“Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.”
Whenever a relationship I’m in comes to end, someone always feels the need to tell me that my issue probably stems from the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Have you ever had this? Seriously.
According to the experts like Brené Brown, feelings, emotions and being vulnerable are crucial elements to making any relationship work.
I couldn’t agree more, except that the rivers of my feelings often run very deep, and compel me to say them out loud.
Honesty and speaking truth are all well and good until I find myself in the “fragility zone”. The place I land when I say something that gets shut down or rejected and I’m left wondering/questioning if I should ever be vulnerable again in the future.
Sounds a tad dramatic, right?
Recently I watched a Ted Talk from Psychologist Susan David on “The gift and power of emotional courage”.
Turns out, research shows the radical acceptance of all of our emotions, even the messy, difficult ones, is the cornerstone of resilience, thriving, and true, authentic happiness.
(insert relief: as I’m still on track to authentic happiness)
According to Susan David, normal, natural emotions are now seen as good or bad and being positive is a new form of moral correctness. She says, “people with cancer are automatically told to just stay positive and women are told to stop being so angry”. She calls it the tyranny of positivity that is unkind and ineffective.
So, it got me thinking, should we speak our emotions, shove them down or brush them aside with ‘Captain Positivity’?
“Emotions are data, they are not directives and we need to own our emotions and not allow them to own us”
Nice one Susan, but how do we practically allow emotions to just be signposts and not the dictators?
Susan David suggests creating a new framework when it comes to verbalising our feelings and emotions. She recommends, instead of saying, “I feel sad”, say something like, “I’m noticing that I’m feeling sad.”
Lately, I’ve been putting this simple emotional reframing into practice and personally, it’s enabled me to still feel deeply, without having my emotions take over. It’s kind of like taking a road trip where my emotions are in the back seat, but they’re definitely not the driver.
Smile, deep feelers and watch this if you can spare 16 minutes “The gift and power of emotional courage”