelings are indicators of our unresolved issues. Not listening to it or judging it only keeps the feeling away from its own agenda. This does not mean we should act upon our feelings. This could be dangerous. But acknowledging our feelings is the first step to healing. In this way only, we can make our feelings our servants and not our masters. They are indeed the gateway to understand ourselves, innerstand, and therefore are the best tools to become the best version of ourselves.

Therefore, there is no such thing as a right or wrong feeling. It just is. This duality of wrong or right, good or bad, has to be questioned. This is, I think, what makes humankind suffer the emotionally; the judgement of our feelings. Judgement estranges oneself as much as condemnation. And leaves no solution.

To change a feeling that makes us uncomfortable, we first have to accept it. Even the "darkest ones", which are usually the scariest ones for us, as they make us feel vulnerable. 

When we decide to let our feelings complete their work, we slowly realize that they are the ultimate starting point of growth (but only if we dare to completely surrender to them.) Like birth or any other creative process, it usually begins with pain and then eventually emerges into life.

 

Like this story? Thank Elia. 

 
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Elia is a human living in Berlin trying to figure it out, but she mostly writes about feelings. You can subscribe for free to her weekly emails by sending her an email here: selflovetribute@gmail.com