When you feel the way you don’t want to feel

Feelings are tricky, no doubt. Maybe the trickiest of all human attributes. Triggered by various emotions, they can also be overwhelming to the point where you totally lose control. Over your reaction to the particular situation, but more importantly, the outcome. And whether expressed as fear, aggression, anxiety, despair, disappointment, frustration, or just blind rage, feelings could easily bring us to the very edge of sanity unless we pay close attention. But of course, we seldom do that anyway.

Realistically speaking, in most cases there isn’t much to do about how you feel. Maybe somebody has hurt you deeply and you want nothing but vengeance. Maybe somebody’s lying to you and you’ve just found out. Maybe your partner is cheating on you and you’re jealous. Or maybe somebody just gets on your nerves by breathing in the same room. Whatever the case, it ain’t easy to tame the beast within, once set free. Depending on your personality, you can either let all hell break loose and shoot to kill or suffer endlessly in silence. In fact, neither one helps. For if you directly attack the person who has inflicted your pain, you might hurt them more than expected (and in ways you’ll probably never know) and very likely, you’ll regret it later. On the other hand, silent suffering has the potential to eventually kill you. Literally and on all levels. When faced with a negative feeling and not willing to deal with the issue, oversensitive people tend to bury it as deep as possible. They push it through that Feelings door, somewhere in the gloomy dungeon of their subconsciousness, slam the rusty door and lock it three times just to make sure, shamming that feeling never aroused in the first place. But sadly enough, pretending the feeling isn’t there won’t make it disappear. It will stay buried within, waiting for the next time the emotional trigger shows up. So what to do? Eliminate the trigger.

This is not an easy task, I know. And rather frustrating too because when feelings come, they don’t normally give us a 14-day prior notice, so we could prepare in peace for what is to come. Sometimes situations just hit us, denuded and exposed, eagerly expecting our reaction. Now, any real Zen Master would keep their countenance, no matter the circumstances, but we ain’t no zen master. At least, not all the time. So what to do when storm hits? First, avoid trying to escape the feeling. It’s not really possible to not feel the way you feel. You can’t really tell your heart to stop breaking and get a grip. You are the one to get a grip. So as hard as it might seem, try to acknowledge the negative feeling. Don’t reject it. Don’t blame yourself for how you feel. There’s nothing you can do about it but accept it. If you’re having some issues on the love front, for instance, that might make you feel sad, rejected, and lonely. It might even result in you doubting yourself or your worthiness, provoking inferiority, bitterness, and depression. Any kind of betrayal hurts, yes, but ask yourself: “Who is really hurting now? My being or my feelings?” A simple, but also tricky question. Remember that we mainly hurt when our ego is affected, when we feel insulted and betrayed. Betrayal means that somebody doesn’t acknowledge our worthiness or fails to act the way we think they are supposed to act. How dare they?! We feel alienated, often raging in an attempt to prove we’re actually worthy in the eyes of others. But you know what? It doesn’t really matter. If you give it a thought, you’d see that our ego is rarely satisfied and that lack of inner satisfaction, among others, leads to shame, confusion, and discourage.

In short, when the feeling hits, look at it right into the eye. Accept its presence and take a few minutes to analyze it. Avoid speaking or acting. Just observe. Split the feeling into bits and pieces and try to find its real source. Do you feel intimidated? Does your ego hurt due to rejection? Are you afraid of something? And if yes, from what? Take the time to look at the situation as objectively as possible. Finding the source is half the battle. Acceptance is the other half.

But most of all, don’t feel ashamed if you feel sad, confused, unsettled, or jealous. You are who you are and there’s nothing right or wrong with feelings. You are the only one who could label them, but why would you even want to? Feeling grateful or resentful doesn’t necessarily make you a good or a bad person. Plus, at the end of the day, emotions are well-known for their transient nature. Sometimes they make us happy, and sometimes they make us furious. Our reaction, however, depends totally on our own choice and the level of our current development. It’s very unlikely you cried because your toy truck has broke as you would when you were five. And perhaps, you won’t probably cheat on your partner now, because you know how much it hurts to be on the other side. And perhaps, you’ll get to the point of wishing your colleague well for getting that promotion instead of you (if not already). In any case, you can’t run away or hide from your feelings and it’s rather naïve to believe you could. They are only there to remind you that you are human, for better or worse. So, accept your feelings exactly as they are, not a bit more, not a bit less. And don’t let them take the lead, you are in charge. So grab the wheel and keep driving towards that better version of yourself.



365 days

52 weeks, 365 days, 2,087 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds.

A lot can happen in a year. One could graduate, start a new job, move, find love, get married, have a child. Or start living. One year is really a lot of time. And even though today looks so much different and even filled with gratitude for every single step of the way, in the eye of the storm things look a bit different. In there, time stands still. Sometimes you don’t know if you’re gonna find the strength to go on another day. Sometimes it seems you won’t be able to beat it all. Circumstances, fate, your own choices. Sometimes you wonder if you’re gonna make it. If it’s even worth it. You ask yourself whether the end justifies the means, moreover when other people depend on you and your actions directly affect them. You lose faith, hope, path, direction. Drown in your own misery, you’re struggling to even take a breath. Sometimes it’s hard, very hard to find yourself again after you have made all the wrong choices. When you made the same mistakes again and again, just to make sure. When you feel weak, disabled, lost. It’s hard to get the pieces back together when the whole picture is hacked to bits. Of course, after dust has settled, you know that there are no right and wrong choices. You can’t judge yourself for past failures from the position of today, looking through the eyes of the person you are this very minute. It’s not fair. But it’s indeed challenging to find that inner wisdom when you’re suffocating. When you can’t comprehend the very purpose of your life. It’s hard to believe when there’s nothing to believe in. It’s hard to fight when you see your world gradually razing to the ground. You stumble and you fall, waiting for the light that never comes. You forget how to dream or how to appreciate yourself to start with. Hoping for something good to happen when all you see around is darkness, this is at the very least dispiriting. It’s draining. And even if now you fail to see that light at the end of the tunnel, know that there is an exit. There always is. Because the light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.

In retrospect, it was a challenging year. In every sense. Looking back from where I stand now, I see how it managed to put everything I’ve ever learnt to the test and made my entire world collapse. It was a thorny and challenging road, but I made the leap. There were times when I was filled with uncertainty and doubt. In everything and everyone. I didn’t know what tomorrow would bring and even whether there would be tomorrow at all. But finally, it all came to an end. I saw the end of the cycle and the start of a new one. I experienced it as deep as it could be. It was time to break free from the cocoon and be re-born. And if you’re in that black hole now, remember that the darkest hour is just before the dawn, so don’t lose hope. Ever. Remember that there’s always a greater plan, a bigger picture. No matter how dark it might seem now, keep the faith in universal wisdom and give yourself a chance. A chance to live, a chance to be happy. You owe it to yourself. There’s no need to wait for New Year’s resolutions to change your life. Do something now and don’t let circumstances guide you. Don’t ever let anyone else make your own decisions. After all, this is your life and it’s all in your hands, so decide for yourself. Is this the life you want to live? Does your reality reflect your fondest wishes? Your dreams? The fundamental vision of your higher self? Yes? Great, well done! But if not, make the decision to change it. Act out of love and not out of fear. Love to thyself. Break the chains and step out of your comfort zone, because that’s how you learn, that’s how you grow. And don’t be afraid, for I’m telling you: miracles can and do happen. You are one of them.