the difference between blocking emotions and putting them on pause

difference-between-blocking-emotions-and-putting-them-on-pause

Yesterday morning it finally hit me. It was like an iceberg of loneliness that’s been hovering like a cloud above my head for some time now. I wanted so badly to break down but I knew that I had to leave for work soon, and now wasn’t the right time.

We can do that, you know? And sometimes, especially in our day and age, we have to. We can put a pause on our emotions momentarily, but we also have to create time to let them manifest in the way that they wanted to. I think the second half is the harder part. Finding time to let yourself feel what you should have felt earlier. Creating room for sadness, nostalgia, loneliness, anger, or even fear. It makes sense why we wouldn’t want to. I mean, those aren’t exactly the most inviting territories to dive ourselves into, but they are necessary.

In a perfect world, I would break down when I wanted to. I would feel my anger as it came. I would let emotions go through me when they want to. But that’s not the world I live in. The world I live in requires me to go to work every day. It comes with certain situations where those emotions aren’t appropriate to express. But you don’t necessarily need to express an emotion to feel it.

Sometimes we have to compartmentalize momentarily. I think, for the most part, a lot of us have that down really well. We know how to block ourselves from feeling. But what we aren’t always so good at is allowing those feelings to come through again. We just keep blocking and blocking and sooner or later find our minds scattered, our tension built up, and on the verge of completely losing it.

So though I don’t exactly cater to the idea of blocking our emotions, even though I became quite the expert at it, growing up; I do believe that sometimes we have to put them on pause. What that means is that they need to be felt again, properly. Sometimes I even find my life so overbearing that I have to schedule it in.

Example:

Yoga: 8:00am-9:00am

Shower/breakfast: 9:15am-10:00am

Reflection time/Feeling your feelings: 10:15am-11:00am

Meditate: 11:00am-11:30am

Buy groceries/vacuum/laundry OR read/write/blog : 11:30am – 1:30pm

Work: 2pm-11pm

Obviously, not every day of mine looks like that one, but sometimes we need to break it down in that way so we make it the priority that it should be. Reflecting should be a part of your self-care. It should be its own practice because we need it for the sake of our own sanity. Sometimes we won’t have a full hour to do that. Sometimes it’ll be 5 or 10 spare minutes. Other days, we might have more time than that. Some days, we won’t have any time at all. But we have to make room for it somewhere. We have to treat it like the necessity that it is.

Although yesterday, I didn’t have time to let myself feel my loneliness, I had time this morning and so I allowed myself to get back into that place so that I could let it pass. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t like it. But it felt good afterward, like I had released it. You can’t let go of an emotion you don’t let yourself feel – something I’ve learned the hard way over the years of building up everything inside me only to explode it everywhere and on everyone around me. We can’t control how we feel, but we can control how we experience that feeling and whether we experience it at all.

 

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