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January 03 • Nothing more than feelings

Day 178

If I allowed myself to feel what I felt, I would surely have imploded years ago. Maybe I did. I've resisted the encouragements to allow myself to feel my emotions and to own them. It's not some macho honcho thing that kept me from expressing myself; it was the fear of what those expressed feelings could do.

I do not know where I learned it, but from an early age, I made choices to keep my anger to myself. I'm reasonably sure that I was convinced that if I did not show my anger—much less my disappointments and hurts—that they would, therefore, not be real. Maybe it was a religious thing; maybe I was trying to not go to hell by exhibiting emotions that God wouldn't like. I don't know, but this fear of feelings was well ingrained in my heart by my teen years. Now I have to unlearn all that and truly believe what I've preached for years. On the one hand, the truth really will set you free, even if it hurts for a minute. On the other hand, God already knows how I feel, so why should I be afraid to share it with people.

There is no hot without cold; no good without bad — a simple yet profound explanation for why we must allow our feelings, and their expressions. I don't want to remember the awful things I've done, but even more, I don't want to forget.




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