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Emotional Intensity, Authenticity, and Power.

The cold world around us may aim to dampen our sensitivities, make us less warm, less connected.  Your emotions may make those accustomed to the cold uncomfortable, afraid their icy layer may be softened.  Perhaps we could use to melt our exterior and allow for more authenticity to flow in.  Perhaps our ability to feel and express embodies our power.

When we feel and express, we open a vulnerability that can lead to connection.  However, if we have been abused, neglected, or otherwise mistreated, connection can feel threatening.  For some of us, our emotions have been met with criticism, discomfort, or even punishment; they may have been labeled as “dramatic” or “too much” because others did not have the capacity to understand.  Others’ reactions to our emotions are valid experiences on their behalf, but do not indicate an objective truth.  Though our emotions may be “too much” for someone to hold, that does not mean our emotions are objectively “too much”, but rather that this person cannot meet our needs.  Rather than blaming ourselves for feeling, there may be other explanations. 

If you are reading this, you’ve probably experienced some discomfort around your emotions.  You may have wished you could turn your emotions off like a light switch, or somehow feel them less intensely.  While we have some control over our experiences of emotion, it’s nearly impossible to turn emotions off like a light switch.  Emotions are natural sensations that provide crucial information about our needs, much like the dryness in our mouth or throat that indicates a need for water, the grumbling in our stomach signaling hunger, or the fullness in our bladder informing us that we need to use the bathroom.  We all need water, food, and the bathroom – we all need emotion.  Our needs vary, and some of us may require more than others; some of us may feel more intensely than others.  We can try to ignore or suppress these needs, but not without consequence or re-emergence.  Ultimately, our body will assure that its needs are met.  If we push our emotions down long enough, they will surface and will likely come about at an inconvenient time.

Many of us have found creative ways to suppress our emotions and other needs.  When our emotions have been ignored, punished, labeled as “too much”, we learn to fear them.  Sometimes we fear these emotions so much, we find vices to suppress them like drug use, disordered eating, or self-harm.  These methods are often highly effective at reducing the intensity of our emotions, but cause other problems.  But what if we didn’t have to fear and suppress our emotions?  What if instead of reinforcing the messages of critical others, fearing genuine emotional connection, we hoped for something more? What if we allowed our emotions to propel us into authenticity, connection, and power?

Are you struggling to accept your emotions? While I cannot currently provide individual psychotherapy services privately, you can click here to learn more about working with me in other capacities.  Check out my social media below for free resources and updated information on my services!  

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