Your feelings matter. They do. I mean this wholeheartedly. Now understand that I am not saying that anyone is to blame for your feelings, on the contrary… your feelings are all about you. They are about where you are, what you want, what you haven't gotten, what you expect, how you see the world and how you filter information that comes in. Because of all of these facts your feelings truly do matter. They are your language, your way of interpreting things that you are perceiving. They are also a way for you to create what you believe in. Our feelings are our magic wands and we would all do better to look at them as the information givers they are. You are a creator, you are a meaning maker, you are a magician and your feelings are your tools.
What happens when you deny what you feel? What happens when you tell someone else to deny what they feel? Invalidation is damaging no matter the direction from which we receive it. Whether someone else is telling us our feelings aren't valid or we are discounting what we feel because there are children starving in a 3rd world country. Saying that one person's feelings aren't valid because someone else is in pain somewhere far away isn't helping either person. Pain isn't about comparison, feelings aren't meant to be in a contest yet we do this to ourselves and one another on a regular basis. We make fun of someone complaining about their car being damaged by telling them that they are having first world problems… Well how in the hell are they going to have 3rd world problems if they aren't living in a 3rd world? Should they only be upset when they find themselves starving with flies landing on their face? Is that the point, to shame one another for being where we are? What the hell people, there has to be a better way to help others gain perspective that isn't a put down.
Why don't you stop and remember what if feels like to be told that your feelings don't matter. I bet you that a large number of criminals felt small, powerless and invalidated at some point (or at most points) in their lives. It is a dangerous and violent thing that we do when we tell someone that they don't matter. That is what we do when we invalidate one another. Instead of feeling our feelings and recognizing them as momentary, not as big as we may believe and getting out of them what they are meaning to show us we are pushed to either defending or denying them. It is exhausting when you think about it. Instead of having space held for us we suck the life out of one another and expect each other to breathe like nothing happened. Honestly, how many times have you belittled someone for feeling a way you thought was insignificant?
My motto is "suck it up" and I mean it. That doesn't mean I want you to ignore or deny your feelings. I want there to be a healthy detachment from programmed meaning of our feelings. Instead of thinking that feeling tired means giving up I want being tired to remind you that you are on the right track… and I want you to remember the feeling of pushing through the fatigue to a new world. Feelings are like messages in a language that isn't native but it necessary and filled with wonder. Look at what you feel in a way that allows you to maintain perspective. Are you dying? No, ok, then does it serve you to behave in a way that makes it seem like things are that dire? We can choose our response to our feelings… that is when you begin to come into your own power.
Once you are able to see your feelings (by first owning, admitting and never denying them) as tools you will be more curious to dig into them deeper than before. Feelings are truly our gifts. Feelings are our creative power. Feelings are the beginning of all things. Let's begin to feel them fully to create a more purposeful and fulfilled life for ourselves and support others on their journey to do the same.