What are your current feelings? Are you feeling sad, mad, disappointed or frustrated? Unfortunately, many of us were never taught how to properly care for our feelings, especially those that are often thought of as “negative.”
So what’s your first response when feeling sad or mad? Do you know how to properly care for your feelings? Doing so involves a very important step.
Validate your feelings. In other words, give yourself permission to feel your feelings. Rather than avoiding them or minimizing them, face them head-on. It sounds simple, but unfortunately, most people fail to do this.
One word of caution, however: If you rush through validating your feelings it can cause damage down the road. It’s like slapping a Bandaid on a deep cut on your knee – one that has gravel and dirt embedded in it. Validating your feelings is the equivalent of washing out the wound, and that allows the healing to begin.
However, the other extreme is also problematic. If you focus on your feelings too long you can actually prevent the healing that’s needed. If you remain focused on your feelings, you can find yourself in the midst of a pity party.
A pity party is when you get stuck in victim-mode – and that’s a party you do not want to attend. A pity party involves feeling sorry for yourself and wallowing in those feeling – maybe even blaming others for what you’re feeling.
On the other hand, properly handling feelings involves taking responsibility for them. Again, giving your feelings adequate time and attention is exactly what’s needed to move forward.
If you learn to handle your feelings in a healthy manner, you’ll no longer need to attend any pity parties. You might even feel like throwing a party, to celebrate how great you feel!
-Alicia Economos (Author, Speaker and Certified Heart Coach for Wholehearted Living)