Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 32
This one is for those who find themselves overwhelmed by their emotions, who feel those big emotions, who feel as if their feelings are simply too expansive, too loud, or too relentless. For those who sometimes think they feel too deeply for this world. We're living through challenging times, with so many things happening on different fronts, it can all seem a bit much.
I often talk about embracing your feelings. However, today, my words are aimed at those who might wish they could feel a little less, those who believe they are burdened by an excess of emotions. If that's you, I want you to know, I see you. And with a gentle reminder.
Perhaps, you don't have 'too many' feelings. Perhaps, your feelings aren't 'too big'. We often perceive our feelings as overwhelming, too intense or loud, so much so that we expend a lot of energy trying to escape from them. We strive to create situations where we don't have to confront the immensity of these emotions, akin to an oncoming tidal wave.
In our quest to evade these feelings, we have a catalogue of things we do to numb out. From obsessively cleaning our kitchen, to losing three hours of our evening to Instagram, to finding ourselves at the bottom of a bag of crisps we don't remember eating or Netflicking the discomfort away. All these are different attempts to distance ourselves from emotions which we don't want or feel like we are resourced for.
Over time and habit, we begin to associate the sensation of fleeing from an emotion with the emotion itself. We can start to believe that fear feels like the desire to run, that anger feels like we are out of control, that jealousy feels like everything is going on without us, that pain can feel like we are no longer present. We confuse these feelings with the sensation of trying to avoid them.
However, when we open ourselves up to these emotions, when we let them into our world, they suddenly stop clamouring for our attention. They no longer scream at us for not being heard, listened to or welcomed.
The bravery to sit with an emotion, to fully acknowledge it and explore its depths, can lead to it's dissipation. In my experience, once I recognise an emotion, allow it in, it begins to fade. From there, I can start to see the other side of it. And what else is possible.
So, this post is an invitation to you. Perhaps you're not overwhelmed by too many feelings. Perhaps it's not emotionally overwhelming all of the time. Maybe it's the avoidance of your feelings that feels truly overwhelming.
And maybe, just maybe, there's a different, more compassionate way to navigate this.