A New Perspective: Give yourself permission to feel emotion | VailDaily.com

A New Perspective: Give yourself permission to feel emotion

Catherine Zeeb
Eagle County CO, Colorado
Columnist Cathy Zeeb

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” It is important to learn to give yourself permission ” permission to heal, permission to feel, permission to experience, permission to love, permission to disagree, permission to move, permission to live. How can giving ourselves permission help with anything?

It is rare for most of us to have been taught to truly feel whatever emotion is rising in any given moment. If we got angry our parents may have told us to “go to our room” or “settle down” or “what’s wrong with you?” There may be shame around anger, for example, if we were not taught that it was OK to be angry. If we felt joy, we may have been told to calm down after a short period of time as well. Just as often, when we feel emotion we tell ourselves to settle down or calm down or we ask ourselves “what’s wrong with me?”

Allowing ourselves to feel whatever going on is important. Because you decide to feel the emotion rather than push it down or cover it up, you step right into it and allow yourself to fully feel it.

The conversation within our minds may be that of guilt, shame or doubt when we push our emotions down. Pretending the emotion doesn’t exist or isn’t important only exacerbates the emotion.

Giving ourselves permission allows us to truly experience what it is that we are feeling. Emotions that are ignored feed on themselves and get bigger and seemingly more important. When an emotion shows up our natural tendency is to pretend we don’t feel it, that it doesn’t exist. We want to walk around with a smile on our face showing the world that all is well.

Depression can be an example of an emotion/energy feeding on itself. Because we don’t give many of life’s issues permission to be, they grow. This means that without acknowledging them, they can spiral out of control. Many life issues that are not dealt with become depression because they spiral. Spiraling energy is hard to stop and can feel overwhelming.

Try this experiment: The next time you feel sad, look at the clock. Give yourself 30 minutes to feel the sadness. Keep glancing at the clock. You will find that within about 15 minutes, you will be bored. The reason the boredom comes into play is that you are now experiencing the sadness completely and not pushing it down. In a short time, you will be bored with the emotion and would rather be doing something else. It will not be able to spiral into itself and become bigger.

The sadness may not completely go away, but you will make a different choice for the moment and the sadness will settle. You will find that whatever issue the sadness is wrapped around may eventually need to be worked on with a good friend or a therapist, but for now it is not out of control.

Our souls do not live with suffering of any kind. The ego-mind is the place where suffering exists. This is why if we pay attention to our emotions and allow them to exist, just for a short time, they can become less intense. It is the work of the ego that wants to hold on to emotions until you believe they are your truth.

Permission is so important. Don’t push down or pretend you don’t have feelings. You do have feelings ” allow them to arise because they are a part of who you are.

Catherine Zeeb holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Metaphysics. She has a private therapy practice in Edwards. You can visit her Web site at http://www.healing-spirits.net.

Support Local Journalism