My gardener ripped out an Oak tree I’d been nurturing for seven years. It was growing slowly but steadily. As soon as I saw the empty pot, disbelief turned to immediate rage. Rage at the callous way the pot was left, and rage at not telling me what he did. I was furious.
I didn’t try to diminish my emotions, nor tamp them down. I let myself feel all my various emotions, while watering my other plants.
I then vented my emotions in a safe and responsible way by making sure not to take them out on anyone else; they were mine to experience and process through.
Rage itself isn’t bad. It’s what you do with it and how you handle it that makes all the difference. And sometimes, there’s more to the rage when you dive down into it. Which in my case, was grief. I let myself feel that fully as well, and release what was needed.
Many people were taught to suppress emotions or only express the “nice” ones. But your feelings matter and giving them voice responsibly is the only way to release them.
Processing through your emotions takes time; it may not be a one and done. I got hit with another wave of anger as I proofread this blog. But the anger wasn't the white-hot rage it was yesterday when I first saw my plant. That’s because I took the time to acknowledge and fully feel my feelings in the moment.
It may not always be possible to dive into your feelings in the moment. Address them when you have the quiet time and space to release. Even if you have to go out to your car or into the bathroom to do so.
I've done a lot of emotional work so sometimes I’m able to process quickly. If you haven't, move gently with yourself as you open to expressing what you're feeling. And as I’ve stressed, most importantly, be responsible. Which again means not taking it out on others; especially those closest to you.
If the emotion doesn't dissipate after much time and processing, you need to ask yourself what's really going on below the surface or what you're gaining by keeping the emotion alive. That's a fine line that only you can answer because big wounds take time to heal and can’t be rushed (this is especially true of grief). You need to find your truth. Recognize the difference between when there’s more healing to done, and when you're inadvertently keeping the emotional pain alive and it's time to set down the anger etc. and move on.
Here are some techniques from prior blogs to help:
Anger Release Techniques
The Ladder of Emotions
A Map for Healing Intense Emotions
Coping With the Complexities of Grief
May these help you to work with your emotions, rather than being at the mercy of them. It's safe to feel and express the full range of your emotions.
Me, Tina Germain, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!