To function as aware adults, particularly in relationships, we need to be
able to be in touch with our real feelings. We also need to be able to share these in
'clean' or authentic ways with other people. This may take a little practice if we have
been told for most of our life that it is not OK to do this. Feelings are a real and
natural part of living. Not having feelings is only a short step away from not being
alive. There are many healthy ways to feel our feelings and share them with others.
There are some things to avoid if you want to connect with your feelings in an authentic way and when it comes to sharing feelings with others. As with any other part of personal growth it helps to have a few guidelines for communicating about feelings. The trouble is that remembering guidelines involves logical thought and thinking is the very thing that breaks the connection with real feelings. The following points may however be worth keeping in mind.
1. There are no bad emotions but there are many
inappropriate ways of expressing them. Inner selves often misinterpret feelings or report
our feelings inaccurately. Any statement about a feeling that includes the words you
or because suggests an inner self is probably doing the talking.
A person in an aware adult state talks about his or her feelings more inwardly. It might
just be I feel joy. Or they might describe the adult state of
being (I am happy, I am angry).
On the other hand, a statement I feel you are lying is a thought, not a feeling. Im feeling sad because you are so angry is not a 'clean' way of communicating a feeling. An interpretation of another persons feelings as in I feel you dont care is not describing the speakers own feelings which might be fear, pain or anger. Its much the same with a prediction about what another person might do, I feel afraid you are going to leave me. These are all indications that the inner selves are doing the talking not the aware adult. An I statement free of you, because or any other kind of explanation is the only clean or authentic way of sharing a feeling verbally. Fortunately there are lots of non-verbal ways and most of these are more accurate and honest anyway.
2. The selves are also inclined to attribute the cause of our emotions to other selves or to another person (He makes me feel ...) or as an outcome of things the selves are doing, assigning the reason for the feeling to the selves actions (When I am doing this I feel ...When you do that I feel .....).
3. Other people who are uncomfortable about your feelings are usually people with poor boundaries and therefore many active selves. Dont let their criticism or questions stop you having your feelings and experiencing the gifts that come from regularly acknowledging what you are feeling.
4. Asking someone for an explanation will block all but the most powerful emotions. An even better way to stop them experiencing an emotion is to tell them they shouldnt feel that way and then ask for an explanation as to why they are doing so. (Did this happen to you as a child?)
Real feelings and safe feelings
Lonely, alone - helps me reach out to others - reach in to know myself
Joy - wellbeing - helps me grow and to extend my goals for personal growth
Pain - increases my ability to heal - to face reality - to regrow
Sadness - develops my sense of empathy - ability to care for myself and others
energises my inner power and persistence to make changes in my life
validates our right to be treated with some dignity and respect (Note: anger is
not the same as 'rage' which is what happens when a self takes over the feeling
Fear - strengthens self protection and boundaries - brings wisdom
extends my ability to give unconditional nurturing - validation of my self
my inner selves and my inner gifts
Shame - gives me adult humility - a sense of human-ness. I can and do make mistakes
Exhilaration - gives me positive energy - power to enjoy life and persist until I succeed
helps me set limits and have adult
standards - gives me the
energy and ability to make amends to others
Worthwhile - helps grow my self esteem and gives me a positive outlook on life
Worthless - makes me more ready to grow and climb upwards
the ability to understand other peoples confusion and doubt
and the willingness to seek clarity about my own beliefs
me connect with my deepest core pain and my wounded inner child
and to learn how to nurture them safely in grown up ways
Obviously there are lots more but these appear to me to be the most 'authentic' feelings, free of logical thought or other things that selves get involved with. Let me know if there are some more I should add.
Copyright © John Nutting 1996 - - 2004 and © GROWING AWARENESS All rights reserved World Wide LAST UPDATE Wednesday, 23 January 2008 00:39
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