The Missing Link

Feelings. Emotions.

What do you think about them?

How do you feel about your feelings?

So often in our American culture, emotions are frowned upon. Feelings are some kind of weakness.

Unless, of course, you are feeling positive emotion.

But what about anger, frustration, despair, sadness, grief, overwhelm, fear, insecurity, embarrassment….?

Are those “bad?”

Ironically, when we block ourselves from feeling negative emotion by resisting, reacting or avoiding them, we also block ourselves from feeling positive emotion too.

So often— maybe 98% of the time?– I see people who are struggling and feelings are the missing link.

We are self-aware about our thoughts.

We know what we want the results in our lives.

But we don’t know how to take action. We don’t know how to get there.

I think feeling is the how.

Let yourself feel whatever emotion you are experiencing right now.

What is it?

Where is it in your body?

Tell me more. What specific sensations? Hot? Cold? Sharp? Dull? Big? Small? Tight? Loose? Open? Closed? Heavy? Light? Does it have a color? A shape?

Get creative with those adjectives.

The only way to stop feeling your negative emotions (and to start feeling the positive ones) is through the emotion.

You will gain peace when you are ok with feeling exactly the way you are feeling right now.

Denita Bremer is a life coach who is on a mission to help Latter-day Saint women feel happier and more fulfilled so they can more effectively do their personal work in the world. If you are interested in a free life coaching session, sign up here.

I felt doubt and fear, and then I journaled and coached myself. This is what it looks like.

Self-doubt and fear of failure are par for the course for any entrepreneur (or any person for that matter!), but these two emotions came up for me big-time today. I called my coach (JillFreestone.com) for an emergency session. She only had 20 minutes, but it was enough to get me some large realizations.

My biggest takeaway was that I have a hard time feeling vulnerable. Also, I am not really letting myself feel my feelings all the way.

Soooo… after I got off the call with her, I sat and just wrote and wrote. SIX pages. And I am not done.

In the interest of letting myself be vulnerable and feeling fear and doing it anyway, here is what I found. This is my stream of consciousness with notes in parentheses:

  • What am I feeling? (Keep in mind, this was after opening up to Jill and feeling lots of feelings.)
    • Inadequate– did I not even know what that felt like? Have I been avoiding this feeling?
    • Fear– something has gone wrong, to fail, to not make any money, to be a burden on my family and my husband
    • Angry– that I have to feel this way to move forward. this is hard.
    • Lonely– nobody cares about me, nobody understands me, nobody respects me, nobody loves me
    • Unloved– my family [of origin] rejects me, my family doesn’t care. I shouldn’t have been born. I should quit now. I was a mistake. I cause pain and suffering. I am a mistake. (Interesting I didn’t identify shame coming up, but maybe I just didn’t notice that in the moment.) (I also made a note here that I haven’t been reading my scriptures or saying my prayers since being on vacation and being out of routine.)
  • Vibrations I am feeling (I had so many feelings that I couldn’t identify just one, so I just listed all the vibrations.)
    • tears
    • tight throat
    • full chest, heart beating faster
    • want to close my eyes
    • runny nose
    • hot cheeks
    • tired back (from sitting 3 hours?)
    • pulling my lips down into a frown
    • emptiness in chest/stomach
  • None of my “success” has come from loving myself, feeling joy. It has all come from trying to prove something. Pushing myself. covering the fear/vulnerability.
  • The urgency has passed. Now I feel like a train wreck. Puffy eyes, red face,
  • I keep seeing that I can’t do anything because it costs money. Ultimately I don’t feel valuable. I am worthless. I should die… except that won’t solve it either. This is the job of the Atonement.
  • I really feel like eating something sweet now. (I haven’t been eating chocolate since Jan. 1, 2019 and no sweet treats since Sunday.) I want to get away from these feelings. Maybe I’m scared to feel? What if I kept feeling? I would be weak. People would have to make up for my slacking. I’m clearly not allowed to feel. How is all this true?
    • I AM INADEQUATE! I can’t get myself back to heaven.
    • I am weak. Only through the Savior am I ever strong.
    • I am unloved. By plenty of people. (Like millions of strangers.)
    • I should be afraid! Of what God thinks and his consequences.
    • I am totally and completely imperfect.
    • —> And all of this is how it’s supposed to be.
    • —> I only fail if I stop trying.
  • Truly what if I am not enough? Then I’ll be rejected. Then what? I’ll be alone and unloved. Then what? <Long pause for reflection.> I am not enough. Nobody is. Now what? I can do anything I want. What do I want? Follow and love Christ. Be his example. Love. Love Christ. Be enough for yourself. What does that look like?
    • Going slow
    • Keeping a clean house
    • Massages and alone time
    • Being affectionate
    • Bearing testimony
    • Listen to piano music
    • Spend money on myself
    • Eat well
    • Organize
    • READ
  • What do I need to believe about myself in order to love me?
    • I love myself
    • I’m ok the way I am
    • I belong to myself
    • I can love myself no matter what
    • Everybody is equal
    • I have nothing to prove
  • What else do I need to believe? (I was thinking about all the things I love and why.)
    • Life is beautiful.
    • Everything is perfect just the way it is.
    • God is stacking things in my favor.
    • God loves me.
    • I am so much.
    • I have so much.
    • Becoming whole is possible.
    • Heavenly Father has my back.
    • I am 100% valuable and worthy.
    • I like being around myself.
    • I accept myself 100%
    • I like me!
    • I feel safe.
    • I’m one of my favorite people.
    • I am beautiful.
    • I am my self. (i.e. “He is my son”)
    • This is how it was meant to be.
    • I’ve put so much work into myself.
    • I feel good.
    • I know myself.
    • I am doing my best.
    • I am a hard worker.
    • I am smart.
    • I am loyal.
    • I am my kind of person.

***

Ok, that’s where I ended my thought download/self-coaching. I want to keep going and ask myself “Who do I want to be?” That came up in my coaching with Jill. My knee-jerk reaction is “I don’t know.” So she challenged me to decide and try it out and then make adjustments.

I thought all sorts of things as I typed all this up. Things like, This is too vulnerable. People will think I am crazy. People will feel sorry for me. People will be concerned for me. People won’t like me. They will see how broken I am. This is unprofessional. My legs are bouncing like crazy, which is one thing that happens when I am really nervous.

And I just wanted to tell you that 3 things really made an impact after this exercise. 1. Recognizing I am not enough. I have been fighting this so hard for my whole life. Realizing that I don’t have to fight it and I can still live my life was powerful. I don’t have to prove my enoughness, because it’s false. I can just let it be and let the Atonement of Jesus Christ take over for me.
2. When I wrote down I belong to myself I think I actually heard my brain click. It was like I’ve been trying to belong to everybody else for so long, not realizing the only one I really need to belong to is me. I think I remember reading something from Bren√© Brown about Maya Angelou in this vein. I’ll have to go back and find it.
3. When I wrote down I am so much I was like, “Wow.” It’s true. Each of us is so complex. It felt good. As if I’ve been trying to prove “enough” but really I should have been looking for “so much.”

I think that’s it for now. I am suuuuuper tempted to not post this and to just keep it a draft, but I think it would defeat the purpose.

I am ready to feel all the emotions.