Emotional prosperity is about having permission to feel your own true emotions, without judging what you feel.
Happy emotions are fun to feel, and are seen as being superior to other more challenging and painful emotions. Sometimes we condemn our more difficult feelings as being bad, or as indicators that there is something wrong with us.
We might feel shame about them, as in “I shouldn’t feel that way about __________, I’m ungrateful, unkind, or ungracious for feeling this way”. This can happen if we’ve been taught to feel ashamed of ourselves for speaking our feelings, especially if our feelings are inconvenient for others. “How dare you feel that way” translates to “you don’t have the right to feel differently about this than I do”.
When children are taught to navigate their emotions this way, they learn to block and hide their feelings, which will prevent them from knowing how to trust what they truly feel. This dysfunctional pattern will continue and carry over into their adult relationships, until they become conscious about this energy and change it from within.
Feel your feelings and hear your body.
We are afraid to admit how we feel when we judge our true feelings as being wrong. We may pretend that we feel something else instead, because that’s what we think we ‘should’ feel. Feeling your true feelings helps you to be honest with yourself. Feeling deeply allows you to create your life from a place of emotional integrity. When you do this, you create what is true for you, instead of needing to navigate around it to safer emotional waters.
Emotions and feelings are the language of the body, and are how your body communicates to you. If you ignore your own feelings, you’ll have a more difficult time listening to and working with your body and its wisdom.
For example, what if you can feel your own fear, and also not fear feeling that fear? What if that’s okay, and doesn’t mean you are lacking some important ingredient as a human being? What if instead, you can see for yourself that the uncomfortable feeling of fear is helping you to grow and learn something about yourself, and to heal yourself?
You might learn that the fear you think is yours actually belongs to someone else, and you’re feeling their feelings. Or, the fear can be an indicator that you are stretching beyond a comfortable boundary. Fear can be a reminder of your limits, whether real or imagined. It is not that fear itself is a bad emotion to have, but that you can learn from it by facing it instead of trying to escape from it.
If you are afraid, or sad, or angry, and you can admit you have that emotion without seeing it as a character default, you can go a long way toward learning about and healing the place that emotion comes from. After all, these are your emotions. Your emotions are unique to you, and others don’t get to tell you how you should feel.
Are the emotions you feel your own?
If you are often around people who ignore their own feelings, who are afraid of them or judge them or over think them, it may not be safe for you to simply feel your own emotions. So what do you do now?
Try this: sit with your feelings, and feel what you feel. Allow yourself to say hello to and face the feelings within. Notice if anything comes up for you. If you practice saying hello to your feelings, you can create a new environment within yourself, one where it’s safer to feel what you feel. Meditation is a wonderful tool for getting in touch with your own true feelings, and for building up your emotional prosperity.
If it’s uncomfortable to do this, ask yourself if it’s your own emotions you are feeling, or perhaps someone else’s. Maybe you’ve been unconsciously doing another person’s emotional work for him or her. Perhaps you are the one who runs everyone’s feelings through yourself, and then you wonder why you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Being in control of one’s emotions is often seen as being desirable. All too often this means we try to shut down those emotions when they aren’t comfortable. For instance, what if you’re angry and there’s no permission in your family to feel anger? If it hasn’t been safe for you to feel your own anger, you may learn to shut it down, turn it off, pretend you’re not angry. The anger is still there, but if you’ve become convinced that it’s a ‘bad’ emotion, rather than being a healthy normal reaction to what you are experiencing, the anger becomes a problem for you.
You can learn how to use some tools that help you to deal with overwhelming emotions. If you are sensitive to other people’s feelings and energy, learning to ground yourself will be a helpful step for you to take.
Feeling your own feelings helps you to know what you want. If you’ve been judging what you’re feeling, you may also be judging what you want.
This means you won’t have the spirit, the energy that you need in order to go after what you want. Example: “I always felt like creating, and wanted to be an artist, but my father (or mother) said it didn’t make sense and I should do something else that’s more practical”.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say this to me. Meanwhile, that person still wants to create, but now has layers of judgment on top of what he wanted to begin with. Many people cut themselves off from their true feelings and desires because of this.
When we are told as children that we don’t really feel something, when we know very well that we do, we are also being taught to shut off a part of ourselves. Emotional health allows you to feel what you are feeling, without needing to judge it or solve it.
Do your own emotional prosperity work.
Listening to and knowing your own true feelings helps you to let go of the past, to forgive those who judged what you felt and wanted. It’s your job to decide to own your feelings, and to heal yourself, emotionally. You can learn new ways to have your emotions working for you.
How you feel is personal, and doesn’t need to be explained or proven to anyone else. When you listen to your true feelings, you allow yourself to access the deeper level of knowledge that you have within you. Intuition, gut instincts, and feeling what’s right for you, are all valuable abilities you already have.
When you listen to and work with yourself as a feeling being, you create healing and emotional prosperity for yourself, on all levels.